Under North Carolina law, all drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist insurance coverage. However, thousands of people in our state choose to drive without any coverage. If you’ve been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may not know what to do next, and you may be asking if you can sue an uninsured driver for damages.
5 Things You Can Do if an Uninsured Driver Hits You
Since uninsured liability insurance is mandatory, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, you have the right to sue the driver for damages. If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run by an uninsured driver, these options are available for you to seek compensation as well.
The following are 5 things you can do if an uninsured driver has hit you:
Contact the police
The first step is to file a police report. This will document the accident and help to establish liability.
Try to get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen what happened
Use your insurance
You may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage (UIM). This type of coverage will pay for your damages up to the limit of your policy.
Sue the at-fault driver
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, then you can file suit against them directly in court. It will be up to you as the plaintiff (the injured party) to prove that the defendant (the uninsured driver) was negligent when he hit you.
Hire an attorney
You may want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and maximize your chances of getting compensation from the uninsured at-fault driver.
How Do I Sue an Uninsured Driver in North Carolina?
Although it’s possible to sue an uninsured driver, it may be a long process, with no guarantee of success. The steps to filing a lawsuit in North Carolina can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the legal system.
In order to sue the uninsured driver who hit you, you will first need to determine which court has jurisdiction over your case. Once you have found the correct court, you will need to file a complaint, which is a document that outlines your legal claims against the defendant. After the complaint has been filed, the court will set a date for a hearing, at which time both parties will have an opportunity to present their evidence and arguments. If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney will prepare for the hearing and gather all the evidence for you.
Finally, after your case has been presented, the court will make a decision and issue a judgment. If you are successful with your lawsuit against an uninsured motorist who injured you in an auto accident, then the judgment will be entered against them for all medical bills and property damage costs associated with repairing your vehicle.
How Do I Collect an Auto Accident Judgment?
Judgments in car accident cases can be difficult to collect. In some cases, the court may order a payment plan for the defendant. The payments may be made weekly, monthly, or quarterly, but payment plans can be difficult to enforce if the person doesn’t have the money. If a payment plan is not a good option, you might be able to get money from one of the following sources:
The at-fault driver’s assets if available, such as bank accounts, stocks, etc.
Garnishing the at-fault driver’s wages. If the driver has a job, you may be able to garnish their wages to collect the judgment.
Filing a lien on the at-fault driver’s property. If the driver owns any property, you may be able to put a lien on it for the amount of the judgment.
The at-fault driver’s employer. If the driver was on the job at the time of the accident, their employer may be liable for the judgment.
The at-fault driver’s parents or legal guardian. If the driver is a minor or lives with their parents, the parents or legal guardian may be responsible for the judgment.
The driver’s estate if the driver died in the accident or the driver dies before paying the judgment in full.
Sometimes, suing an uninsured driver in court may be your only option, but it’s not always the easiest one. If you have uninsured motorist coverage and you’re injured in an accident caused by someone without insurance, you may be able to recover damages through your insurer. But if you don’t have this coverage or your damages exceed your policy limits, then you may need to sue the uninsured driver to recover your damages.
Do I Need an Attorney to Sue an Uninsured Driver for an Accident?
Contact an Experienced Accident Trial Lawyer for the Results You Deserve
If an uninsured motorist caused your accident, contact us at 828-333-5996 to speak with Attorney Lakota Denton to explore the idea of suing the uninsured driver. Counseling with an experienced North Carolina accident attorney about your legal options not only gives you peace of mind, but it’s also a wise decision.
The good news is that you have options to help obtain the compensation that you’re owed after you’ve been in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. With a skilled Ashville accident attorney on your side, negotiating with your insurance company is a good first step; but if a full and fair settlement is not available through UIM coverage, Attorney Lakota Denton can advocate for compensation and seek damages through a lawsuit against the at-fault uninsured driver.
Since Attorney Lakota Denton is a trial lawyer, he has the experience, the knowledge, and the aggressive drive to get results for you and your family. The goal of his team of Asheville car accident lawyers is to successfully find a way to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation by telephone or by using our online contact form.
Attorney Lakota Denton
Lakota Denton has been practicing in his own firm since 2013, focusing solely on personal injury. He is a member of the American Association of Justice, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar association, the American Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and was awarded Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers, the 2014 Top 40 Lawyers under 40, and the Avvo clients choice award. [ Attorney Bio ]