If you’re involved in an accident with a truck and the at-fault truck driver does not have adequate auto insurance, the consequences can be significant. You could be left shouldering extensive damages, unexpected expenses, and no clear way to recover compensation.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may pay for your damages up to your policy limits if it is found the other driver was legally responsible. This may be affected by the laws of your state. For example, under New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence law, your ability to collect damages is possible only if your degree of liability does not exceed that of the other party in the accident.
The key point to remember if you find yourself in this situation is to stay calm and contact an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we know how to handle the insurance companies and protect your rights. Complete the online contact form or call us at 1-866-909-6894 to discuss your case.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
If the at-fault party does not have truck insurance, you may still be able to recover damages if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. UM/UIM coverage is optional in most states, but it can provide valuable protection if you are hit by a driver who does not have coverage or enough insurance to cover your damages.
If you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you may still be able to recover damages from the at-fault party if he or she has personal liability insurance. However, the amount of coverage provided by a personal liability policy is typically much lower than what is available under a UM/UIM policy.
The Financial Responsibility of the At-Fault Party
There are a few potential outcomes if the at-fault party does not have truck insurance. In some cases, the at-fault party may be personally responsible for any damages incurred as a result of the accident.
Here are some options to recover damages from an uninsured driver:
- Sue the at-fault party’s trucking company. The employer of the uninsured driver may be held responsible for the accident. This is because most trucking companies require their drivers to carry liability insurance. If the driver did not have insurance, the company may be held liable for any damages incurred.
- Uninsured Motorist Insurance can help. If neither the at-fault party nor their trucking company has insurance, there may be a possibility that victims could seek compensation through their own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is typically included in auto insurance policies and could provide compensation for damages even if the at-fault party does not have insurance.
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault party directly if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage. This can be a difficult process, as it can be hard to track down a party who does not have insurance. If the party has other assets, such as a home or savings account, you may be able to get a judgment against them that would allow you to recoup some of your losses.
Of course, these may not be your only, or best, options. No matter what route you decide to take, it is urgent that you speak with a trucking accident attorney who can advise you on the ideal course for your circumstances.
The at-fault party or their employer may be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of the accident. These may include:
- Property damage
- Vehicle repairs
- Medical expenses
- Long-term medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings
- Other non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Why a Truck Driver Might Not Have Insurance
There are many different scenarios in which a truck driver might not have adequate auto insurance. For example:
- The driver is an independent contractor: The independent contractor may not have commercial truck insurance, which would provide coverage for damages caused in an accident. Sometimes, independent contractors may only carry personal auto insurance, which likely wouldn’t cover damages caused by a large commercial truck.
- The truck driver is insured by his or her employer: The employer’s policy may not have enough coverage to cover all of the damages caused in an accident. This is especially likely if the accident was serious and resulted in significant property damage or injuries.
- The company chose not to insure the driver: Some commercial trucking companies self-insure their vehicles. This means that if an employed driver is at fault for the accident, the company will have to pay for the damages out of their own pocket. This can be a very costly proposition for the company, which is why they may choose to not insure their drivers.
Since all truck drivers are legally required to carry proper insurance, you have the right to seek compensation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Judd Shaw Injury Law for assistance so you can get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Take These Steps After an Accident With an Uninsured At-Fault Party
After the accident, follow these steps to protect your rights:
- File a police report. This will ensure the accident is documented and may establish that the other driver was at fault.
- Record all of the relevant information. At the scene of the incident, note details such as the date and location of the accident. Note the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Document useful evidence. Take careful photos and a detailed description of the damages.
- Do not post anything about the accident on social media.
- Do not admit fault. In the confusion immediately after the accident, you should not claim any responsibility for causing it, even if you feel bad or like saying sorry.
- Keep accurate records. Track all of the necessary documentation, including any police reports, medical records, and witness statements.
Filing a lawsuit can be complicated, so it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney to ensure your documentation is complete.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and the at-fault party does not have truck insurance, you could be left holding the bill for expensive damages. If the accident was serious and you suffered injuries, you will need legal help to recover damages.
The good news is, you may still be able to recover damages through your own insurance policy or by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, you should speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your options and ensure that you take the best possible course of action.
Contact us at Judd Shaw Injury Law before contacting the insurance companies. We have experience handling these types of accidents and know how to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Our team can assist you in building a strong case against the at-fault party and will tirelessly fight for the compensation you deserve. Fill in the contact form or call us at 1-866-909-6894 to schedule a risk-free, no-obligation case evaluation.