Most people have a basic understanding of what happens after a car accident. Drivers exchange information, then insurance companies determine fault and pay for the damages. That’s a best-case scenario, however. There are various times when motor vehicle accidents aren’t that simple.
For instance, how would you seek compensation if you were hurt in an auto accident by a bankrupt driver? As it turns out, you might still be able to recover funds for your injury. Here’s everything you need to know.
Stick with the Basics
Regardless of the other party’s financial situation, you still need to file a claim with your insurance company. It will come back that the other driver has previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but your insurance provider needs to know the extend of the damages and your injuries to get the process started.
If the driver does have insurance, then things just got a whole lot easier. You can recover their liability insurance to start paying for your recovery. If you have uninsured/underinsured coverage, then you can rely on that as well.
Finding Additional Compensation
While most states require drivers to have liability insurance, it isn’t always enough to cover the full extent of damages after an accident. This is where the issue with a bankrupt driver comes into play. With no additional funds to pay for your injuries, how can you possibly get compensation from them?
Even with uninsured/underinsured coverage, you might find yourself with a hefty out of pocket hospital bill. Different states treat this coverage in varying ways, especially with the other party being bankrupt. The best thing you can do is hire a lawyer before you need a bankruptcy attorney as well. Luxury vehicles like Audis will cost more to repair than a generic car like that of a Toyota Camry but drivability is worth the cost. Keep in mind that luxury or exotic cars might also need to be taken to the appropriate professionals that specialize in these cars.
Unfortunately, you’re most likely going to have to take both the driver and your insurance company to court. Insurers notoriously deny full coverage for their clients in the event of an accident involving a bankrupt driver. So, you’ll need a skilled attorney to help you fight for your rights. Easterling v. Progressive is an excellent example.
While there might not be any way to get compensation from the other driver due to their financial situation, your insurance is responsible for covering the costs of your injury in this instance so long as you have uninsured/underinsured coverage. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
Focusing on Recovery
It’s important to hire a lawyer for two reasons. The first is that your insurance company will certainly have a skilled attorney on their side. The second is that you need to focus on your recover after an injury.
It’s difficult to do anything from a hospital bed, but an attorney can take care of the entire process while keeping you in the loop about how the case is progressing. That allows you to take the stress off of your shoulders, rest up, and just focus on feeling better. When you’re in an accident with a bankrupt driver, there’s nothing quite like peace of mind.