Auto accident attorneys almost always prefer to deal with insurance companies when filing claims or pursuing lawsuits. Not all cases work out that way, and there are some scenarios where auto accident lawyers end up facing uninsured or underinsured defendants.
Plaintiffs may have worries about these cases, especially in terms of what their options might be for getting compensation for their injuries. Let's look at some of the choices auto accident injury attorneys may recommend to their clients.
Pursuing Action Against he Defendant
If someone has little or no insurance, that doesn't mean they're not worth suing. Some cases involve what are fundamentally self-insured parties. For example, many huge corporations are self-insured. If you had an accident with a driver from such a business, you might proceed with a claim just like you would with an insurer, except you'll be asking the defendant to pay.
Similarly, suits against uninsured and underinsured drivers aren't automatically doomed to failure. Auto accident attorneys are still allowed to pursue judgments against them. If your case succeeds, the court will order the defendant to pay. They can then make arrangements with you or the court to pay. If they refuse or fail to pay, the court can attach their assets or garnish their wages.
Lots of insurance policies include coverage for incidents involving underinsured and uninsured motorists. In that scenario, you'd move forward with a claim by filing with your insurance carrier. If your insurer decides against the claim, though, you may end up in the awkward spot of suing your insurance provider.
Another option is to lean on your medical insurance coverage while you see where things go with the accident claim. Be aware, though, that your medical insurance provider will be able to place a lien on any compensation you receive to ensure you pay what they put up for your treatment and recovery.
Find Another Defendant
A less appealing option is trying to identify another defendant. This requires reviewing the details of an incident to determine who else might have been at fault. Obviously, this has better odds in a multi-vehicle incident.
If the other party is underinsured, there may come a point where the simplest solution is to accept a smaller payout. That's especially the case if you've exhausted other options, such as working with your insurer to fill the gap. Also, with some uninsured parties who have no significant assets or income, there comes a point where they are judgment-proof and just can't pay.