Car Accidents Involving Uninsured Vehicles
Being involved in a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. Between seeking medical help for injuries and making adequate repairs to the car, the problems that occur after an accident can take several months to several years to resolve. All Wisconsin drivers are required to carry auto insurance before operating a vehicle. However, according to a study conducted in 2009 by the Insurance Information Institute, about 14.6 percent of Wisconsin drivers were uninsured at that time. Therefore, it is possible that the driver who is at fault for a car accident may not be carrying car insurance.
Current Wisconsin Law Regarding Car Insurance
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin drivers are required to obtain a car insurance policy with the following minimum requirements:
$10,000 for property damage;
$25,000 for the injury or death of a person; and
$50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person.
In addition to having an appropriate car insurance policy, drivers are also required to show proof of insurance. Driving a car without proper proof of insurance can result in a fine of up to $500. In an effort to help protect victims of car accidents who suffer injuries and other damages caused by uninsured drivers, Wisconsin enacted the Uninsured Motorist/Safety Responsibility Law.
Uninsured Motorist/Safety Responsibility Law
The Uninsured Motorist/Safety Responsibility law was enacted in 1946, and provides drivers with an incentive to carry car insurance. If an uninsured driver is involved in a car accident and it is their fault, they are liable for all of the damages. If they fail to pay the damages, their driver's license or car registration can be suspended. It is important to note that the owner of an uninsured car can still be held liable for an accident even if the owner was not driving the uninsured car when the accident occurred.
Uninsured Driver Coverage
Typically, drivers who do not carry car insurance do not have a lot of funds either. Thus, it may not be worth it to sue the uninsured driver to recover your losses. Although uninsured motorist coverage is an insurance requirement, the mandatory coverage limits are very low — $25,000–$50,000. These limits are often inadequate in providing protection to those who have been injured by an uninsured driver. Therefore, it may be wise to carry increased uninsured driver coverage limits under your car insurance policy to safeguard yourself against uninsured drivers. This way, if the driver of the car who caused the accident is uninsured, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company to recover damages and hopefully you will have enough coverage to make yourself whole following an accident with an uninsured driver.
Contact an Experienced Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in the New London area and suspect that the driver did not have car insurance, first seek medical attention. Once you have been treated for your injuries, contact one of our experienced Appleton car accident attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. right away. We will evaluate the facts of your case and help you recover the compensation you deserve in a timely fashion.