What if the Person Who Hit My Car Doesn’t Have Insurance?

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Every Kentucky driver is required by law to carry automobile liability insurance. Not everyone obeys the law, however. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that more than ten percent of Kentucky drivers are uninsured. Even if the other driver does carry insurance, it will do you little good in a hit and run accident in which the driver I never located. Following are some of your possible options, depending on the circumstances:

Option 1: Rely on Your Own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance

Since Kentucky is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, every driver carries PIP insurance unless they specifically reject it. Your won PIP insurance will probably cover your injuries, no matter who was at fault for the accident. A potential problem here is that the minimum required PIP insurance only covers $10,000 in compensation. If your losses were greater than $10,000, you are going to need a second source of compensation.

Option 2: Prepare in Advance by Purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist insurance will cover you in case the other driver lacks liability insurance, at least up to the limits of the policy. Strictly speaking, it will also cover hit and run requirements, but certain evidentiary requirements sometimes result in claims being rejected.

Option 3: Prepare in Advance by Purchasing Collision Insurance

Collision insurance is not mandatory in Kentucky. If you purchase it, however, it will pay for damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision. It will not pay for personal injury.

Option 4: Sue the Driver

If your PIP insurance is not enough to cover your claim, in most cases you will be eligible to sue the other driver in his personal capacity. If you win, the other driver will have to pay your claim out of his own pocket. This approach has obvious limitations. For example, the driver may be uninsured because he they cannot afford to purchase insurance. But if he can’t afford to purchase insurance, how is he going to be able to afford to pay your claim out of his own pocket?

Option 5: Sue the Driver’s Employer

This approach will only work if the driver was “acting within the scope of his employment” at the time of the accident. Normally this means that he must have been on-duty at the time, although it is possible that he may have been on-duty but not acting within the scope of his employment. If the was acting within the scope of employment, liability is automatic – you don’t have to prove that the employer was at fault to win, because the driver’s fault is imputed to the employer.

Keep in mind that this approach will not work if the driver is classified as an independent contractor, as most commercial truckers are.

Option 6: Sue Under the Kentucky Dram Shop Law

Under the Kentucky Dram Shop Act, a licensed alcohol vendor can be sued by anyone injured by a drunk driver, if the vendor served alcohol to the driver after he was already obviously intoxicated and that service was a substantial cause of the accident. Obviously, this approach is limited to DUI accidents.

Make It Happen

If you have been injured by a driver who lacks insurance, all is not lost. We can work with you to help you find a way to receive full compensation by any legal means available. Contact Kentucky personal injury lawyer Glenn Martin Hammond by calling (606) 437-7777 or by filling out our online contact form. We serve clients in Lexington, Pikeville, Winchester, Paris and elsewhere in the state of Kentucky.

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