Out of all 50 states and Washington, D.C., only New Hampshire does not have a law making it mandatory for all drivers to carry liability insurance covering minimum amounts for property and medical expenses. However, a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2014 shows that nearly 13 percent of all drivers on U.S. roads are not covered by liability insurance, which causes a major problem should an accident occur. An uninsured motorist accident leaves victims to pay for damages themselves, but experienced auto accident attorneys can provide some help in these unjust situations.
What Is an Uninsured Motorist Accident?
An uninsured motorist is anyone who operates a motor vehicle without the minimum liability insurance required by law. When these individuals cause accidents that result in damage to personal property and injuries, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to receive compensation.
In California, the minimum liability limits are 15/30/5, which means the insurance must cover $15,000 for injuries to a single person, $30,000 for injuries to all individuals involved in a single accident and $5,000 for property damage. However, the IRC reports that 14.7 percent of California drivers have no coverage at all.
Consequences of Uninsured Motorists
The consequences of accidents caused by uninsured motorists range from minor to severe, with the majority heavily weighted toward serious and severe. Only a select few drivers have the money or the credit to cover the total damages caused by an at-fault accident.
The IRC research from 2014 reveals that 82 percent of uninsured motorists do not have insurance because they can not afford insurance or because their vehicles are in such bad condition that they are uninsurable. This leaves victims to pay for any losses they have sustained through no fault of their own, and in 2012, the amount of damages from uninsured motorist accidents totaled $2.6 billion.