Insurance protects everyone on the road from the risk of a crash. Virginia has a liability-based insurance system. That means that when someone else hits your vehicle or causes a crash, their insurance policy is the one that pays for the property damage and injuries that result.
While such a system is good because it keeps costs lower for those who don’t contribute to collisions, it also put drivers in a precarious position. It is possible for the person who causes the crash to not have insurance.
They may have failed to make a payment recently so their coverage lapsed. Some people even intentionally cancel their insurance policy after renewing their vehicle registration as a way to save money. What happens when the other driver who causes a serious crash doesn’t have insurance?
Virginia law lets you take legal action against uninsured drivers
When someone causes a crash without insurance, the police responding to the scene of the wreck will probably issue not only a ticket for causing the crash but a separate citation for not having insurance on the vehicle.
As someone who suffered property damage and possibly a physical injury because of that crash, you have the right to pursue legal action against the other party. A personal injury claim can help you get compensation for your medical costs, the damage to your vehicle and wages you missed out on because of the crash and its medical consequences for you.
What if the driver has insurance, but they don’t have enough?
For every driver who doesn’t have a policy active on their vehicle, there are probably several other drivers on the road with mediocre coverage. Virginia has stricter insurance requirements than other states, but policies can still leave people with uncovered expenses.
The minimum policy a person can legally carry will have at least $20,000 worth of property damage coverage. If someone gets hurts, there will be at least $25,000 worth of medical coverage, although that amount goes up to $50,000 if two or more people get hurt in a crash.
The bigger your costs, the more likely that a bare-minimum insurance policy won’t cover everything. In that situation, just like when someone doesn’t have insurance at all, you may need to consider a civil lawsuit as a way to cover the costs and losses you suffered because of the crash.