What To Do When in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

front end of a damaged car after a collision

Did an underinsured or uninsured driver cause your car accident? Though all Iowa drivers must carry a minimum amount of vehicle insurance, unfortunately, some do not. While lawsuits against uninsured drivers are often futile, there are steps you can take to recover damages for your property and personal injuries. Usually, your best first step is talking to an auto accident attorney who can answer any questions you might have.

Peters Law Firm has over 100 years of combined industry experience in helping our Council Bluff clients navigate the aftermath of an accident, including those where the other driver is uninsured. We believe no one should suffer emotionally, physically, or financially because of someone else’s negligent driving, insured or not.

Iowa Car Insurance Laws Regarding Uninsured Drivers

Iowa’s car insurance laws require drivers to carry liability insurance that covers damages they cause to another due to an at-fault accident. Drivers found to be driving without insurance are subject to a $250 fine, possible vehicle impoundment, or community service. Drivers who cause an accident while uninsured face a mandatory $250 penalty and a suspended registration for all vehicles they own.

If the non-at-fault party suffers damages totaling $1,500 or more, an uninsured driver faces a 12-month registration suspension, must pass a new driving exam, and will have to pay a $200 civil penalty plus administration fees.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver?

If you have the bad luck of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll likely have difficulty getting compensated for property or other accident-related damages. If you’re injured in a crash with an uninsured driver in Iowa, you are financially responsible for your own accident costs, unless:

  1. The uninsured driver voluntarily pays for your accident damages. Of course, if a driver doesn’t have the financial resources to pay for insurance, they’re unlikely to be able to cover your damages.
  2. Your own insurance company pays your damages.

In Iowa, uninsured motorist coverage is part of your car insurance policy unless you explicitly opt out of it. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company is responsible for paying for your damages in an uninsured driver accident. Regrettably, even though you faithfully make your premium payments to ensure you’re fully covered, you should expect your insurance company to try to pay you as little as possible.

Uninsured motorist coverage in Iowa usually can’t exceed the amount of your liability coverage. So, if you have $75,000 per accident in total liability coverage, you typically can’t have more than that amount in uninsured motorist coverage. Though insurance companies have the right to seek reimbursement from an at-fault uninsured driver, as a rule, they don’t spend the time and money it would take.

If you want fair compensation for your uninsured auto accident injuries, you sometimes need to protect yourself from your own insurance company. Once you report the accident to your insurer, be on the lookout for:

  • Overbroad medial release forms
  • Recorded statement requests
  • Quick offers of settlement

It’s always a good idea to keep communication open with your insurer, but it’s also essential to keep your guard up, so you don’t lose out on any compensation you’re entitled to.

Get the Car Accident Legal Advice You Need

The experienced car accident attorneys at Peters Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ll help determine if the uninsured driver can pay your damages and negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online today or call us at (712) 328-3157.

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