As a fault state, Oklahoma requires its drivers to carry a certain amount of liability insurance to cover the costs associated with injuries and other damages. The minimum requirements are as follows:
● $25,000 for death or injury, per person;
● $50,000 total for death or injury, if multiple people are hurt in a single incident; and
● $25,000 for property damage.
Insurance companies are required to offer insureds additional coverage such as comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, too many drivers deny these types of add-ons. When it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, denial may be a mistake.
Nationwide, approximately 13% of, or one in eight, drivers are uninsured. The number has been on the steady incline since its record low of 12.3% in 2010. That said, Oklahoma is not the worst state in terms of insurance stats. Florida takes the cake for the most number of uninsured drivers, with more than a quarter of its drivers driving around uninsured. On the other end of the spectrum is Maine, with just 4.5% uninsured drivers. Oklahoma falls somewhere in the middle, with 10.5% of its drivers uninsured . It ranks number 31, making it one of the better states for drivers.
That said, accidents involving uninsured drivers still happen. Drivers have a one in 10 chance of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you were involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may be angry, frustrated, and at a loss as to what to do. Let our Ponca City car accident lawyers at BDIW Law help.
Because Oklahoma is a fault state, the at-fault driver's car insurance company should pay for damages that result from a car accident. However, if a driver is uninsured, there is no party who can be held financially accountable for damages save for the at-fault driver. Though you can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party, doing so may be fruitless, as there is a good chance the driver is uninsured because he or she has little income to spare. You would be better off pursuing damages from your own insurance company.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company should foot the bill for damages regardless of who was at fault. Of course, your insurer will investigate the accident and look for a way to minimize your claim, which is why you should arm yourself with an attorney regardless of your coverage.
But what if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage? Your attorney will review your policy in depth to see if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. If you do, your lawyer can help you file a claim under one or both of those policies.
If you do not have any additional coverage outside of the bare minimum, you may have to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver. Before doing so, you should discuss with your attorney the pros and cons of going this route. As mentioned above, uninsured drivers are often uninsured for a reason — they cannot afford car insurance. If a driver does not have the funds to pay you, there is really no way for the courts to enforce repayment of damages. This would make pursuing a lawsuit a waste of your time and money.
However, the other driver may have substantial assets. A skilled lawyer can perform an investigation and determine if that is the case. If it is, it may be worth your while to follow through with a lawsuit as, if you win, the judge may order the at-fault driver to liquidate those assets to compensate you. Of course, you can not know for sure what types of funds or assets an uninsured driver has to his or her name without the aid of an attorney.
Our team at BDIW Law is prepared to help you do everything possible to recoup compensation for damages sustained in a crash with an uninsured motorist. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact our Ponca City car accident lawyers today.