D.C. And Uninsured Drivers
Lewis & Tompkins is a law firm based in Washington, D.C. Our purpose as a firm is to protect those who have been injured in accidents due to no fault of their own. This includes victims of car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrians or bicyclists who have been hit by cars or trucks, victims of medical malpractice or surgical errors, victims of injuries due to faulty products or victims of uninsured drivers. We also help injury victims in Maryland and Virginia as well as the District. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the D.C. area, contact the law offices of Lewis & Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.
Here is a scenario for you to consider:
You are driving along, minding your own business, keeping both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. You have plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. You aren’t talking on the phone or fiddling around with your car stereo. In other words, you are doing everything that you are supposed to do.
Regardless of all this, you get hit anyway.
On your way to the hospital, you can at least take solace in the fact that there is such as insurance. Until you find out that the driver that hit you doesn’t have it.
This happens more often than you would think. In fact, according to the Insurance Journal, if you get hit by another car in America, the odds are one in seven that the other car won’t have any insurance. That could be very bad news for you.
The five states with the highest level of uninsured drivers are Mississippi, where 26% of drivers are uninsured, Alabama and California, which both clock in at 25%, New Mexico, where 24% of drivers have no insurance, and Arizona, which has 22%.
All of these places seem pretty far away from the greater Washington, D.C. area, but you should bear in mind that the District itself ranks seventh on the list of states with the most uninsured drivers. 21% of drivers in D.C. don’t have insurance. That’s a little over one in five drivers who have no financial backing on their side if they hit you in an accident. Maryland and Virginia have better numbers, with 12% and 10% respectively, but those odds are still one in ten.
It actually seems like Virginia would have higher levels of uninsured drivers considering that it is actually legal to not have insurance. All a driver has to do is pay an uninsured drivers fee of $500 a year, and this gives them the legal right to risk any and all liability.
If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver and the end result is minor damage, there shouldn’t be a problem in terms of getting your car fixed. But if the end result is a serious injury, time off of work and real property damage, this is when things become problematic.
Many policies have uninsured or underinsured clauses built in, which provides for a certain amount of extra coverage in the amount that you are injured by a driver, but only up to a set limit. If the costs of your injuries go past that limit, you are financially on your own.
This is where an experienced attorney can make a difference.
At Lewis & Tompkins, we specialize in helping victims of crashes with uninsured drivers get compensation for their injuries. We are well aware that process can be very adversarial, both with the insurance company, which will fight as hard as they can to avoid paying, as well as with the uninsured driver, who will plead poverty and go out of his way to avoid responsibility. We have years of experience in dealing with this aspect of injury law, and will do our best to see to it that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia, contact Lewis & Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.