If you sue someone for your harms and losses and they do not have insurance, you might not be able to collect any money if you get a judgment. Many people are what is called "judgment proof" (e.g., they have no savings, no job etc. to pay for the damage they caused).
Another option is to contact the police or the District Attorney's office in your county and inform them that the person that hit you did not have insurance and ask them to file charges. If the person is found guilty, the person shall be subject to:
- a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), or
- imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days or probation, or
- by both such fine and imprisonment, and in addition, shall be subject to suspension of the driving privilege of the person in accordance with Section 7-605 of title 47.
Most importantly, as a condition of his probation, the person that hit you should be required to pay "restitution", which would be the total cost to fix your car and pay for you and your family's medical bills. If the person fails to pay the restitution, the District Attorney may file a motion asking the judge to put them in jail. People often become very motivated to pay their debts when they are faced with jail time.
You can protect yourself by doing a few things, look into purchasing:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: provides compensation to an 'insured' person for personal injuries, and sometimes property damage, suffered in an accident involving a motor vehicle caused by another person and who does not have auto liability insurance.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: provides additional coverage if the person that hit you does not have enough insurance coverage. For example, if someone hits you and causes $10,000 in damage to your vehicle and $20,000 in medical bills and the person that hits you only has $25,000 in coverage then the remaining $5,000 would have to be paid out of your own pocket. But if you had Underinsured Motorist Coverage then that policy would cover the $5,000.
I hope you all stay safe out there but if you or someone you know are in a car accident, please do not hesitate to call. 405.422.0000