What Happens if I Get Into a Car Accident in Virginia and The Offending Drive Doesn’t Have Any or Sufficient Insurance?

Two drivers man arguing after a car accident

Car accidents are stressful, even when you have insurance. However, if you find yourself in an accident with an offending driver who has insufficient insurance or no insurance, the situation becomes even more complicated. 

It is vital you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer for an assessment of your claim and coverage. At Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, we have over 40 years of award-winning service and are prepared to fight for you. 

Virginia Car Insurance Laws 

In Virginia, drivers must have car insurance that meets the state’s following minimum coverage requirements:

  • For bodily injury or death per injured individual: $25,000.00; $30,000.00 for auto policies first effective January 1, 2022; and $50,000.00 for policies first effective January 1, 2025.
  • For bodily injury or death for 2 or more injured individuals (yet still subject to the limits above per injured individual): $50,000.00; $60,000.00 for policies first effective January 1, 2022; and $100,000.00 for policies first effective January 1, 2025.
  • For property damage: $10,000.00; $20,000.00 for policies first effective January 1, 2022; and $25,000.00 for policies first effective January 1, 2025.

Alternatively, drivers have the option to pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee of $500 to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This fee allows drivers to legally operate a vehicle in the state without insurance. However, because Virginia is an “at-fault” state, even if drivers pay the DMV fee to drive without insurance, they still remain personally liable for another person’s losses in a car accident caused by them. Driving uninsured is more costly than having purchased an insurance policy.

Your Legal Options for Compensation in an Uninsured or Underinsured Car Accident 

If the offending driver is totally uninsured, your lawyer can make a car accident claim against your own insurance company for personal injuries under its uninsured motorist “UM” coverage. Also, if the offending driver has lower limits of auto insurance than the personal injury victim, a lawyer can make a claim against both the offending driver’s and the victim’s insurance companies for the total coverage, including your underinsured motorist “UIM” coverage. Notably, a personal injury victim making such a claim against his or her insurer should not affect policy renewal or even rates because the claimant was not at fault for the car accident.

Consequently, it is essential you have a skilled Virginia auto accident attorney on your side to assess and pursue your case optimally, and it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer as soon as possible. He can ensure you receive the best settlement.

If the total coverage of the offending driver’s insurance and the victim’s insurance is not sufficient for the personal injuries involved, the victim can sue the offending driver in hopes of obtaining the judgment in excess of the total insurance coverage. However, unless the offending driver has substantial personal assets that actually can be collected or was on the job at the time of the accident and was employed by a company with substantial collectable assets, taking a case to trial simply may not be cost effective.

Contact a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC 

If you suffered injuries in an uninsured or even an underinsured car accident due to another driver’s negligence, speak with the experienced car accident lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC. We will handle all aspects of your claim, including making your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, negotiating your settlement and protecting your rights.  

Attorney Avery T. “Sandy” Waterman, Jr., Esq. was named The Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury during 2007-2023 and was voted its “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury in Southeast Virginia in 2022; and Waterman Law Centers has been listed as a Metropolitan Tier 1 Best Law Firm for Personal Injury in U.S. News & World Report for 2021-2023. Call (757) 906-4707 or complete a contact form today to schedule your free consultation.