Car crashes can devastate and lead to life-changing injuries and significant financial losses. There is an expectation that an at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for the damages that occurred. What happens when an uninsured motorist causes the wreck?
Ontario’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
Ontario vehicle owners are required to purchase automobile insurance coverage.
You must have:
- At least $200,000 in third-party liability coverage
- Statutory accident benefits coverage
- Direct compensation – property damage (DC-PD) coverage
- Uninsured automobile coverage
You can face significant consequences under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act if you do not have the minimum standard auto insurance policy. You may receive a fine between $5,000 and $50,000, have your license suspended for up to one year, and have your car impounded.
According to the Toronto Star, as many as 2% of Ontario’s drivers do not have valid insurance. More than 2,000 uninsured vehicles are involved in accidents annually in the province.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have valid insurance. It also covers you in a hit-and-run (i.e., unidentified motorist) situation.
Most provinces require you to carry UM coverage. It is automatically included in standard auto insurance policies in Ontario.
UM coverage guarantees there is insurance coverage for your damages. Your insurance company would cover your losses if an uninsured motorist caused them.
Is it Worth Suing Uninsured Drivers After a Car Crash?
To access your UM coverage, a lawsuit needs to be brought against the at-fault (uninsured) driver, as well as your own insurer. Commencing such a lawsuit is not a simple process, and it is highly recommended a lawyer assist you with this process.
What Happens in a Crash with an Uninsured Driver?
If you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, you should immediately inform your insurer or broker about the car accident. They will evaluate the situation. They will investigate, gather evidence, and talk to witnesses.
Try to get as much information about the other driver as possible. Your insurance company will want to investigate their insurance status to make sure they do not have hidden coverage somewhere.
You will ultimately need to file a claim for compensation with your UM coverage. An uninsured motorist car accident lawyer can help you with this step.
How to Maximize Your Payout
Your uninsured motorist insurance has policy limits that match your liability limits under your auto policy.
Your insurance company may try to avoid covering your damages partially or entirely. However, you can take steps to improve your chances of recovering.
To maximize your payout, you should:
- Collect evidence at the scene of the wreck
- Obtain the police or accident report
- Get information about the at-fault driver, including the license plate number
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information
- Take pictures and videos at the scene
- Collect medical evidence
- Keep a post-accident journal about your pain and suffering
- Work with a car accident lawyer who knows how to negotiate a fair settlement
Donnelly Murphy Can help With Uninsured Motorists
Donnelly Murphy Lawyers understand that getting compensation is vital to you. Facing an uninsured motorist claim alone can be daunting. We’ll help you build your case and gather evidence to reinforce your claim.