What happens if the driver who hits you doesn’t have insurance?

Montana has mandatory automobile liability insurance to protect people on the roads. For a driver to legally register their vehicle and operate it, they must obtain liability insurance. The policy required under state law serves primarily to protect other people in the event of a collision. It protects the driver from liability and covers medical expenses, lost wages and property damage costs suffered by people in a crash caused by the policyholder.

If someone crashes into you on the road, they can cause a lot more than just inconvenience. Anything from damage to the frame of your vehicle to a bend in the axle might mean you need a new vehicle because yours is no longer safe to drive. Cosmetic damage can cost huge amounts of money to repair on some vehicles, and injuries from car crashes can sometimes be life-altering.

Insurance helps protect a driver who causes a crash from utter poverty as a result of one bad decision and protects the victims from needing to bear the burden of the crash on their own. Unfortunately, not everyone has an active insurance policy on their vehicle.

Some people struggle to pay their insurance costs

Those with low incomes may live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to budget what resources they have available. The costs of a motor vehicle insurance policy may seem like something they just can’t afford.

Out of perceived necessity, these drivers might prioritize covering other expenses instead of paying for the insurance that they have a legal obligation to get. If they cause a crash, the victims may have few other options for protecting themselves beyond filing a civil lawsuit.

Some drivers just don’t have enough coverage

Montana has higher insurance requirements than some other states, but that doesn’t mean that a bare minimum policy will have enough coverage for your costs. Montana requires $20,000 worth of property damage coverage, $25,000 worth of medical coverage for one injured person or $50,000 for two or more injured people in a collision.

If someone has the lowest amount of coverage possible, your costs could be far higher than the coverage available to you.

Your insurance might protect you

If you have invested in your insurance to carry more comprehensive coverage, you may have protection from drivers with low coverage levels. Uninsured or underinsured driver protection from your own policy kicks in if another driver doesn’t have enough protection for your losses.

Having a lawyer go over your insurance coverage with you before a crash can help make sure you have protection when you need it. A lawyer can also help you hold the driver responsible for not carrying insurance or help you with a complicated claim.