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What if the driver at fault doesn’t have enough insurance?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Personal Injury

You know that someone else is to blame for your car crash, so you likely expect them to pay for your costs. Insurance could potentially cover the cost to repair your vehicle and your medical bills, as well as your lost wages.

Not only does South Dakota law require that all drivers carry basic liability coverage, but drivers typically also need to have uninsured and underinsured motorist protection. Underinsured motorist coverage can cover excess costs not fully paid by the insurance coverage of the driver at fault. But, South Dakota law only requires $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person hurt and $25,000 in property damage coverage.

Drivers typically have uninsured and underinsured motorist protection in the same amounts as their liability coverage. While you may have extra coverage on your own policy to help you in the event of a crash, making a claim against your policy will increase your future premiums even though you are not at fault for the collision that necessitated the claim. Do you have any other options when an at-fault driver has inadequate insurance?

You can take the driver at fault to court

Insufficient insurance is a common issue in the wake of South Dakota car crashes. Despite the rising costs of vehicles and healthcare, insurance requirements have remained the same for some time. Drivers often focus more on minimizing their costs rather than investing in sufficient protection for themselves and others on the road.

When someone made the choice not to carry enough insurance to pay for your hospital bills and lost wages, you may need to hold them accountable for that oversight if their conduct on the road caused your harm. A personal injury lawsuit may be an option if you can show that negligence or violations of traffic laws led to the collision.

Provided that the courts agree that the other driver was to blame and that your losses exceed the coverage available, you can potentially secure a judgment for additional lost wages, ongoing medical care costs and even pain and suffering not covered under someone’s policy. Litigation after a car crash intimidates many people, but you may need to consider taking action if you will otherwise end up shouldering the financial burden of the crash. In this way, learning more about South Dakota’s insurance rules and personal injury laws can help you cover your costs following a motor vehicle collision.