If you or a loved one is involved in a serious car accident, it is natural to assume the auto insurance company of the motorist who caused the collision would take responsibility and compensate the victims of the accident by paying out fair and reasonable compensatory damages. But what happens when the motorist who hit you does not have auto insurance coverage?
Virginia Does NOT Require Motorists to Carry Auto Insurance Coverage
It is important to note that Virginia is one of only two states in the entire country that does NOT require its residents to maintain auto insurance coverage. Instead, Virginia motorists are provided with the option of either purchasing an auto insurance policy OR paying an "uninsured motorist fee" that equates to a few hundred dollars. If a motorist opts for the fee, they are legally allowed to drive without auto insurance coverage.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Virginia motorists opt to purchase auto insurance coverage. Nevertheless, more than 10 percent of motorists in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth actually lack auto insurance coverage.
What To Do If You are Hit by an Uninsured Motorist in Virginia
If you are hit by a motorist who lacks auto insurance coverage, the recommended action is to review your own auto insurance policy to assess the level of uninsured motorist coverage. In Virginia, when you purchase an auto insurance policy, you automatically have uninsured and underinsured motorist accident coverage.
You should speak to an experienced Virginia car accident injury attorney so they can review your case and assist in filing an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.