When an Uninsured Driver Causes Your Vehicle Crash in Virginia

Most people drive carefully and avoid mishaps and collisions, but that may not be true of the “other driver.” If you do get involved in a vehicle crash in Virginia, and the other driver is at fault, what are your chances that you have collided with an uninsured driver? Approximately one in ten. Virginia is one of the states that allow a motor vehicle owner to register an uninsured vehicle, but most Virginia drivers choose to buy vehicle insurance.

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 10.1 percent of drivers in Virginia were uninsured in 2016, ranking the state 31st in the nation (Oklahoma having the highest rate of uninsured drivers at 26 percent, and Massachusetts the lowest at four percent). Nationwide, 12.6 percent of drivers, about 1 in 8, are uninsured.
Therefore, the state requires you to protect yourself against uninsured drivers or drivers who don’t have adequate insurance by purchasing “underinsured motorist coverage” (UIM). While some Virginia drivers object to spending their own money to cover other people’s lack of insurance, it’s a must.  Remember, if an uninsured driver does cause a collision in which you are injured, you will be glad that you have bought that coverage, because your own insurance will pay for your injuries.
Virginia keeps track of uninsured drivers. At the time of registration, the owner must certify whether the vehicle is insured or uninsured. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, “If the vehicle is uninsured, the motor vehicle owner is required to pay to DMV a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee in addition to normal registration fees.” The $500 fee does not provide the motorist with any insurance coverage, and the uninsured motorist remains personally liable for any damages if he or she is involved in an accident.
Craig Follis has extensive experience in litigation, negotiating and settling suits, and providing legal opinions on liability and insurance coverage. You can reach him at (888) 703-0109 or via email at cfollis@lawyersva.com.

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