Car Accidents with Uninsured Drivers in Connecticut

Woman driver feeling worried on the car accident.

Car accidents are stressful experiences. That stress can get significantly worse if you discover the other driver was uninsured. But Connecticut law requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist policies, which means you should have coverage even if it doesn’t come from the driver who hit you.

If you suffered harm in a traffic accident due to the negligence of an uninsured driver, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and related losses. A Connecticut car accident lawyer can help you seek it.

Do Many Connecticut Drivers Not Have Insurance?

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that just over six percent of drivers are uninsured statewide. Any time you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, there will always be a chance that the other driver is uninsured. While this could complicate your car accident claim, your mandatory uninsured motorist coverage should cover you.

What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage is a type of insurance that steps in if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you. If they don’t have enough liability coverage or have no coverage at all, your UM/UIM policy will kick in.

This type of policy also applies if you’re involved in a hit-and-run collision. If another driver hits your vehicle and flees the scene, you won’t have the information you need to file a claim with their insurance company – assuming they even have coverage. However, your uninsured motorist policy will cover you in this situation, paying for your losses up to your policy limits.

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required in Connecticut?

In addition to mandatory liability insurance coverage, Connecticut requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you’re involved in an accident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient coverage to pay for your losses, your UM/UIM policy will cover you. Your policy also extends to family or passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

The standard coverage provided by uninsured and underinsured motorist policies in Connecticut is equal to the coverage available under your bodily injury liability policy. However, you can pay for additional coverage up to twice the amount of your bodily injury liability coverage.

What Is Conversion Coverage?

You also have the option to purchase additional coverage in the form of a conversion policy. Conversion coverage is a type of car insurance that provides extra protection when an underinsured driver causes an accident. It kicks in after you reach your regular UM/UIM coverage limits, offering an additional layer of financial safety.

This coverage differs from underinsured motorist coverage, which helps pay your costs when the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover everything. While UIM extends your coverage to fill the gap left by the other driver’s insufficient insurance, conversion coverage adds more to your existing coverage limits, ensuring greater financial security.

What Should I Do If I Am in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

Accidents involving uninsured drivers differ somewhat from accidents involving only insured drivers. After an accident where everyone has insurance, you usually file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But if they don’t have coverage, this isn’t an option. Instead, you file a claim with your own insurance company.

You might expect things to go more smoothly dealing with only your own provider, but unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Like any other insurance company, yours wants to make a profit. Paying out sizable claims doesn’t help it achieve this goal. Your insurer might delay, minimize, or deny your claim to protect its bottom line, even if you have never missed a premium payment.

This is why you should contact an experienced Connecticut car accident lawyer promptly after any collision, especially one with an uninsured driver. They can help you understand your insurance policy and the legal options available to you. They can also communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and keep the pressure on them while you recuperate.

Can I Still File a Car Accident Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Motorist?

You can sue an uninsured motorist who hit you in Connecticut. Their lack of insurance coverage does not mean they aren’t obligated to pay for the damage they’ve caused. However, their failure to pay for a policy might mean they lack the financial means to compensate you even if you win in court. That said, a court can order that an uninsured, at-fault driver sell assets or submit to wage garnishment to satisfy their debt to you. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your situation to determine whether a lawsuit is a feasible option.

What Other Options Do I Have for Compensation?

Your options for seeking compensation following a collision with an uninsured driver will vary depending on the circumstances of the crash and other types of insurance coverage available to you, which could include the following:

  • Medical payments coverage – This coverage pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, no matter who is at fault for the accident.
  • Collision coverage – Collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle after an accident involving another vehicle without depending on the other driver’s insurance.
  • Health insurance coverage – If you exceed the limits of your auto insurance policy, your personal health insurance can step in to cover medical treatments and related costs.
  • Another at-fault party – If someone other than the uninsured driver was responsible for the collision, they can be held liable for your losses.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Connecticut?

Connecticut has a three-year statute of limitations on filing an uninsured motorist claim. However, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver. While this might seem like a long time, it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible so they have time to prepare a strong case on your behalf.

Contact a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer

If you got hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver, you need a Connecticut car accident attorney who knows the law and can fight for the compensation you deserve. You need a lawyer from Jainchill & Beckert, LLC. We’ve been fighting for the rights of Connecticut accident victims for over a decade, and we take pride in having secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing your story, answering your questions, and helping you move forward.

Author Bill Beckert

For over three decades, Bill has dedicated his career to helping injury victims throughout Connecticut secure justice and accountability for injuries sustained at little to no fault of their own. In all cases, he places the best interest of his clients above all else. Describing the services we provide here at the firm, he explains, “We are fighters who work to ensure that our clients are informed and empowered so that we can achieve an outcome that provides peace of mind.”

After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1989, he then earned his law degree in 1993 from the Western New England University School of Law. Since then, he has striven to make sure every client who steps into his office gets the high-quality representation and undivided attention they deserve. In recognition of his work, Bill has been listed in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.