In Massachusetts, all drivers are required to have car insurance. Unfortunately, a number of drivers do still go without insurance; and some drivers have insurance, but not enough of it. It is important that drivers are aware that if they are involved in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, it is possible to file a claim under your own insurance policy. Of course, insurance companies often lowball these claims, and it can be important for policyholders to seek legal counsel during this process.
The risk of getting into a car accident with an uninsured driver is significant; The Wall Street Journal recently reported that about 14 percent of American drivers are uninsured.
Many states are currently working on keeping uninsured motorists off of the roads.
Three states now allow law enforcement officers to remove license plates from uninsured vehicles. Drivers are able to reclaim their plates only after they obtain car insurance and pay fines.
Other states have implemented laws that limit the rights of uninsured motorists to sue negligent drivers when they are injured in car accidents. Such practices, however, have been questioned as they may violate the rights of drivers. State programs that utilize databases to indentify uninsured drivers have also faced legal challenges.
One less controversial effort that is underway to encourage drivers to buy insurance is a basic liability policy that is offered to those who receive Social Security benefits. The inexpensive policy allows people to purchase car insurance when they otherwise could not afford it.
As it stands, a number of Boston area residents decline to carry sufficient auto insurance policies due to financial and other reasons. Those who are injured in accidents with such drivers may benefit from legal guidance.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Uninsured-Driver Dilemma,” Leslie, Scism, Dec. 1, 2013