According to a 2021 report by the Insurance Research Council, 9.2 percent of motorists in West Virginia don’t carry liability insurance – nearly one in ten. For drivers in West Virginia – whether local or passing through the state – being on the road means taking an additional risk if an accident occurs. What happens when the other driver doesn’t have insurance to compensate for damages? 

When involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, understanding the claims process becomes vital. Typically, individuals turn to their insurance policies, specifically the uninsured motorist coverage, to seek compensation. This coverage is designed to protect drivers in instances where the at-fault party lacks insurance.

The process starts with reporting the accident to the insurance company. It’s important to provide detailed information about the incident and any damages incurred. Insurance companies then evaluate these claims, considering the extent of injuries and the impact on the claimant’s life.

Receiving compensation in such cases might cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. However, the amount of compensation depends on the specifics of the insurance policy and the accident details. It’s a structured process aimed at offering financial relief to those impacted by uninsured motorists.

Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

After an accident with an uninsured driver, certain steps are important for ensuring safety and preparing for any future claims. First, safety is paramount; check for injuries and move to a safe area if possible. Then, call the police to report the accident. A police report provides an official record, which is valuable later.

Exchanging information with the other driver is the next step. Collect their name, contact details, and any vehicle information. Since the driver is uninsured, this information becomes even more important. Documenting the scene is also beneficial. Take photos of the vehicles, the accident site, and any injuries.

Finally, report the accident to your insurance company. Even though the other driver is uninsured, your policy might cover some of the damages. Keeping a record of all communications and expenses related to the accident helps in effectively managing the aftermath of such an incident.

Calculating Damages in Uninsured Motorist Cases

Calculating damages in uninsured motorist cases involves several factors. First, medical expenses are considered. This includes costs for immediate treatment and any ongoing medical care required due to the accident. Lost wages are another significant factor, accounting for income lost while recovering.

Pain and suffering is a more subjective area of damage but still crucial. This encompasses the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident. The severity of injuries and their impact on daily life play a major role in determining these damages.

In some instances, property damage, such as repairs to a vehicle or replacement of personal items damaged in the accident, is also included. The total amount of damages aims to cover the financial impact of the accident on the victim’s life. Each case varies based on individual circumstances, including the extent of injuries and their long-term effects.

Legal Options for Victims of Uninsured Motorists

Victims of uninsured motorists often face unique challenges in seeking compensation for their losses. When the at-fault driver lacks insurance, traditional routes of obtaining damages through the driver’s insurance are not available. However, there are legal options available.

One common approach is to file a claim under one’s own auto insurance policy, particularly if it includes uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage is designed to provide compensation for bodily injuries and, in some cases, property damage, when the at-fault driver is uninsured.

Another option could be pursuing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. While this path may offer a way to seek compensation, it’s important to consider the financial situation of the uninsured driver, as it can impact the feasibility of collecting any awarded damages.

Additionally, some states offer special funds or programs to assist victims of uninsured motorists. These programs vary and might provide additional avenues for compensation.

Overall, while the situation is complex, victims of uninsured motorists have legal options to explore in seeking redress for their losses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Uninsured Motorist Claims

When dealing with uninsured motorist claims, several common questions arise. First, people often ask what happens if an uninsured driver hits them. In these cases, individuals can file a claim under their own insurance if they have uninsured motorist coverage.

Another frequent question is about the types of damages that can be claimed, including medical expenses, lost wages due to the inability to work, and sometimes, compensation for pain and suffering.

People also inquire about the time frame for filing an uninsured motorist claim. This varies depending on the insurance policy and state laws, but filing as soon as possible after the accident is generally advisable.

Lastly, there’s curiosity about the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured coverage is for accidents with drivers without insurance, while underinsured coverage applies when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover all damages.

Insurance Policies and Uninsured Motorist Coverage: What You Need to Know

Uninsured Motorists Coverage

Understanding insurance policies, especially regarding uninsured motorist coverage, is important for drivers. Uninsured motorist coverage is a part of an auto insurance policy that provides protection when an individual is involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. This coverage can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

It’s important to know that uninsured motorist coverage is optional in some states but mandatory in others. The coverage limits, which determine the maximum amount the insurance will pay, vary based on the policy and state regulations.

Additionally, this coverage not only applies to accidents with uninsured drivers but also hit-and-run incidents where the at-fault driver is not identified. Understanding the details of uninsured motorist coverage, including the limits and what it covers, is important for making informed decisions about auto insurance needs. It offers financial protection in situations where the other party cannot cover the costs.

If you have been involved in a car accident, please contact Manchin Injury Law Group online, or call our office at (304) 317-7786.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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