The one thing worse than a fender bender is finding out that the person who hit you is uninsured. Immediately you reflect on every questionable event in your life that qualified you for this stroke of bad luck. Perhaps you cheated on a test in grade school, or snuck out of the house one evening. Regardless of your misdeeds, nobody deserves to be hit by an uninsured motorist. But it happened to you. Amidst your denial and steam from a crumpled radiator, you’re left with no choice but to figure out what to do after you were hit by an uninsured driver.
Its easy. Idaho has strict laws against uninsured drivers and make it easy for you to be compensated. Fret not, unlucky one; there is hope for you. Just follow these steps.
Step one: File a claim.
But where? According to Idaho law, you have to options:
- Where the accident occurred.
- Where the uninsured motorist lives.
So if your accident happened in Kootenai County, you can file a claim there or wherever the uninsured driver lives. Depending on the amount of damages, you can choose to go to a small claims court or a regular court. Usually, if your damages are no greater than $5,000, then small claims will be the right choice. If greater than $5,000, you may want to hire a private attorney (we know a few good ones).
Step two: Await Judgement
After your claim is filed, a judge will hear your case. If a judge rules in your favor, the uninsured driver has 60 days to pay your damages. However, the uninsured driver has the right to appeal the ruling. If this is the case, it will likely take longer to receive compensation.
If you aren’t paid within 60 days, the Idaho Transportation Department will intervene on your behalf. Idaho will intervene if:
- the proposed compensation is supposed to cover property and personal injury.
- you were unpaid and the case wasn’t appealed within 60 days.
- you provide the department with a copy of the summary of judgement, copy of the accident report, and a copy of the complaint
Step three: Suspending the Uninsured Driver
This is usually an optional step. If the uninsured driver paid you, then there is no need to intervene any longer. However, if the uninsured driver failed to pay you, then the court has every right to suspend him or her. Initially the court will issue an “Order With the Intent to Suspend.” The uninsured driver is given 30 days to pay your damages, or he or she runs the risk of having their driving privileges suspended. After 30 days, the court issues an “Order of Suspension.” This suspends the uninsured driver indefinitely, or until payment is met.
The attorneys at Hansen Injury understand that bad luck happens. If you feel your accident with an uninsured driver exceeds $5,000 in damages, do not hesitate to call us. We are experienced Idaho personal injury attorneys, dedicated to giving you the right compensation you deserve.