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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 610

Illegal, intoxicated and unlicensed drivers – where's the insurance ?

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If the driver is in the country illegally, he or she is unlicensed. This greatly increases the odds that the vehicle is unregistered. Often an illegal or unlicensed resident will purchase a car at an auction or bank-lien sale since no license is required to buy one this way. When an unlicensed driver with an unregistered car flees the scene, he or she will likely abandon the car and disappear on foot. That way, even if the car is recovered, it is untraceable. This has happened to me. It is frightening and frustrating. Luckily, I had UM and UIM insurance coverage through the ABRAMS LANDAU law firm’s policies and was able to be reimbursed for my losses.

Intoxicated or uninsured drivers are easier to track down, however this might be of little help to the injured party. Uninsured drivers do not have the ability to pay damages. In Virginia, many drivers choose to pay a $500 registration fee to the DMV rather than show proof of auto insurance. Even though Virginia law requires drivers to carry auto insurance, and the state may choose to prosecute, you will not benefit. However, you can protect yourself by purchasing Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage from your own insurer. This insurance can help compensate you for lost wages and pain and suffering, things that your regular insurance and health coverage will not touch. In many states, it is optional to purchase or decline this coverage. However, because of the very high level of traffic in many areas of the state, Virginia requires drivers to purchase this coverage with any auto insurance policy. Uninsured Motorist insurance can also apply to your passengers in an accident and usually covers you if you were struck as a pedestrian. This is probably the most important part of an automobile insurance contract. In fact, you should purchase as much Uninsured Motorist coverage as you can afford. If you do not, and you are involved in an accident with a driver who hits and runs or has no coverage, you may not be able to recover anything in a claim.

If a driver flees because of intoxication, the odds are better that they will be found and that they could be insured. You can help by trying to get the license plate number, a description of the car, and a description of the driver who leaves the scene without giving you their information. This can be helpful to police immediately since your chances of finding the driver are highest right after the accident. You should also contact an attorney who specializes in automobile accidents and injuries as soon as possible to be advised of how to proceed throughout the process of recovering losses and hopefully proceeding against the other driver.

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    This is all very good advice, it is so very important to have good UM and UIM coverage to protect you and your family.