In spite of the requirement in nearly all states including Rhode island and Massachusetts, millions of people still drive without insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council, the states with the highest numbers of uninsured motorist are California with approximately 4.1 million uninsured drivers, Florida with 3.2 million, and Texas with 1.6 million. Nearly 13 percent of all motorists are uninsured. That’s about 1 in 8. The following information describes the high cost of uninsured motorists, why so many are uninsured, and the legal problems associated with uninsured drivers.
The high cost of an uninsured motorist
The Pew Charitable Trusts states that costs for uninsured motorists totaled $2.6 billion in 2012. These costs, while primarily covered by insurance companies, are generally passed on to drivers who pay for insurance. These costs translate into higher premiums for other drivers. States including RI and MA have a variety of laws and procedures in place to deal with the high costs of uninsured drivers. However, many states do not have the resources to implement mandates and penalties. In some cases the bureaucracy involved in implementing penalties results in errors and computer glitches. Sometimes even law-abiding drivers get flagged and penalized unfairly.
Reasons for Uninsured Drivers | uninsured motorist
Staticbrain.com lists the demographics regarding uninsured drivers. Most are males in the 18 to 24 age bracket. They are also likely to earn less than $20,000 annually. With a struggling economy it’s easy to see why many people aren’t purchasing car insurance. Paying for premiums is one of the main reasons people don’t have auto insurance. A vehicle that is not in operating condition or one that is rarely used are other reasons people neglect to purchase insurance. According to AutoInsurance.org, from a statistical perspective, if there are 5.5 million car accidents each year, 770,000 are caused by uninsured drivers.
What Can You Do If You’re Involved in This Type of Accident in Rhode Island?
If you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured driver there are generally two options available. Drivers can bring a lawsuit against the uninsured motorists for damages or they can file a claim with their own insurance company for uninsured motorists benefits (if they have such coverage). It’s often recommended to hire a Rhode Island personal injury attorney who is also a RI uninsured motorist injury claim accident lawyer when an individual has been injured because of an uninsured driver. Because laws vary from state to state and insurance companies are not always cooperative, hiring an experienced RI car accident lawyer may be the best chance of receiving compensation.