Every one of us out there driving probably has the same worry: Bam! An uninsured motorist hits us—and we’re stuck eating the costs.
Kentucky does require all motorists to have insurance coverage, but some people claim they have no insurance—even when they do!
On May 19th, Matt Kaufman and Jimmy Kaufman sat down with John Ramsey of WAVE 3 Listens and explained what you should do if you’re hit by someone who claims to have no insurance. If you have any questions about your own situation, give us a call at (502) 458-5555. The consultation is free.
JOHN RAMSEY: And welcome back to WAVE 3 Listens. Okay, I’m going to give you a nightmare scenario: You’re in an accident—maybe it’s even a fender-bender—but perhaps you’re injured, and guess what? The other driver does not have insurance. It happens; we’re going to get some expert advice. With me now is Jimmy and Matt Kaufman from Kaufman & Stigger injury lawyers. Okay, I’m going to go to you first, Jimmy. Okay: first of all, this is a real scenario; it happens. You’re in an accident. Someone either claims to not have or actually does not have insurance. Tell me a little bit about what we do in that case.
JIMMY KAUFMAN: Yeah, the first thing to do? I’d recommend contacting an attorney. It’s not uncommon for a police report to show that there’s no insurance, or for another driver to say that they don’t have their insurance card with them. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they do not have insurance. A lot of times, what we’re able to do, after you contact our office, is we’re able to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles; and run the license plate or the VIN number that’s listed on the police report, and we can check to see what their last insurance update with their registration was. It’s also not uncommon for someone to switch insurances after they file their registration. Sometimes we’re able to write letters to the at-fault driver to see if they have gotten updated insurance and get insurance that way.
JOHN RAMSEY: So Jimmy, I’m just curious: Why would a driver who has insurance claim to not have insurance? Because they’ve been in a lot of accidents, is that the reason?
JIMMY KAUFMAN: Sometimes, or sometimes they don’t want someone making a claim against their insurance company so sometimes they’ll say “I don’t have insurance” and maybe offer to pay somebody a certain amount of money out-of-pocket, which we do not recommend doing at all.
JOHN RAMSEY: Okay, I want to talk to Matt and ask Matt—Okay, Matt, give me a scenario. Maybe you’ve had a specific case where you’re “Okay, this is how it played out.”
MATT KAUFMAN: Yes, we’ve had clients who contacted us who thought that there was no insurance; the police report has on there that there’s no insurance at all. So, we’re able to contact the motor vehicle records department and show that there actually was insurance. And in one particular case there was a driver who was not the same as the owner of the vehicle. We were able to find insurance on both the vehicle and the driver and we were able to get policy limits offers from both of those insurance companies.
JOHN RAMSEY: This is interesting. So hold on here, so first of all I think your advice initially is great—get a hold of a lawyer, Kaufman & Stigger injury lawyers, and get some expert advice. But I’m wondering here, are there any repercussions from someone who does this? You would think there’d be a law against, first of all, not carrying insurance, and secondly if you do, saying that you don’t; are there any repercussions from this?
JIMMY KAUFMAN: Yeah, you’re legally required to take care of your insurance, and normally, on the police report, they’ll show that the person who didn’t have insurance was cited for no insurance; and that person is required to either provide proof of insurance to the court….But that is up to the prosecutor’s office to determine what charges to bring against that person.
JOHN RAMSEY: Okay, so you’re in an accident. I’m just going to ask you (because hopefully this doesn’t happen to anyone who is watching here)—you’re in an accident, Jimmy, and you step out of the car and this person says “I don’t have insurance.” Do you talk to the police officer, or is that the time to make the call to an attorney? Jimmy—Matt—which one? Matt, you want to handle this? What do you do?
MATT KAUFMAN: Yeah. Originally, you’ll wait till you get the police report. Whenever you’re in an accident, make sure the police come to the scene, cause they’re going to check to make sure that there is insurance. Sometimes we’ve had, in the past, people show insurance cards which were no longer valid and there turns out to be no insurance. And if you didn’t get a report done, you’re unable to prove that that person even actually hit you. So, always make sure to file a police report whenever you’re in an accident.
JOHN RAMSEY: And I could see where someone, Jimmy, might think “Well, I don’t want to give Kaufman & Stigger a call because this person doesn’t claim they have insurance; there’s nothing in it for them.” But that’s not the case, right? You guys will talk to anyone and help them out, right?
JIMMY KAUFMAN: Right. We offer free consultations so if you think that there might not be insurance, give us a call; we’d be more than happy to speak with you, offer any advice we can, and then check to see if we can find insurance because we’d like to do that for you. Like I said, that’s all part of the free consultation.
JOHN RAMSEY: I think it’s important to know as well that laws change from state to state. You guys are obviously very up-to-date at Kaufman & Stigger injury lawyers, so if you think you had an answer two years ago that applied, perhaps that’s changed, correct?
MATT KAUFMAN: Yeah. Laws change all the time, but always been required to carry insurance in Kentucky, and if there’s some out there, we’d be able to find it for you.
JOHN RAMSEY: Alrighty, once again, Kaufman & Stigger injury lawyers, Jimmy and Matt Kaufman. There’s the information up on the screen as I said, I always recommend—put this on the refrigerator. You never know; you may get the call from home, perhaps someone, a loved one, who’s been in an accident, they need a number to call. Have it available. Maybe put it in your wallet, your pocketbook, whatever the case may be. Kaufman & Stigger injury lawyers, they are the very best in Louisville. And we’ll be right back on WAVE 3 Listens Live.