What happens if you're hit by an uninsured driver in WI?
March 29, 2012 1:30 PM   Subscribe

My vehicle was damaged by a (possibly) uninstured driver in Wisconsin... What now?

I was in a parking lot when my vehicle was struck by another vehicle backing up. The driver of this vehicle didn't stop and exchange information with me, they took off. I did get their license plate information and called the police. The police officer took my statement and took a picture of the damage on my vehicle. I filed a claim with my insurance company after the police was done collecting their information, and they advised me that they would investigate and get the ball rolling on determining fault, etc.

A few days later my insurance company called me back saying they were able to determine who the vehicle that hit me was registered to and they opened a claim with the owner's insurance company and said that the other insurance company would be in contact with me shortly. I spoke with them today, and they said they had to do some investigating as well, seeing as the claim did not have a policy number attached to it, which the claims analyst thought may mean the insurance policy had lapsed... They will be getting back to me with the information they find.

So, now that this has all happened, I am wondering if I am going to end up screwed over on the whole deal since the person who hit me may not have insurance. Will I need to take them to court to recover damages? Is there any recourse against the other driver (especially since they fled the scene) if I have to pay for repairs?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does your policy have coverage for uninsured motorists? That would be a good thing to look up, if you have the cover sheet (the one listing the various line items and costs).
posted by Danf at 1:36 PM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

IIRC, when an uninsured driver hit our parked car in Wisconsin, our insurance (progressive) covered it and then they went after the driver. Aside from filing the claim with our company and the bump in rates you get from any sort of damage, it was a pretty smooth process. YMMV
posted by drezdn at 1:44 PM on March 29, 2012

Ask your insurance company about subrogation. When Mrs. Pauley got sideswiped by a driver who turned out to be uninsured (insurance info he gave came up as expired when we called his company), she collected enough info on the guy that our insurance company said, in essence, "stop chasing the other driver for insurance info -- we'll cover the claim in full with no deductible, and then sue him to collect our expenses".

I suspect the details of the process will vary between states and insurance carriers, but since you gave them the necessary info to identify the other driver, I would hope it would work out the same way. Doesn't hurt to give them a push, though.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2012

Hold on there: I was always taught that you only deal with your own insurance company --- then they deal with the other driver's insurance company! Get copies of that police report, and be very careful, and never ever even hint that the other driver wasn't 100% at fault.....

But if worst comes to worst, and neither insurance company pays your repairs: you know who owns the other car, and the police will have checked into who was actually driving: sue 'em in small claims court.
posted by easily confused at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I live in WI and an uninsured dude hit my truck.

I just called my insurance company, they had me get some quotes and then cut me a check. They took the guy to court, and won a settlement. When/if he ever pays, I'll get my deductible paid back - but that's all I am out.

As mentioned in that thread, uninsured motorist claims won't increase your insurance. Let your company deal with suing him.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:23 PM on March 29, 2012

Ask your insurance company about subrogation.

That's what I've done. I've been hit 3 times in accidents and 2 of those people didn't have insurance. I had comprehensive including uninsured motorist each time and so I paid my deductible and got my car fixed (except the time when my car was totaled and I got a check). In the case of the driver had insurance, I got check for my deductible back. In the other cases I eventually got a letter saying that they were unable to recover their loss and my deductible so they're writing it all off.

The reason I do subjugation is a) I'm paying for it so I might as well get use from it and b) in my case where the other driver had insurance, it was a semi truck that was registered in one state for a company doing business in another state with a driver from a third state. With subjugation, my insurance company told me to pick a body shop and get it fixed and they'd work with them.
posted by birdherder at 3:56 PM on March 29, 2012

Subrogation only works if you, OP, hold Collision coverage on your car. If you're driving an old beater and only have liability coverage on it, your insurance company will probably tell you to take care of it yourself. It looks like WI doesn't have uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage built into their minimum insurance requirements, which would cover your car in this case if you don't have Collision coverage, which sucks.

I hope it all works out!
posted by scarykarrey at 9:41 AM on March 30, 2012

« Older Baby, I was born to run-slash-row   |   Bourbon, scotch and whiskey that's sweet instead... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.