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Are people who have no health coverage or auto coverage allowed to sue and expect to receive MORE compensation than those who do

Gainesville, FL |

I hear about people who have no auto insurance or health coverage(tho why a state allows no auto ins I do not understand) and want to know how to sue for compensation especially if they were not deemed in the wrong. I can agree with just compensation for not being in the wrong nor contributing to the accident in any way but I cannot understand "rewarding" people with more money who were not in the wrong but chose to carry no auto insurance. Can this happen? If yes, why.

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Attorney answers 8


What State are you referring too? Is this for you or just something you are concerned about? Are you talking about a driver or a passenger? Are you talking about medical bills or pain and suffering?

You should consult an attorney in your State at once.

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer


In Michigan, if you do not have auto insurance on your vehicle and you own that vehicle you cannot collect any benefits. This law is overly harsh in my opinion, and it causes tragic results that we as tax payers end up paying anyway. The knee jerk reaction that people are getting something for nothing, is flawed and does not work in a civilized society.


I dont understand why you are asking if anyone is being reqwarded for NOT having auto insurance. Tip: Carry auto insurance, carry plenty of it and protect yousrself with uninsured motorist coverage. Good Luck.


The law allows an injured person to recover their damages. If they have no PIP coverage they are deemed self insured for the foirst $10,000 since PIP is a mandatory coverage. Health insurance is not mandatory and the health carrier typically has a right to be repaid the amount they pay for the accident related treatment. The law does not allow a windfall, however, to the extent one might occur it will generally inure to the benefit of teh injured person who had the foresight to obtain insurance rather than to the at fault party.


States don't allow no insurance. The law requires insurance, people break the law. Having insurance of any type has nothing to do with who is at fault in an accident. Surely you wouldn't suggest because someone's insurance lapsed you would keep them from recovering for damages is some drunk driver negligently plowed into their car causing injuries?

DISCLAIMER: Gene Burkett is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship


Yes, they can sue. They are entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages caused by the negligence of another, but as Mr. Van Keuren correctly points out must account for failing to carry mandatory PIP insurance. Ultimately, such uninsured injury victims are not entitled to "more" -- just what they can prove which depends on the facts and circumstances that are peculiar to each case.


The issue of whether someone had insurance (either auto or health) is a different issue than the issue of whether someone who was not at fault for the craqsh was injured. If the other person in the crash was injured and not at fault, he or she is entitled to compensation under the law for the injuries and damages he or she suffered as a result of the crash. In most states, the issue of whether he or she had any type of insurance would not be taken into consideration in determining the damages in the case. In essence, the fact that the other driver, who was not at fault, did not have insurance, did not cause or contribute to the crash. Therefore, it is not considered.


No, whether or not you have insurance does not affect the value of a case. Get insurance.

This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be obtained in this forum. Therefore this answer CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS LEGAL ADVICE FROM THIS ATTORNEY.



The United States has a tradition of favoring private insurance for compensation. One strategy to encourage the purchase of private insurance is to allow plaintiffs to recover from defendants irrespective of their own insurance coverage. This is called the collateral source rule. The rationale for this rule is that the defendant should not benefit from the plaintiff's foresight in paying insurance premiums. This allows insured plaintiffs to get a double recovery, to the extent that their medical bills and lost wage claims have already been paid by their insurance carrier. The traditional collateral source rule also prevented the defendant from informing the jury that the plaintiff had already been compensated by private insurance.

If the insurance company wishes to be reimbursed, this may be made part of the insurance contract. This is called a subrogation agreement. Worker's compensation insurance usually contains a subrogation provision, and many group health insurance policies are adding subrogation clauses, which require plaintiffs to repay their own insurance company. A subrogation agreement reduces the value of a plaintiff's case, often dramatically. If the insurer insists on full reimbursement, the plaintiff will not be able to find representation. Although the subrogation agreement allows the insurance company to litigate the claim on behalf of the plaintiff, there is no incentive for plaintiffs to cooperate if they will not receive the award. Some insurers agree to a discounted reimbursement to make it attractive for the plaintiff to sue for compensation. Others refuse to compromise their claims, forcing the plaintiff to omit medical costs from the lawsuit.

Some states have moved to modify or abolish the collateral source rule. They may allow the judge to reduce the plaintiff's award by the amount of already paid expenses, allow the defense to tell the jury that the plaintiff has been compensated, or prevent the plaintiff from claiming for reimbursed injuries. It is not clear how these rules affect claims for future medical expenses since their payment is contingent on the plaintiff's maintaining his or her insurance.


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