One of the worst things that can happen to someone is to be seriously injured in a car crash in which he or she had no control over. They were injured simply because of a train of events caused by another driver’s negligence. In some cases, especially when negligence can be definitively proven, then there is a chance that the injured victim can eventually be compensated for their injuries and everything that was associated with the accident.
Similarly, but a worse scenario altogether, is when an innocent person is killed outright when they are involved in a fatal car crash caused by another’s negligence. It is possible that some or all of the dependent family members may eventually be compensated for any loss of income caused by the untimely death of their loved one.
But what happens if the person who caused the accident and the injuries or fatality was unlicensed or uninsured? If they were unlicensed, then they would also be uninsured. The whole principle of compensation is that the person who was to blame for the accident is insured. Theoretically, even if they aren’t, they may have to pay up using some of their assets, but unfortunately, many people have so few assets that they are considered “judgment-proof” or unable to pay a judgment.
Such a scenario happened the other day when 72-year-old Donald L. Ulmer mowed down a Taylor Garbage employee and killed him. It wasn’t deliberate. Ulmer didn’t aim to take out the garbage worker. It was just that he either wasn’t concentrating on what he was doing or lost control of the vehicle.
Ulmer was not only found to be unlicensed but had in fact been involved in a previous accident in which another person was killed. The two incidents both happened in Tioga County in upstate New York. In the first incident, Ulmer hit a motorcyclist last year as he turned the corner at an intersection. At the time, an investigation prompted police to charge Ulmer with criminally negligent homicide, but the county decided not to proceed with the charge after examining the evidence.
In the second, recent incident, Ulmer has been charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree.
But what about the families of the two people who were killed? We don’t know whether there were dependent family members of these two victims of Ulmer’s driving blunders, but if there were, then there is only a slim chance of obtaining compensation for the deaths of the two men.
If you, or a member of your family is ever hit and seriously injured by an unlicensed or uninsured driver, then you should still contact an experienced car accident lawyer such as Richard S. Jaffe Esq. of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. He may be able to advise you of what the legal possibilities are and will also help you go through your insurance policy carefully. Some people do not realize that their policy may cover them for an accident involving an unlicensed or uninsured driver. Usually, it is an option that some people take out initially but forget all about.
Richard Jaffe can be contacted for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.