How To Handle An Accident With an Uninsured Driver
Just about every state requires you to have a minimum amount of car insurance before you can legally get behind the wheel.
However, there are still drivers on the roads driving without insurance.
Surprisingly, according to the Insurance Research Council, about 1 in 8 drivers doesn't have auto insurance.
And even though you follow the rules of the road and have car insurance, you're still vulnerable to accidents with uninsured drivers.
Below we've laid out how to handle accidents with uninsured drivers,
This article should give you the confidence and know-how to take the right steps in the event of an unexpected accident with an uninsured driver.
Table of Contents
- Call The Police
- Exchange Information
- Contact Your Insurance Company
- Get Taken Care Of
- Get Your Car Taken Care Of
- What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
- Protect Yourself After Your Accident
Call the Police
With any car accident, the first thing you should do is call the police.
It's even more important to call the police if you've been in an accident involving an uninsured driver.
Having an officer prepare an accident report will go a long way toward getting your expenses covered, and it will help smooth your claims process.
While the police are there, you'll also want to take pictures of the damage, the location where the accident occurred, skid marks, and any other details of the scene.
The police will take the other driver's information while they are there, but you should get it as well.
This is likely where you'll learn that the other driver doesn't have insurance.
Be sure to get all the info you can regarding the other driver and their vehicle.
You also want to get the contact information for any witnesses as well.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as you're able to, you need to contact your insurance company.
What your insurance company will be able to do at this point depends on a few things, like the damage incurred and the specifics of your policy.
If you already have uninsured motorist protection, your insurance can do a lot for you when you report your claim.
And if you don't have this coverage, an agent can help you plan your next steps.
Some people choose to hire an attorney to help guide them through this step.
Get Taken Care Of
If you've been injured, you're going to incur some medical expenses.
This is typically when the other driver's bodily injury liability coverage would come in.
But, in this situation, the other driver doesn't have insurance.
So, your health insurance may take care of your medical bills, but you could be stuck paying your deductible out of pocket.
If you have uninsured motorist bodily injury protection, however, your insurer will be able to help you cover these expenses, including medical bills and lost wages.
All things that the other driver's insurance should have covered.
Get Your Car Taken Care Of
If your car is damaged, you need to talk to your insurer and see what you can do about getting your car fixed.
If you have uninsured motorist property damage protection, your repairs will likely be covered as though the other driver's insurance was taking care of it.
If you don't have this coverage, your insurance won't be sufficient to cover the full expense of your repairs.
You might have to seek compensation through other avenues, like the courts, but that can get tricky. This is another reason many people hire an accident attorney.
What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
We've talked about it a few times already, so we'll explain what it is now.
When you're involved in an accident with a driver without car insurance, you have to turn to your own insurance company to cover your damages.
That's assuming you are adequately insured.
Uninsured motorist coverage is additional coverage from your insurance company that protects you when you're in an accident with a driver who does not have car insurance.
UIM coverage is only required in a handful of states, but insurance companies are required to offer it to customers in most states.
Uninsured motorist coverage typically doesn't exceed the amount of your standard liability coverage.
So, if you've got $75,000 in total liability coverage per accident, you can't typically carry more than $75,000 in uninsured motorist coverage.
Even though car insurance is mandatory for registered vehicles in operation in most states, many drivers still drive without insurance.
The best way to protect yourself from these drivers is to make sure you have plenty of UIM coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage is very similar to UIM coverage. It pays for damages sustained in an accident with a driver who has a car insurance policy in place.
However, that driver may not have enough coverage to pay for your injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses stemming from the accident.
Your underinsured motorist coverage, which is also not required in most states but readily available, kicks in and helps cover the difference between the other driver's coverage and the total amount of your losses.
Most insurance companies limit the amount of time policyholders have to make uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist claims.
Sometimes you'll only have as few as 30 days from the date of the accident to make your claim.
So be sure to get the ball rolling immediately after you learn that the other driver little or no car insurance.
Protect Yourself After Your Accident
If you've been involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, the first thing you should do is report the accident to your car insurance company.
They will tell you how your coverage applies to the accident.
If you've suffered severe injuries that may not be covered by adequate insurance, it may be time to talk to an experienced car accident attorney about your options.
Even if you aren't seriously injured, a car accident attorney can help you navigate the entire process so you are sure to recover your damages from your accident with an uninsured driver.
The lawyers with Helping The Hurt always take a client-centered approach so your case receives the right amount of time and attention.
To see how Helping The Hurt can help you, get your Free Case Review by clicking the button below.