When you’re injured in an accident or your car is damaged, you rely on insurance companies to help make you financially whole, meaning the position you were in before the collision occurred. But what happens if the other driver doesn’t have insurance (also called an “uninsured driver” in the insurance world)? Who then covers the costs of repairs and your medical bills? If an uninsured driver hits you, you are not alone, and you may still have options. Here are the steps you need to take to begin the process of recovery.
Call the Police
Regardless if the negligent party tells you she does or does not have insurance, or if she accepts fault for causing the crash, the first step is to call the police immediately. Not only do you want to report the incident, but the police report will investigate the scene of the crash by collecting vital information, witness statements, and potentially conducting accident reconstruction depending on the nature of the collision and the skill of the investigator. The more evidence you have regarding the accident, the better.
Calling the police will also allow you to report injuries and request paramedic evaluation at the scene of the collision, irrespective if you ultimately decline emergency transportation for urgent medical care. If you or anyone needs emergency care, call or ask someone else to call 911.
Gather Key Information
First, are you and everyone physically safe? Can you move to the side of the road to avoid further exposure to harm? Once it is safe to do so, inspect all cars involved in the collision. Take photos of all vehicles involved, including the damaged areas, and different angles and sides to capture the full essence of the crash site. Also, take pictures of the scene of the crash, including any debris and skip marks on the road or damage to the road.
Exchange information with the other driver, including a phone number, address, license plate number, and details of the accident. Take photos of the driver, her insurance card, license plate, and driver’s license.
Also, collect the contact information of any person who witnessed the event either before, during, or after the crash. The more information you collect, the better.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
The chances are that if the negligent driver didn’t have insurance, she probably doesn’t have assets that would cover all the damages you suffer as a result of the crash. However, an experienced car accident attorney can investigate your options in pursuing the uninsured, negligent driver.
Still, you may have more options than you think. If you have uninsured motorist protection and/or medical payment coverage under the terms of your own car insurance policy or even your homeowners’ insurance policy in some cases, you may be able to secure full coverage for your losses. You may also be able to obtain coverage under a blood relative’s policy you live with.
Even if you do not maintain coverage for this loss under your insurance policy or policies, an experienced personal injury attorney will further look into the process by which you waived these coverages with your own insurance company to ensure compliance with state law.
In the event coverage is apparent in terms of your policy, your own insurance company will undoubtedly do everything in their power to avoid paying the total cost of damages or any of the damages. It is crucial that you have an attorney on your side to advocate on your behalf.
Contact Lehr Law for a free consultation online or over the phone at (858) 240-9993. Do not let an automotive accident keep you down!