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It is estimated that there are over 28 million uninsured drivers in the United States. With the hundreds of car accidents that happen every day in states all across the US, there is a 1 in 8 chance that your accident will involve an uninsured driver.
Uninsured drivers are a problem for two reasons. First, they are breaking the law by not having insurance. Second, if you are in an accident with them, they may not have the financial resources to pay for your damages, leaving you to foot the bill.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident with an uninsured driver, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
1. Call the police
The first thing you should do is call the police. When the police arrive at the scene, they will create a report documenting the accident and determining fault. This report can be used later to help support your car accident claim with your insurance company as well as during any legal proceedings to help recover the cost of damages.
2. Take pictures & gather evidence
Be sure to take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to both vehicles, street signs, license plates, and sustained injuries. This will serve as evidence when you file an insurance claim and help prove your claim during arbitration or a trial. It is also recommended to get witness statements from anyone who saw the accident.
The more information you have about the accident, the easier it will be to get financial compensation for vehicle damages and any injuries sustained as a result of the accident with an uninsured driver.
3. Contact a car accident lawyer
Since the uninsured driver probably won’t have the assets to cover the cost of car damages, potential medical expenses, and other compensatory damages, it will be essential to hire the services of injury law firms that can help litigate on your behalf with your insurance company and the uninsured driver. Without their help, you may be stuck with a mountain of medical and automotive repair bills with no way to pay for them.
4. File a claim with your own insurance company
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company will then go after the uninsured driver for reimbursement.
Even if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you should still file a claim with your insurance company. They may be able to help you recover some of the costs associated with the accident.
Most companies carry what is called “med-pay” or medical payment coverage. This will help pay for your medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Be Prepared for an Uninsured Driver Accident
By getting as much information as possible at the scene of the accident and by following these four tips, you can help to ensure that you are able to recover from an accident with an uninsured driver.