Resolving the aftermath of a car accident is never quick and easy as you would like it to be—especially if the other party involved in your accident was an uninsured driver. You may think that this is a rare occurrence, but it is more likely than you might think. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that about one in every eight drivers is uninsured. That totals up to 13 percent of all motorists overall!
Oftentimes, drivers simply do not know what to do when they have been involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver. After all, one of the very first things you are meant to do after an automobile accident is to exchange your insurance information and let your carriers start working on the case. What are you supposed to do when the other driver is not covered by insurance? In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of the basic “do’s and don’ts” to follow after an accident with an uninsured driver.
After any sort of car accident, you will want to call the police to file an accident report right away. An official accident report can be an incredibly valuable piece of evidence to have in an auto accident claim—especially if you are dealing with an uninsured driver. Remember to be as detailed as necessary when speaking to the police, making sure to notify them of any possible relevant details (including the fact that the other driver is uninsured). Accident reports have the potential to help you cover your expenses more quickly and make the overall claims process much smoother.
Even though the other driver will not be able to swap insurance information with you, you will still want to exchange contact information with them. This includes their license plate number, driver’s license number, phone number, and any other relevant details. It is best to do this immediately after the accident while you are waiting for the police to arrive at the scene. Once the officers arrive, you should also take care to get their names and badge numbers as well. You never know when you will need to refer back to them. You should also collect information such as the make and model of all vehicles involved, the time and location of the accident, and more.
Of course, you will also want to begin documenting any evidence right away. This means taking photographs and/or videos of any injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident, any property damage that you have incurred as a result of the accident, and any other relevant information. This may include road conditions or other physical evidence of the accident (such as skid marks or broken glass). You may even want to take videos of eyewitness accounts, should you be able to procure them. In any case, make sure you have someone’s express permission before capturing them on camera.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is possible that they will be more panicked about the situation than you are. After all, they know that they may be subject to huge fines and fees for driving while being uninsured. Because of this, it is not uncommon for uninsured drivers to offer you money after an accident. They may claim that this will be easier for both of you and that they will give you enough to cover any damages that have been done. However, you should never accept this.
For one thing, it is almost impossible to fully assess the value of a car accident claim directly after the fact. This is especially true if you have suffered personal injury—many injuries simply do not make themselves fully known until some time has passed by, at which point you may never hear from or see the uninsured driver again. And should you find that your losses are worse than initially expected, it may be impossible to recover your full damages—even if you can get in contact with the uninsured driver. Simply put, it is unwise to put your trust in someone who is uninsured. It could easily end up with you shooting yourself in the foot.
Of course, even after doing (or not doing) all of the above, you will still need to contact your insurance company to notify them about the accident. Let them know that you were hit by an uninsured driver from the start—this is pertinent information, as it will affect the way the whole case must be treated. Try to stick only to the facts when giving your account of the accident to your insurance provider, as you do not want to say anything that could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. In fact, you may even want to consider speaking to a lawyer before speaking to your insurance company.
In any case, it is possible that your auto insurance policy also provides you with uninsured motorist coverage. This is exactly what it sounds like—coverage in case you are ever involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver. Make sure to confirm whether or not you have such coverage with your insurance provider. If your accident took place in a no-fault state, however, your insurance company will pay at least partially for your medical bills and lost earnings regardless.
It can feel difficult and overwhelming to take care of an auto accident claim on your own, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. You need someone on your side you can trust. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone.
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country.
You should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide auto accident attorneys. We have helped countless clients successfully resolve their automobile accident cases. We can help you too. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you rightfully deserve.