Accident With an Uninsured Motorist: What You Should Know
The law mandates everyone who owns a motor vehicle be insured by an insurance company. Insurance covers damages and expenses that result from an accident. However, an estimated 12.6% of motorists in the US are uninsured or underinsured. An uninsured motorist doesn’t have auto insurance coverage to help in case of an accident, whereas underinsured motorists have an insufficient limit to cover the injury and damages in an accident they cause.
Insufficiently insured drivers pose a challenge in recovering damages when you get into an accident with them. Below are the things you should know when you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Obtaining Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Inquire from your insurance company whether your policy covers uninsured or underinsured motorists. Some states have a law that requires you to obtain uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy. Your insurance company will tell you. This policy helps cover damages and medical expenses when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
In case you do not have uninsured motorists covered by your insurance, you can opt to pursue legal action. Contact your lawyer to walk you through the process to understand your options. Note that collecting damages from uninsured motorist drivers can be a cumbersome process. These drivers are either reluctant to pay or are not financially able to bear the burden. Trust experienced lawyers to follow through with recovery of damages.
Reporting the Accident
Even when the at-fault driver is not insured and you suspect that you won’t be able to recover the damages, report the accident to the police anyway. Police reports are used as evidence when filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Whichever way you choose to pursue the matter, a police report will be relevant.
Call the police at the scene of the accident to file this report. This report will validate the facts about the accident and protect your rights.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company of the accident, regardless of whether you are responsible for the accident or not. Contact them whether the other party is uninsured or underinsured. They will guide you through processing claims as they have undergone similar situations and have the capacity to advise you.
Documenting the Accident
Keep records of all the facts that concern the accident. For instance, take pictures of the accident scene, injuries sustained by either party, and damage to both cars. Exchange information with the other driver. For example, you should obtain the driver’s name, contact information, a copy of their driver’s license, and vehicle number plate. If you sustain injuries, keep copies of medical bills and receipts of other expenses related to the accident, which will be relevant in legal proceedings.
Avoid making any statements that may imply that you are admitting fault. Stick to the facts and the report you filed with the police without wavering. Police, lawyers, and insurance companies will liaise professionally and advise you on any developments that require your input. Don’t comment publicly or on social media on an ongoing case or investigation.
Contacting a Lawyer
Claims that involve at-fault drivers that are uninsured or underinsured can be complex. Engage a lawyer soon after the accident. Don’t negotiate or take money from the at-fault driver. Allow an experienced lawyer who has handled similar cases before to negotiate on your behalf and represent you.
We at Frenkel & Frenkel are lawyers with vast experience handling personal injury cases. We have offered legal expertise in personal injuries caused by cars, trucks, and motorcycles near Dallas and Fort Worth. Contact us today for a consultation.