You’ve just gotten in an accident. Your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is racing and you’re concerned about the welfare of everyone involved in the collision. You take the time to call police and exchange information with the other driver. Then you discover that they don’t have insurance. What do you do?
Unfortunately, despite it being illegal to drive without any coverage, many people on the road are uninsured. When this happens, you need to react accordingly and take the right steps to increase your chances of getting compensated for your damages and losses. As a Philadelphia car accident lawyer from an office like Wieand Law Firm, LLC, can explain, here’s what to do when you get hit by an uninsured driver.
You may not want to call the police because the accident seems minor, or the other driver may try to talk you out of calling because they are afraid of the consequences of not having insurance. Whatever the case, it is never a good enough reason to avoid contacting police. A police report can confirm that the other driver is uninsured and help you get a settlement down the road.
Write Down Critical Information
Get the other driver’s contact information. If they caused the accident, you would normally file a claim with their insurance. Since they don’t have an insurance policy, you will have to make the claim with your own insurance company. Contact your insurance agent to tell them about the accident and let them know the other driver is uninsured. They can walk you through the next steps.
Use Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
After the accident, file a claim right away under your uninsured motorist policy. You may or may not have this coverage, as some states do not legally require it but offer it as an optional policy. The only reason to have this coverage is for unique occasions like these, where the other driver is uninsured. On the small chance that you get in a crash with someone without insurance, it can really pay off to have the policy on your own insurance.
Carefully Consider a Lawsuit
You may feel wronged (rightfully so) after an accident with a driver who can’t cover your injuries or damages. Sometimes it makes sense to take them to court over your losses, but it may also be a waste of time. If the driver cannot afford auto insurance, they may not have enough money to pay you anyway. If you win, there is no guarantee you will actually receive compensation.
Talk to a lawyer to explore your options after the accident. They can walk you through your next steps, and will provide the information and guidance you need.