Most of us have car insurance, but what happens when we get hit by a driver that doesn’t? It happens every day in this country, and that’s why most states require at least liability insurance. But even then, there are people who won’t or can’t buy car insurance, which endangers all of us for obvious reasons
Depending on who you believe, up to 20% percent of the driving population in the U.S. is on the road without proper car insurance. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can be financially and emotionally devastating for a wide range of reasons, including medical bills, the cost of property damage, and lost wages.
Hopefully you will never be in a situation like this, but if you are, all of us at 1stCertified Collision Center would like to offer you some guidelines for when an uninsured driver hits your car.
If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver or anyone with insufficient vehicle insurance coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage can easily compensate for lost wages and medical bills. Having a clause in your car insurance policy that covers for uninsured or under-insured drivers can do wonders in case of an accident.
In the event of an accident—regardless of whether or not the driver of the other vehicle has sufficient insurance coverage—immediately contact 911 if there are medical emergencies and then call the police. A police record of the incident can be crucial when making claims. Take a lot of pictures too. Your smartphone can also record the damage on video; that recording can come handy later. If possible, ask nearby witnesses to come forward and have them talk to the policeman investigating the accident. Consider asking for their contact information such as their name and work phone number. Talk to the other driver and get his contact information. If he mentions his lack of insurance, worry about that later; getting upset at this stage would not do you any good. Hopefully, you have uninsured driver coverage. After talking to the witnesses, the police, and the other driver, call your insurance provider.
If you have been injured, your health insurance will likely cover the medical expenses minus the deductible costs, which you have to take on. Just keep a detailed and thorough documentation of the medical bills incurred. Doing this ensures a seamless claims process later. As for the vehicular damage, seeking compensation from the uninsured motorist can be done legally, if you don’t have uninsured driver coverage. This is where all those witnesses to the accident and the police record can come handy.
If you are going to file a claim for your uninsured motorist insurance, tell your carrier as soon as possible. Normally, there is a maximum claims period for this. In some auto insurance policies, it is 30 days. The moment you discover you need to make claims against your existing coverage, do so quickly.
By staying calm, thinking objectively and acting definitively, you will get the best results from a scary, stressing situation. Uninsured drivers are a reality, unfortunately, but taking the proper steps and looking out for your rights after an accident with someone without insurance, you can come out on top. These tips are gladly provided by 1stCertified Collision Center, because we know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.