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What happens if I have an accident with an uninsured driver?

Dealing with accidents involving uninsured drivers - Know your options and rights. Learn more in our comprehensive article.

Uninsured Driver Accidents: Understanding Your Options and Rights

An accident can be traumatic and the last thing you expect to have to deal with is an uninsured driver. If this ever happens to you, it’s imperative you know your rights and what to do if you aren’t compensated. The following article looks into what happens if you have an accident with an uninsured driver and your right to fight them for compensation, what to ask such a driver for and what your next course of action is.

Assess The Scene: First, after an accident, it is important to look for safety. If you are injured, call for help. The same goes for any passengers in the car. Injuries should be given immediate attention and professional medical help should be called, if needed. Additionally, ensure that those involved in the accident are no longer in danger and that they are out of the way of traffic before taking any other steps. The next step after an accident is to call the police to report the accident and get a police report.

Collect their details: Don’t forget to get the uninsured driver’s name, phone number and permission to contact them regarding injuries, the variation in their rate of recuperation just as the bills accumulate, and regardless, whether they were at misuse any of the motor vehicle’s different parts. The suspect’s personal details should include their licence plate number and the make and model of their motor vehicle. Also, use that time to collect details from the witnesses. In the event, the vehicle causes material damage and is owned by a third party, their details would also be required to file a claim or seek compensation.

Call Your Insurance Company: Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Let them know that you had an accident and the other driver wasn’t insured. Most insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage, which can take care of you in this situation. Your insurance company will explain your options and possibly provide a lawyer.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you have uninsured motorist coverage (via 'U' file UM), then this may pay for all your medicals, property damage and other loss even before the other driver’s insurance company begins paying. When the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, this is the next best thing.

Sueing: If there are injuries or damages, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver in order to recover damages. But even if the court finds for you, that does not necessarily mean that the uninsured driver can pay your damages. Many of these drivers simply do not have sufficient assets or income to pay meaningful amounts.

Also, note that if the uninsured driver has fled the scene, it is called a hit-and-run. Your options for handling this will depend on where you live and your insurance coverage. Call law enforcement immediately to report the hit and run. Be sure to provide the officers with any information you have.

Running into an uninsured driver can be a financial and emotional nightmare. You should understand your rights and options in the event of such an accident to protect yourself. The most important thing to keep in mind is remain safe, exchange information, and notify your insurance company about the accident. The sooner you talk to your insurance company, the better. Uninsured motorist coverage can protect you. Although you can sue an uninsured driver, you have to consider if the other driver is able to pay for the damages. In addition, being knowledgeable about your rights and the process, and consulting with an attorney can help you manage the situation and recover fair monetary compensation for your losses.

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