A car accident can wreck your vehicle, your finances, and so much more. At least an auto insurance policy can offer financial protection. But what if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver?
Like any car accident, accidents with uninsured motorists can be costly. We’re here to guide you through what to do—and what not to do—when it comes to uninsured motorist claims.
How do state laws and insurers address uninsured drivers?
Although most states require every motorist to maintain car insurance, one out of eight motorists nationwide is uninsured. According to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council, 12.5% of all drivers nationwide were uninsured in 2019.
Most states use a fault-based insurance system, which means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages resulting from the crash. If the at-fault driver is uninsured, then the victim’s ability to receive an insurance payout depends on what is covered under the victim’s insurance policy.
Each state has its own laws regarding auto insurance minimum coverage requirements. Some states require policies to include uninsured motorist coverage, while other states do not.
How should drivers handle accidents with uninsured motorists?
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, follow these three steps: report, protect, and collect.
Call the police, and don’t leave the scene of the accident until they arrive. The uninsured driver might ask you not to get the police involved, but a police report is critical to the success of your claims.
You’ll also need to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. It can be advantageous to have an experienced personal injury take this step for you.
Protect yourself by obtaining a medical evaluation, even if you feel fine immediately following the crash. Often, accident victims do not discover injuries until after the fact. Even minor injuries can worsen over time.
You also should use caution when speaking with the police, the at-fault driver, and insurance agents. Be honest, but avoid providing unnecessary detail or accepting fault in any way.
You should collect as much information as possible at the scene of the crash. Take photos and write down the contact information of the at-fault driver and any witnesses; the other vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number; and every detail surrounding the crash.
How can a lawyer help if you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist?
Car accidents are scary enough—you shouldn’t have to handle the aftermath on your own. That’s why you should seek counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer.
A personal injury attorney can help you with the following tasks related to your car accident:
- Handle the entire insurance claims process. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always act in your best interest. Your lawyer can review your policy, evaluate your claim, and advocate to get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
- File a lawsuit. Your lawyer can build a claim against the at-fault driver or other potentially liable parties so you can recover amounts that your insurance policy doesn’t cover.
- Decrease your stress levels. Your lawyer will fight to get you the maximum payout while you recover from your injuries and get back to living your life.
Contact a car accident lawyer if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver
Hunter & Everage is ready to address your car accident with an uninsured driver. Give our experienced personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Montgomery, Alabama a call or text today.