A study by the Insurance Research Council found that about 1 in 8 drivers don’t have auto insurance despite the legal requirements in almost all states that require every car to have liability car insurance in place.
So what are some of your options if you get hit by an insured driver? This guide will cover the dos and the don’ts soon after the accident and how you can obtain compensation should the unfortunate happen.
What to do soon after an accident with an uninsured motorist
What you do or fail to do soon after an accident can fundamentally determine your case’s outcome should you decide to pursue compensation or file a lawsuit. The following are the steps to take soon after an accident with an uninsured motorist:
File a police report
The first thing to do after the accident is to inform the police. You will rely on the police reports and other pieces of evidence to prove who caused the accident. Don’t leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive unless you do so on medical grounds. Once the police arrive, they will interview you, the other drivers, and any available witnesses. They will also take photos and videos of the scenes and file a comprehensive report of the accident. You will rely on the police reports and other pieces of evidence to prove who caused the accident.
Seek medical care and evaluation
It is essential to seek medical care and evaluation soon after the accident, even when you are convinced you didn’t suffer any severe injuries. The pain and extent of the injuries suffered can be concealed by the rush of adrenaline and the shock following an accident. If not treated early, these injuries can trigger irreversible, life-threatening conditions. Besides, you will also need medical reports to support your compensation claims that meet your medical bills.
Contact your uninsured motorist coverage provider.
If you suffered injuries and property damage in an accident with an uninsured driver, you would need to contact your uninsured motorist coverage provider, assuming you have one. The insurance agent will tell you exactly what they need to process your claim and what to expect during the claim process.
Document the accident
It is critical to document an accident scene as soon as it happens. The documentation process includes the following:
Identification of officers- once the police arrive at the scene, ensure you get their details, including names and badge numbers.
Get a copy of the accident report- ensure the police officers give you a copy of the accident report. A police report is a crucial document when filing an insurance claim.
Take pictures and videos- it is essential to document the scene of the accident exhaustively by taking photos and videos of the vehicles from several angles. Ensure you capture the damage caused to your vehicle. While at it, take pictures of the other cars and driver’s licenses as well.
Takedown names- you should also take down the names and addresses of all parties involved, including the witnesses. If the other driver was carrying passengers, write down their details, such as their phone numbers and addresses. Likewise, take down the names and contact information of all witnesses.
Get in touch with a car accident attorney.
The legal process is quite complicated and pursuing claims on your own is not advisable. Therefore, it is crucial to work with an experienced and trustworthy insurance attorney to handle the intrigues of insurance compensation. A qualified attorney understands the ideal way to proceed with a case, and their advice will be invaluable when pursuing the claims. The attorney will provide all the information you need and negotiate with your insurance company for fair settlements. When you work with a qualified car accident attorney, you stand a chance of maximizing the compensation following a car accident.
What not to do soon after the accident
Don’t leave the scene of an auto accident unless for safety and medical reasons.
Don’t admit liability or fault to the police, the other driver, witnesses, and your insurance company. No matter who you talk to, don’t take the blame for the accident.
Don’t post the accident on social media networks- investigators from the insurance company can extract information from your social media account and use them against you.
Don’t trust the insurance adjuster- the insurance adjuster from your insurance company will likely contact you with questions about the accident. Know what to reveal and what not to say as the calls are always recorded. Keep your conversation to the minimum and direct the adjuster to your attorney.
Don’t accept the first settlement offer or money at the scene- many insurance companies take advantage of your confused state to offer a quick settlement, which is insultingly very low. The at-fault driver can also offer you cash or make promises to meet the cost of car repair. Let your car accident attorney negotiate for a better settlement.
Don’t wait for too long to take action- if you wait for too long before taking any of the actions listed here, your case risks losing credibility, and your eligibility to receive compensation diminishes.
How to obtain compensation after an accident with an uninsured motorist
The following are the options available for you if you are involved in an uninsured driver accident:
Use uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage with your own insurance company, it will help cover the damages and medical expenses. The uninsured motorist coverage is additional coverage that insurance companies offer. The cover protects you when you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance coverage or if you are involved in a hit and run accident. Some states require UIM coverage for all the vehicles on the road.
Use underinsured motorist coverage.
The Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you against damages if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has car insurance in a place that is not sufficient to cover all your injuries, damages, and other losses. The underinsured motorist cover helps cover the differences between the total losses and the other driver’s coverage.
Use collision coverage
It is recommended to add collision coverage to your insurance policy to protect you against the unexpected. This coverage will help you meet the damages that the car takes after an accident with an uninsured driver or a hit and run driver. Notably, the collision coverage only covers the cost of car repair but not your injuries.
What you do or fail to do soon after the accident will influence your insurance claim’s outcome. It is vital to work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands the nuances involved in getting the highest possible compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you get into a road accident with an uninsured driver, contact Joel Bieber Law Firm immediately after an accident. We work with a group of a highly skilled and experienced car accident and personal attorneys with offices in Richmond and Virginia Beach. We also have offices in Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, West Virginia. We will fight for you no matter where you are and ensure you get the most generous compensation possible. Contact us today for more information about our legal services.