What to Do When You Have an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Nothing puts a damper on your day quite like a fender bender that causes damage to your vehicle. The one thing that can make matters worse is if you find out the driver who hit you was driving without insurance.
You might think that this wouldn’t happen to you, but you might be surprised to learn that, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 1 in 8 drivers across the country are uninsured. This is why you need to know what happens if you get hit by someone without insurance if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
Steps to Follow After an Uninsured Driver Accident
Imagine another driver rear-ends you. When you pull over to exchange information, you quickly discover that they are driving without insurance. Follow these steps to ensure you will be protected:
Do not come to any deals with the uninsured motorist
An uninsured driver might attempt to pay you off or try to convince you that damage is negligible. The truth is you never know how much damage you have until your vehicle is looked at by a professional.
Call the police
It is always essential to call the police after an accident, so there is a report, but it is particularly critical if an uninsured driver hits you.
Gather as much information as possible
While you will not be able to get the other’s driver’s insurance information, you can still get their license information and information on the vehicle like the make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
It is wise to take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the accident. Be sure to capture the damage to your vehicle and the damage to the uninsured motorist’s car.
Options Following an Uninsured Driver Accident
In a standard car accident, the at-fault party’s insurance would likely be responsible for paying for your injuries or property damage. Since that is not an option when a driver driving hits you without insurance, below are some options you can consider:
Filing a claim with your own insurance company
Three types of coverage may protect you:
- Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for your property damage or injuries if an uninsured driver hits you. This coverage is required in many states and highly recommended in the ones where it’s optional.
- Underinsured motorist coverage would come into play if the driver who hits you has some insurance, but not enough to cover the extent of your injuries and damages.
- Collision coverage can also help to pay for damages to your vehicle. If you own your car, it is likely an optional coverage. Unfortunately, collision coverage would not help pay for injuries that you sustained due to the accident.
Suing an uninsured driver for damages
Depending on the state you live in, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who hit you. This is based on whether you live in a no-fault state. Drivers in these states are typically responsible for their damages and injuries regardless of who caused the accident.
An uninsured driver accident can be incredibly stressful. Checking your coverage options in advance, and knowing how to handle the situation can make the process a little easier to manage.
Luckily, Vern Fonk can help you find the perfect coverage for your needs and budget or complement your current one. Get a free Washington car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.
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