This is a scary situation for two main reasons. The first reason is that the driver likely doesn’t have the funds to pay for your damages. The second reason is that you now must deal with the situation yourself. If your insurance company finds out about it, you will probably lose your no-claims bonus, and your premiums might increase significantly. What can you do to get back on track before things get worse? To understand this situation, you must first understand the types of insurance available for motorists.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Required by no-fault states, personal injury protection covers medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. It may also cover funeral expenses or loss of services because of an injury. You can purchase additional personal injury protection that exceeds these state requirements.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists: If you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your expenses, this part of your policy will cover your costs. This can include medical bills and lost wages resulting from the accident.
Liability insurance covers you if you’re in an accident deemed to be your fault. It will cover repairs to damaged property and medical bills resulting from injury to the other driver and their passengers. Liability insurance does not cover your vehicle or injuries.
What can you do?
Car accidents happen all the time, but there are times when a collision is not the fault of either driver. What happens if you get hit by an uninsured driver? In most situations, a person who causes an accident is held responsible for any damage to vehicles or personal property. If that person does not have insurance, then they can be held personally responsible for these damages.
Unfortunately, even though every state requires drivers to buy insurance, there are still many people out there driving without it. If you are in an accident caused by someone who does not have insurance, it may be difficult to get your insurance company to pay for the damages. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your assets in such a situation.
Call your insurance company for help
File a claim with your own car insurance company. Most states require drivers to have liability insurance, which covers injuries and property damage they might cause others in an accident. However, some people have only minimal coverage or none at all.
If another driver hits you and doesn’t have enough insurance for the damages he caused, then your own policy could pay for some or all of your property damage and medical bills through uninsured motorist coverage. That’s why it’s important to carry as much uninsured motorist insurance as possible — it protects you from drivers who don’t have enough coverage themselves.
Make sure the police are called
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, always make sure that the police are involved in some way. The more evidence you have that another driver is at fault, the better your chances with your car insurance company. In most states, you can file a claim even if this happens in a parking lot or on private property where there were no police present. However, having an official report is always helpful when pursuing a claim for repairs.
Get the other driver’s information
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver and choose to file a claim with your own insurer, it will be treated as an at-fault accident. However, if your insurer can’t collect damages from the other driver, they may consider this accident not at fault and reverse some or all of the surcharges.
In other words, if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist, it’s in your best interest to call the police and get the other driver’s information — name, address, phone number, registration number, license plate number, and the insurance company. Your insurer may be able to recoup some or all of its losses from the uninsured motorist fund in your state.
Hire a lawyer to help guide you through the process
If you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, you may think you don’t need an attorney. After all, they don’t have insurance, so what’s the point of hiring a lawyer? However, there are a number of reasons why it’s actually better to hire a lawyer:
Having a lawyer can help you get more money than you could on your own. Insurance companies often make lowball offers to people who are not represented. A good personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate for a higher settlement.
A good personal injury attorney takes the burden of dealing with the insurance company off your shoulders. All you have to do is show up to appointments and pick up any paperwork from your lawyer — no phone calls or meetings with adjusters.
Attorneys know the law and will help guide you through the process. They know what evidence to gather and how to present it in a way that maximizes your chances of getting money from the other driver or their insurance company.
When you get hit by someone who doesn’t have car insurance, the ensuing situation can be confusing. But it’s also not as complicated as it might seem–if you know what to expect. Above is what to do if you’re ever in an auto accident with an uninsured driver.