If you own or operate a motor vehicle, it is important to have some form of auto insurance. People who try to save money by driving without insurance often wind up facing legal penalties. If an uninsured driver causes an injury while behind the wheel, they may face a lawsuit.
According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, Alabama law requires that drivers have liability insurance for all registered vehicles. Regrettably, uninsured motorists continue to drive on our roads. And when they cause damages, victims like you often face an uphill battle to receive compensation.
Dos and Don’ts After a Crash With an Uninsured Driver
Hopefully, you will never be in another accident, let alone one with an uninsured driver. Yet if it happens again, or if you want to know what you should have done differently, here are some tips on what to do following an accident with an uninsured driver.
- Call the police: If you’re in an accident with anyone, whether or not they have insurance, calling the police is always a good idea. However, calling the police is even more critical when dealing with an uninsured driver. A police report will make the claims process and getting your expenses covered smoother.
- Don’t accept money: The driver involved in your accident might face fines or fees for operating their vehicle without insurance; therefore, to avoid legal repercussions, they may offer you money. However, even if it seems like a fair amount, don’t accept the money because you don’t know what your injury costs or damages will be.
- Exchange information: Make sure you get the uninsured motorist’s contact information and vehicle details. Also, talk to eyewitnesses since their account of the accident can help you throughout the claims process.
- Collect detailed information: Write down the accident’s location and time, the responding officer’s name and badge number, and the involved car’s make and model. Record any crucial information you think might assist you when dealing with your insurance company.
- Gather photographic evidence: Be sure to snap pictures of accident damage of any vehicles involved in the accident. Also, capture the license plate number, the road and sky conditions, traffic signs, and the direction each car was moving. Some, or all, of this information, will be crucial when it’s time to file your claim.
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Check Your Policy for Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist insurance may cover your losses after a crash with an uninsured driver. If you purchased this type of insurance before the accident, you might be able to claim the damages from your own insurance company.
To find out if you have it, check your policy’s declarations page, and locate where it says UM coverage. If your policy includes it, you will see a coverage amount indicating how much you’re covered against motorists without insurance.
If you purchased this type of insurance prior to the accident, you might be able to claim the damages from your own insurance company. It is essential to contact your insurance provider promptly if you believe the at-fault driver does not have insurance.
Call or Go Online to File Your Uninsured Driver Claim
This is where you’ll need the information you gathered at the accident scene. When you call or go online, be sure to have the following ready:
- Your insurance card and policy number
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- You’ll be asked for a detailed account of the accident, and your photographs will help you make your police report as descriptive as possible
- Provide the contact information the at-fault motorist provided to you
- You’ll also furnish the name of the police department involved with the accident department and the police report number
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, check your policy for personal injury protection. Your insurance policy may offer this coverage to pay for potential crash injuries. But, again, this information should appear on your declarations page.
Sue the Uninsured Driver for Damages
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Alabama ranks seventh for the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States. In fact, 19.5% of drivers in Alabama were without insurance in 2019.
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you may have no option but to sue the driver to recover damages for things like car repairs, medical bills, and car rental services.
Suing a driver who does not have insurance is legally complex. Even if you win the case, the driver may not have the money to pay for your medical bills, time off work, and other losses.
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What if the Uninsured Driver Can’t Pay Their Court Settlement?
You may be able to get a court order against the negligent driver to force them to pay you. However, if the court determines that they do not have the financial means to do so, you may have to pay for your losses out of your own pocket.
You might be able to initiate a payment plan with the at-fault party. They will then have to pay regular installments until the damages are paid for. It is crucial to establish whether the defendant has the financial means to pay for your injuries.
You can do this via an asset and credit check. However, you should consider hiring a car accident attorney to help you with this process.
Call Morris Bart, the #1 Car Accident Attorney in Birmingham
Drivers who operate their motor vehicles without minimum insurance coverage have no regard for your financial wellbeing. If you were involved in a car accident injury with an uninsured motorist, take the first step in holding at-fault drivers liable for your injuries and property damage.
Don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC today. We offer a free case evaluation with our personal injury lawyer, who will review the details of your case and advise you on the best approach to getting the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury.
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