Car insurance coverage is required in all 50 states. In spite of this, thousands of motorists drive without insurance every day. If you get involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can still seek financial compensation despite not having the other driver’s insurance coverage as an option. You may need assistance from an experienced Baton Rouge car accident attorney during a case involving an uninsured driver.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Car Accident
It is important to properly document your uninsured driver car accident to collect evidence for the injury claims process. A car insurance company will need certain information about the crash to process a claim. Increase your chances of getting the financial compensation you deserve by taking the following steps:
- Seek medical care. Get a medical evaluation from a licensed professional as soon as possible. This can help prove that you were injured in the car accident.
- Exchange information. Obtain the uninsured driver’s name, contact details and license plate number, as well as the contact information of any witnesses.
- Call the police. Call 911 from the scene of the car accident to report the crash. Be sure to mention that the other driver does not have car insurance
- Preserve evidence. Take photographs while you are still at the scene of the collision. Obtain any documents that are relevant to your case, such as medical records and a copy of the police report.
- Prepare for a claim. An insurance company will ask many questions about the car accident and the injuries you have suffered. Prepare this information ahead of time to make the claims process easier.
After a car accident involving an uninsured driver, your safety and health come first. Check yourself for injuries and go to the nearest hospital without delay, even if you do not think you were injured. Your adrenaline from the crash may delay the signs and symptoms of injury. Do not speak to an insurance company about your injuries until you have seen a doctor.
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Why You Need to Report a Crash Involving an Uninsured Driver
Reporting your uninsured driver accident to the police is a crucial step in the recovery process. An insurance company may not accept a claim that is not accompanied by a police report. The police report contains key information about a crash, such as the date, time, location and possible causes. It will also note for the record that the other driver involved was unlawfully driving without insurance. Even if your car accident appears minor, call the police to report the uninsured driver and obtain an accident report.
Who Pays for an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
The majority of states use a fault-based insurance system. This rule requires the at-fault driver or party to pay for the car accident. Typically, after fault is established using evidence, payments are made through the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance. If the responsible party was breaking the law by driving without insurance, the injured victim may need to seek compensation from his or her own insurance company.
What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
In most fault states, third-party liability insurance is required while first-party coverage is optional. Unless a driver purchases optional first-party coverage, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, the driver may not have coverage for his or her own losses, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage repairs.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, also known as UM and UIM insurance, are two first-party insurance options. Although UM/UIM insurance is mandatory in some states, it is an optional add-on in most others. This type of insurance will pay for a victim’s bills and damages after a collision involving an uninsured driver.
When you file an uninsured motorist insurance claim, your own auto insurance provider will pay for covered losses up to your policy’s limit. Your insurer may also provide supplemental coverage if the other driver has some insurance or can pay for part of your claim. You may or may not have to pay a deductible before receiving this payment.
Potential Recovery Options After an Uninsured Driver Accident
It is possible to receive financial compensation for an accident with an uninsured driver if you know which outlets to explore. Your first choice should be uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, if available. Other options may include:
- Collision or med pay coverage. If you do not have UM/UIM insurance, contact your provider to find out if you have other types of first-party coverage to pay for your losses, such as collision, comprehensive or medical payment insurance.
- A health insurance claim. Your own health insurance may offer enough coverage to pay for all necessary medical expenses resulting from the car accident. Once the at-fault parties are identified, your health insurance provider may seek reimbursement for these benefits.
- A personal injury claim filed directly against the uninsured driver. The uninsured driver may have to pay out of pocket to reimburse you; however, people who drive without insurance do not always have the means to pay settlements out of pocket.
- A claim against a third party. Identifying a third party that has insurance to hold responsible for the accident, such as the uninsured driver’s employer, a trucking company, a vehicle manufacturer or the government.
- A lawsuit. Most car accident cases, including those involving uninsured drivers, reach settlements. However, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, arbitration or mediation.
The compensation that could be available for an uninsured car accident includes coverage for your past and estimated future medical costs, lost income and benefits, property damage, totaled vehicle replacement, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses if a loved one lost his or her life in the crash.
When You Should Contact a Car Accident Attorney
If you need assistance filing a claim or obtaining fair compensation after a car accident with an uninsured driver, consult with an attorney at Morris Bart without delay. Our Baton Rouge car accident lawyers offer free initial consultations, where we will listen to your story and offer legal advice about your recovery options at no cost. Seek legal representation to protect your rights while going up against an uninsured driver, your own car insurance company or a third party. An attorney supporting you can make all the difference. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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