Even when the damage is minor, and there are no injuries, getting into a car accident is scary. At a minimum, it will leave you frazzled. If you’re injured and left with a wrecked car, it’s even worse. No matter what the situation, if the other driver wasn’t insured, it complicates matters even further.
Despite car insurance being required in most states, according to Value Penguin, approximately 13 percent of drivers aren’t insured, and in Florida, that figure is more than a quarter of drivers on the road.
So, what should you do if you’ve been hit by one of those uninsured drivers?
Immediately Contact the Police
Police reports can make all the difference in helping you get the care and compensation you need, and it’s especially important when you’ve been hit but someone uninsured. As soon as possible after the accident, contact the police so that they can fill out the report, aiding you through the claims process to get your expenses covered.
Carefully Document the Scene
It’s always important to gather evidence, assuming you aren’t so injured that you’re unable. When hit by an uninsured driver, it becomes even more essential. Take pictures of the accident, capturing all damage to the vehicles involved as well as any injuries. Jot down information such as the current road conditions, the speed of your vehicle, what you think led to the accident, and who was driving each vehicle.
When you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance, typically, you’ll have to get your own insurance company to cover the damage, which is part of uninsured motorist coverage, if you have it. As it’s not required in some states, not everyone does, and it’s something that will protect you in this circumstance. As most insurance companies limit the amount of time you have to make a claim, sometimes as few as 30 days from the date the accident occurred, you’ll want to be sure and contact them as soon as you can.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries after being hit by an uninsured driver and your insurance isn’t adequate enough to cover the expenses involved, you’ll definitely want to research car accident lawyers and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Depending on the state you live in, whether or not it’s a traditional or no-fault state, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. If you live in a non-fault state, each driver, or that driver’s insurance, is responsible for his or her own damages and injuries no matter who was at fault. That means you usually can’t sue the other driver unless the injuries were serious or you incurred medical bills that total over a specific amount based on your state’s laws.
If you live in a traditional negligence state, your lawyer can help you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. But it’s important to understand that even if you’re successful in showing the other driver was at fault, and a judgment is obtained against them, there are no guarantees you’ll be able to collect. Many underinsured or uninsured drivers don’t have much money. If they don’t have money or assets, collecting is unlikely. By talking to a lawyer, they’ll be able to provide you with all the information that’s pertinent to your particular state and, if possible, help you get the compensation you deserve.