26 Jul How to Deal with an Uninsured Motorist After an Accident
What to do when you get in a crash with an uninsured driver.
Car insurance is mandatory in every U.S. state except New Hampshire. To legally drive a vehicle, motorists must carry their state’s minimum requirements. However, not everyone does secure coverage. In fact, many people drive on the roads without insurance. Even people who have insurance might be underinsured, so anyone involved in a collision with them is potentially vulnerable to substantial expenses. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, here’s what to do.
Get their information.
Assuming the uninsured (or underinsured) driver stopped after the accident, ask for their information. You won’t use it in quite the same way you would for other claims, but it could come in handy when you talk to your insurance company. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will want the other driver’s information.
Don’t take cash.
A driver with no insurance may offer cash to make the problem go away. It’s important that you don’t accept cash at the scene of the accident. There is no real way to know the cost of the damage to your vehicle until a mechanic inspects it. If anyone in your vehicle is injured, medical costs need to be accounted for, too.
Document the accident.
Always call the police to file a full report even if the driver didn’t stop or they have asked you not to. Be sure to document the accident by taking photos of the damage, the location of the accident, and write down facts about the event. If there were any eyewitnesses, gather their information, too.
File a claim.
As long as you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance, you can file a claim as you normally would. When the driver has no insurance, your policy will pay for the damages and your medical expenses from the accident. If the driver has some but not enough coverage, your policy will pick up the costs their insurance won’t cover.