From experience, some of us know what to do when we're involved in a car accident. Besides treating any immediate injuries and contacting emergency responders, we know that we should exchange insurance information with the other parties and contact our own provider immediately. But what happens when you get into a car accident with an uninsured motorist?
Although it's illegal, there are still some people on the road without car insurance. And, without this type of protection, you could potentially face thousands upon thousands of dollars in medical bills and vehicular expenses.
If you're ever involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, here's what to do.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
Contact the authorities immediately and request a police report at the scene. Calling law enforcement is the most important step because you will gain valuable witnesses and proof of the accident from the police. Take as many photos of the damages as possible. Photograph the scene and make sure you write down the driver's license plate number and get their contact information.
If they're uninsured, it's possible they may withhold personal details when prompted. This is another reason why having the police present to take a thorough report is so important.
If you were injured and required an ambulance, emergency care, or doctor's visits after the accident, make sure you get a detailed report of your injury as well as copies of your medical expenses.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Check your policy to see if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you do, some of the damages may be covered by your insurance. If not, you will have to file an uninsured claim. It's vital to do this as soon as possible as there are deadlines in most place as short as 30 days.
Uninsured car accident claims can take longer to investigate and close than others. Your progressive medical conditions and the full extent of damages will have to be evaluated, and the difference is that you are filing a claim against your insurance provider instead of the other driver.
Understand Your State's Laws
Depending on the type of law your state has in practice, your options might be limited. In a tort state, the person who caused the accident is responsible for covering the cost of damages. An uninsured driver can be sued, but if they don't have many assets, you may not be able to receive payment for the incurred expenses.
In a no-fault car insurance state, each person is responsible for paying for their own damages regardless of who is at fault. You can sue the other driver for severe damages, but you will probably get more money from having uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy than you will through a court settlement.
Work With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Contact a personal injury attorney and explain your situation. This is vital to making sure you are justly compensated for injuries and damages. A personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your accident from every angle, gather relevant information and present a solid case to help you recover the financial losses you sustained at the hands of an uninsured motorist.
At Richard Schwartz & Associates, our team is experienced in working with people who have been injured and sustained physical, emotional and financial damages at the hands of uninsured drivers. We service the entire state of Mississippi and would be willing to meet with you and discuss your options.
Call us today at (601) 869-0696 and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.