Dealing With an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver
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Although most states require a minimum amount of liability auto insurance, there are still uninsured drivers behind the wheel. The Insurance Research Council estimates about one in eight drivers don’t have auto insurance. And unfortunately cautious drivers are still vulnerable to accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
Here are a few tips and best practices for filing an insurance claim if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
What To Do If You’re Involved In An Uninsured Driver Accident
If you’re at a stop light waiting for the green light when you get hit from behind, you may end up with whiplash and likely some damage to your vehicle. Pull to the side of the road and get out to assess the vehicle and talk with the driver who hit you.
If the back of your car is smashed in and you have an aching neck, you will likely need repairs for your vehicle and medical attention. If the at-fault driver looks panicked and says they don’t have any insurance, you don’t need to panic. Just take the following steps:
1. Call the police.
If you get into a car accident, it’s always a good idea to call the police — whether or not the other driver has insurance. But if the other driver is uninsured, it’s especially important to call the police since their report will help validate your expenses and ensure the claims process with your insurance company goes smoothly.
2. Don’t accept any money from the uninsured driver.
Since the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, they will likely face some hefty fines and fees. This means they might try to offer you money to avoid legal repercussions. Most injured drivers have no idea what compensation they’re eligible for due to damages or injury. That’s why even if the other driver seems to offer you a good deal, just say no to the money.
3. Swap information
Even if they don’t have insurance information to give you, you should still get their contact information and write down vehicle details. Don’t forget to request contact information from any witnesses, since their statements can also help you go through the claims process.
4. Gather details.
Write down the other driver’s VIN number; year, make, and model of the vehicle involved; and the time and location of the accident. Ask the police officer for the report number and find out how to access it once it’s available. Write down any important details you think could help your case when dealing with the insurance company.
5. Take pictures of the scene.
Take photos of damage done to your car and the other vehicle, the other driver’s license plate, traffic signs and the direction each vehicle was traveling. All of these important details will be necessary when filing a claim.
6. File a claim.
Once you have all of the necessary information, you’ll need to contact your insurance company and file a claim. Be sure you tell your insurance company you were hit by an uninsured driver, since this will impact the entire process.