Here's What to do When You're Hit By an Uninsured Driver
Most car accidents come as a shock to the millions of Americans that are involved in them every year. In some cases, these accidents may be as minor as a fender bender. In other cases, they can result in the complete destruction of a vehicle, along with serious injury or death to the people inside.
Many of us know the drill when it comes to exchanging information after being involved in an accident. Swapping insurance information is one of the most vital pieces of information and evidence you can have. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver is at fault, their insurance should pay for your medical and vehicle costs.
However, problems can arise when the other driver doesn't have insurance. In 2018, 1 in 8 drivers did not have insurance. This leaves you with a 13 percent chance of being in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
The following guide provides simple tips on handling a car accident when you're hit by an uninsured driver.
Uninsured Driver Insurance
In Texas, motorists are required to have automobile liability insurance for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person. This means that the person who is injured due to someone else’s negligence is covered.
In addition, insurance companies in Texas are required to offer insurance policies that cover accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists. If you choose not to purchase this, it must be in writing.
While this is only something you can do before an accident occurs, it can save a lot of time and trouble. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance policy will pay any medical or repair claims following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
After an Accident
These steps are even more important if you know you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage. After an accident, make sure to note the other vehicle's plate as quickly as possible. Ask for their name and driver’s license number, if they are willing to give it to you.
In some cases, uninsured drivers will attempt to leave the scene of an accident to avoid liability and potential criminal charges. While you should never leave the scene and try to chase down another vehicle, do try to get their license plate at a bare minimum.
Once you've got a photo or note with the vehicle's license plate, take some pictures of the scene surrounding the accident. Make sure to get photos of any damage to your car and the other vehicle's exterior. If there are tire marks on the road, make sure to include them in any photos. In the event that you need to go to trial with a personal injury attorney, this can be very helpful.
Getting Personal Information
When speaking to the driver, always contact the police first. While most drivers will be relatively friendly following an accident, you want a police report documenting both your stories so your evidence is more concrete later on. Even if it looks like a seemingly minor fender bender, it's still important to call the police to get assistance.
If the driver isn't insured, he or she may still give you a copy of an insurance card. If they provide an insurance card, make sure to verify that it isn't expired. If it is expired, make sure to share that information with the police when they arrive.
If a driver doesn't have insurance, he or she will be responsible for paying the cost of all damages, assuming the accident is their fault. However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will be responsible for paying for damages and medical bills.
Sometimes, unfortunately, insurance companies won’t honor this coverage in good faith. A personal injury attorney can assist you in court during this process and make sure that your insurance company is abiding by all laws and in good faith so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
Getting in an accident with an uninsured motorist can carry many nuances. The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery have over 100 years of experience advocating on behalf of injury victims. We can help make sure you obtain fair compensation from the faulted driver and make sure your insurance company is acting in good faith.
Get the best possible legal representation in your corner.
Contact our firm at (210) 774-6445 to discuss your case today.