What To Do If You Get In A Crash Without Insurance
According to some car insurance industry estimates, average drivers will be in three to four auto accidents in their lifetimes, with an average of one collision every 18 years. Most of these crashes are not fatal, and many don’t involve any serious car accident injuries—think fender benders, slow-speed collisions in parking lots, and collisions with motionless objects, for example—but they can be costly. The estimate of one crash every 18 years per driver is based on industry data regarding the total number of insurance claims filed compared to the average number of claims filed by each driver over the course of their lives. According to the Insurance Research Council, 13.8 percent of drivers in the United States had no auto insurance in 2009, although the percentage varies from state to state, up to about 25 percent of drivers.
Odds are, you will experience an auto accident, but you have better than an 85-percent chance that your accident won’t involve an uninsured motorist—unless you are the uninsured motorist, of course. Whether you or the other driver is uninsured, this presents unique legal difficulties that can make it difficult for you to handle the case on your own. In this type of situation, a car accident lawyer at The Advocates can help you navigate the legal system and come out of the situation without a huge amount of debt.
Here are five important steps to take if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured or under-insured driver:
Call the police.
Whether you are in a small fender-bender or a more serious car accident, it’s imperative that you always file a police report. That way, you’ll have official documentation regarding which driver was at fault, the extent of property damage to both vehicles, the injuries those involved sustained, and other key details that you may need in court. It is especially important that you file a police report when the other driver is uninsured or under-insured. If there is no record of the damage to the vehicles and the injuries sustained during the crash, you’ll have a very difficult time winning your case if you have to go to court.
Get the other driver’s information.
Similar to a police report, getting the other driver’s information is critical for a successful resolution to the situation. Regardless of whether the other driver has adequate insurance, is under-insured, or is uninsured, you need the other person’s information to move forward with any civil actions. It’s also possible that your car insurance company will not pay out your uninsured motorist compensation without a signed statement from the other party attesting to their lack of insurance. Without the other party’s information, you could have a difficult time finding that person again. If they aren’t around, you won’t be able to file a case with the courts.
Contact your insurance company to see what your UIM/UM coverage actually includes.
If you don’t already know the details of your insurance coverage, it’s a great idea to contact your insurance company after an accident for details about your coverage and your insurance company’s policies regarding payouts for collisions with uninsured drivers.
Get a physical exam from your doctor.
Although you and your vehicle can come through an auto crash looking okay, there may be hidden problems that will only manifest themselves later. It’s important to have yourself examined for any type of injuries you may have sustained. You should also take your car to a mechanic for an inspection to uncover any hidden damage to your vehicle.
Call a car accident attorney.
Insurance claims and court cases regarding collisions with uninsured drivers can be difficult to handle on your own. In most cases, you will benefit from hiring an auto accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah. No matter what you think about the incident, it’s always wise to get expert advice before you proceed with dealing with the situation, or you could make a critical error that may affect your ability to get the compensation you’re due. Anytime you need legal advice, call our expert car accident attorneys at The Advocates at (801) 383-2387.