Your Guide to Being Reimbursed After an Uninsured Accident
Every state requires that you carry at least a minimum amount of liability insurance. The reason is simple: if you hit someone else, you need to be able to cover the costs of damages. The good news is that most of us (87% of drivers) do carry insurance. But that means that 1 in 8 drivers on the road are uninsured.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, it can potentially be a bit of an uphill battle to collect the money required to fix the damages to your vehicle. If there are injuries and other non-economic costs associated; it’s going to be even harder. As your car accident attorney, we’re here to help; listed below are a few of your options.
Quick Guide after an Uninsured Motorist Accident
Before we jump right into your options for recouping your losses after an uninsured motorist accident, we want to make sure that you have the right procedure to follow. This can help your case if you end up filing a lawsuit with a car accident attorney.
Record a Video – Immediately after the accident, start a video recording with your phone. If you have a shirt pocket, put the phone in there, then go speak with the other driver. Many people will admit fault at the time while their adrenaline is running, and then change their story later. You want them recorded admitting fault.
Take Pictures – Make sure you have all the evidence documented in pictures.
Call the Police – If you even suspect the other driver doesn’t have insurance (and especially if they admit to it), you want a police report on file to help your case.
Exchange Information – Without insurance, the other driver may attempt to “hide.” With all of their information, it will be easier to track them down later.
Contact an Attorney – Even if things work out for the best, give Zach Herbert a call. Having all of the details will help your car accident attorney if a lawsuit is filed.
Now comes the hard part. If you are injured, or a passenger in your vehicle is injured, doing all of this is going to be the last thing on your mind. Hopefully it doesn’t come to this, but if it does; preparation is key to ensuring that you are made whole again after the accident.
Make Sure that You have UM and UIM Coverage
Uninsured motorist (UM) and Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages are available from nearly every insurance plan out there. These coverages are designed to protect your health and well-being in case you were hit by someone without adequate coverage.
While this type of coverage provided by your insurance company can help, they may not be enough to cover all of the costs (especially if someone died in the accident). Furthermore, they almost never cover damage to your vehicle.
Check if Your Policy Allows UMPD Coverage
In order to have your vehicle repaired (or replaced) after an accident with someone that doesn’t have insurance, you want to see if your policy has Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage. It’s usually a low cost option to protect your own property without having to go through a car accident attorney.
Use Your Policy’s Collision Coverage
While it is not the most ideal way to recoup losses after being hit, you can use your own policies collision coverage to do so. The downfall: you have to pay your deductible, and your rates may go up. If you have exhausted other methods, or there doesn’t appear to be any recourse from using a car accident attorney, this may be the only way you can avoid paying for the repairs completely out of pocket.
Use a Personal Injury Attorney to Sue the Other Driver
A personal injury attorney, especially one that specializes in car accidents, may be your best option for recovering damages. You may run into some problems even going this route though. You can only collect on a settlement, if the guilty party has assets to settle with. If they have chosen not to drive with insurance, it’s likely they won’t have anything with which they can pay.
Contact Zach Herbert Car Accident Attorney
Our goal is to make sure that you are well taken care of after a car accident. Often that means standing up for you when someone who is at fault is not paying their fair share.
If you have been in an accident, whether with an uninsured motorist, or with anyone else, and you don’t feel that you have been treated fairly, then we need to talk. Herbert & Eberstein is licensed in both Texas and Oklahoma and we help with your car accident needs.