Take a deep breath and follow these steps
Accidents are the worst. And they can more upsetting when you have a crash and go to exchange insurance information, only to discover that you’ve collided with an uninsured motorist. Even though having insurance is a requirement in most states, there are many folks who aren’t as responsible or law abiding as the rest of us. In fact, it may surprise you to know that in Florida, one in four drivers are uninsured, and there’s a similar ratio in other states.
When you have an accident with one of these individuals, your first reaction may be to panic or get angry. But as easy and understandable as it is to be stressed out, there are steps you can take to handle the situation. Take a look:
Call the police
The moment you have any accident, it’s recommended that you call the police but especially when you collide with an uninsured motorist. The police will create an accident report and a record of the incident which can help you when you try to get repairs or other costs reimbursed. If you can, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks, and the other driver’s car before the authorities arrive.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the other driver may attempt to leave the scene, considering the fact that not having insurance is against the law. Do not move your car or the other’s person’s vehicle from the scene of the accident until the police direct you to do so, unless you are blocking several lanes of traffic or the vehicles are in a precarious position that puts them in danger of further damage by oncoming traffic.
Get emergency help if needed
If you’ve been injured, call 911 even before you call the police, or let the police operator know that you’ve been hurt and need medical attention. If you have uninsured or underinsured coverage, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, so it’s important that a record of your injury is created right away.
Get the other driver’s license number and their personal information, including name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Also be sure to take down their license plate number and the make and model of their vehicle. This information is important in the event that you decide to take further action against the other driver if he or she is at fault.
Call your insurance company
Report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance provider. At this point, if you have uninsured or underinsured coverage on your policy, you can rest assured that any damage to your vehicle and any medical bills that result from an injury in the crash will likely be covered. If you don’t have this type of protection, your insurance company will guide you through the next steps.
Assess your options
If you’ve suffered severe injuries and major damage to your vehicle (or a complete loss), you may decide to sue the other driver for the cost to repair or replace your car and for any medical bills. The only problem with taking that route is that often times uninsured motorists have few, if any assets (they are usually uninsured because they cannot afford insurance). It’s a good idea to do some research or to call an attorney who specializes in this type of law and discuss what your choices may be.
Accidents happen and no matter how big or small the collision, it’s never convenient or easy. But if you have the misfortune of getting into a crash with an uninsured driver, the situation becomes more difficult. You can safeguard yourself by including uninsured coverage in your auto policy. The cost of this additional protection may be worth it when you consider how much you’d have to shell out without it.
If you want to find out more information about uninsured motorist coverage or to get a quote, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form.