No matter what type of accident you’re involved in – whether it’s driving into a stationary object or a collision with another vehicle – can be traumatizing, and they happen more frequently than you may think. In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 42,915 people died in road traffic collisions 2021, and there were hundreds of thousands of crashes across the US. Still, there is a 1:6,478 chance of being involved in a car accident, so the chances are still relatively thin in terms of odds.
When you are involved in an accident, there are a few essential – some law requiring – steps to take. One is contacting insurers to notify them of the accident and begin a claim. But what do you do if the other driver has no insurance? Let’s explore.
Reporting The Incident To The Police
The first thing you should do if you’re involved in an accident you deem serious is to file a police report. Sometimes, you might feel that the incident is simple enough to handle at the roadside. For example, if someone has lightly scraped your car when reversing from a car parking spot, you might be able to swap details and repair the minor scratches without police involvement.
More serious offenses, such as accidents that cause injury or heavy damage to the car, should be reported to the police. Chances are, the police will arrive at the scene anyway. Taking photos and making notes can help with the incident report. When reporting it to the police, you’ll need to explain the incident, hand over your details, and the police will also search the details of the other driver. Whether they’re at fault or not, they’ll get a ticket for up to $5,000, depending on the state.
If you’re at fault for the accident, you’ll still need to report it to the police or fully co-operate with their investigations.
How To Handle Insurance Claims
Whether you’re at fault or not, a collision with an uninsured driver is not as straightforward when making an insurance claim. To claim on the insurance policy when the other driver isn’t insured, you often need to have either uninsured driver coverage or collision insurance. Both are added extras that you can pay to include on a standard insurance policy. Without either, insurance companies might not pay out if you’re involved in an accident where the other driver is uninsured.
The two bolt-ons work differently. Uninsured motorist coverage helps drivers pay for the cost of damage repairs and medical bills up to the limits of a policy. Collision insurance covers drivers in instances where either driver is at fault; collisions with stationary objects, a single-vehicle accident like a car roll, or hitting an uninsured driver without uninsured driver coverage. It’s worth noting that collision insurance doesn’t cover the costs of the damages to the other vehicle.
When contacting insurance companies, you will need to state how the accident happened, what the suspected damages are, and who was at fault – and you’ll often need to discuss your policy and how much you need to pay the insurance company to handle the claim. You will have set the excess when taking out the insurance policy, and so will the company. Remember, there is both voluntary and involuntary excess to pay.
Can You Use Your Health Insurance?
Sometimes, it’s possible to claim through your health insurance, but this will only be for medical claims. Some full coverage motor insurance premiums will cover medical bills, but not all of them. If you live in a no-fault car insurance state, the company you have your motor insurance with should pay for your medical bills.
Living in a state that doesn’t follow mandatory no-fault rules means drivers might have to purchase personal injury protection or medical payments coverage. Again, these will only cover the medical bills.
Consider Contacting A Trusted Motor Accident Attorney
Dependent on how serious the incident was and whether the law was broken, you may want to consider working with a motor attorney. A motor accident attorney can help you get the best possible outcome when claiming a motorist without insurance. They can help you make sense of insurance documents, tell you what claims you can make, help you gather the information needed to make a claim, and handle any court cases.
The legal processes involved with claiming against someone – especially if the collision resulted in serious damages – can be complex. Motor accident attorneys can make the process easier to handle.
Motor accidents evoke many emotions, from stress to panic, so it’s always handy to have a guide to help you through. Accidents involving uninsured drivers often cause additional stress but remember that multiple agencies will work to help you, from your insurance company to the police.