Although almost every state has a minimum insurance requirement you must meet before driving behind the wheel of a car, there are still many people who drive without it—illegally. According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 1 in 8 drivers doesn’t have auto insurance. Even if you have insurance and follow the rules of the road, you’re still vulnerable to accidents with an uninsured driver.
If this happened to you, stay calm and follow these tips:
- Call the police. If you get into a car accident, regardless if the other person has insurance or not, it’s always a good idea to call the police. But if you’re dealing with an uninsured driver, calling the police is even more important, since their report will help get your expenses covered and make the claims process with your own insurance smoother.
- Don’t accept money. Since the other driver doesn’t have insurance, they could face some hefty fines and fees — which means they might try to offer you money to avoid legal consequences. At this point you probably have no idea what your damages or injury costs will come to, so even if it seems like a good deal at the time, hold off and don’t accept money.
- Gather details. Get the make and model of the vehicle involved, time and location of the accident, and the name and badge number of the responding officer. Also make sure to swap information with the other driver. Even if they don’t have insurance information to give you, you’ll still want to get their contact details.
- Take pictures. You’ll want to capture any damage done to your car and the other vehicle, the other driver’s license plate, traffic signs and the direction each vehicle was traveling. All of these are important details that will come in handy when filing a claim.
Now that you have all of the information you need, you’ll want to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to inform them of the accident. Make sure to mention that you were hit by an uninsured driver, since that’ll affect the entire process.
The good news is there’s a way to be proactive about your protection in the event you were to be hit by someone without auto insurance: uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is additional coverage that you can purchase from your insurance company. UM coverage protects you when you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have car insurance and who is found to be at fault for the accident. While this is optional coverage in Pennsylvania, you’ll be happy you have this additional coverage, since your insurance provider will step in and pay for damages sustained in the accident. It’ll help cover any medical expenses and loss of income, among other expenses.
If you were injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, it may be time to contact an experienced team of attorneys about your options. For a free consultation with our team, contact us today.