Auto accidents are never fun, but they are especially stressful when someone doesn’t have insurance. Although most people in the U.S. have car insurance, around 12.6% of drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council. And with nearly 14,386 auto accidents happening every day, the chances of being in an accident without insurance are pretty high.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. There are some steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible. Read on to learn what to do if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Steps To Take If You Have an Accident and Don’t Have Insurance
1. Get the Other Driver’s Contact and Insurance Information
If you’re involved in an accident with another driver, the first thing you should do is exchange information. You’ll need to get their:
- Full name
- Contact information (phone number, email, etc.)
- Insurance company name and policy number
You should also try to get the other driver’s license plate number. If they refuse to give you this information, call the police.
It’s important to get this information so you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your car insurance company may still be liable for damages under what’s known as an uninsured motorist clause.
2. Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
If you have a camera or smartphone, take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to get photos of:
- The damage to both vehicles
- The position of the vehicles
- Any visible injuries
- The surrounding area, including skid marks, road signs, and traffic lights
These photos will be helpful when you’re filing a claim with the insurance company.
3. Call the Police
Even if the accident isn’t serious, it’s a good idea to call the police. They can help sort out the details of what happened and file a report. This report can be used as evidence when you’re making a claim with the insurance company.
4. Go to the Doctor
If you were injured in the accident, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, they may get worse over time. And, if you wait too long to seek medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries aren’t related to the accident.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have car insurance, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They can help you file a claim and get the repairs you need. Even if you don’t have car insurance, you may still be able to file a claim with your state’s insurance commissioner. Each state has a different process, so be sure to check with your state’s insurance department for more information.
6. Hire a Lawyer
If you’re having trouble getting the insurance company to pay your claim, you may need to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company and get the compensation you deserve.
What If You’re at Fault for the Accident?
The answer to this question depends on the state you live in. There are basically two types of states when it comes to car insurance:
- No-fault car insurance state: In these states, if a person gets injured in a car accident, their own insurance company will pay for their medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The injured driver can’t name you as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Fault car insurance state: In these states, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the other driver’s medical bills and property damage. The injured driver can also sue you in a personal injury lawsuit to collect additional damages, such as pain and suffering.
If you live in a fault car insurance state, and you’re at fault for an accident, you may be sued by the other driver. If this happens, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to defend yourself in court.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Contact Schibell Law Today
If you’re a New Jersey auto accident victim, contact Schibell Law today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve, even if you’re slightly at fault for the accident. Our New Jersey legal team is here to pursue damages on your behalf so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Get in touch with us today at 732-774-1000 to learn more.