An accident with an uninsured driver can be incredibly stressful. You may be left wondering how you are going to pay for your injuries and the damage to your car. If you are in this situation, it is important to know the steps to take next.
Try to remain calm, as it is critical to document the scene and gather as much evidence as possible. Call 911 if anyone is injured. Otherwise, notify law enforcement so that they will come out to the scene and create a police report. This step is even more important when the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance since the police report can help make sure the claims process goes smoothly and your expenses get covered. Ask the uninsured driver for their contact information and take down their driver’s license number and the make and model of their vehicle. If the uninsured driver offers you money, hold off on accepting. At this point, there is no way to know the extent of your damages or injury costs, and you may be entitled to much more than they are offering.
Take photos or videos of the final resting positions of the cars after impact, their damage, your injuries, any debris or skid marks, damage to surrounding property, traffic signs, etc. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they are willing to give a short recorded statement on your phone.
If you are not taken to the hospital immediately, the sooner you see a doctor, the better. Even if you feel fine, some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms. In addition, medical documentation to link your injuries and possible injuries to the crash is vital when filing an insurance claim.
Notify your insurer of the accident, but do not make a recorded statement until you speak to an attorney. Depending on your policy, your insurance company may cover your damages. For example, in Missouri and Kansas, drivers must carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. This type of policy can be used to pay for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering caused by another driver who does not carry car insurance.
Unfortunately, most uninsured motorist insurance policies do not cover property damage. As a result, if you do not carry an optional form of coverage that can be used to repair or replace your damaged vehicle, you will be responsible for it out-of-pocket. Optional coverage that pays for property damage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage or collision coverage. However, you may be able to recover full compensation by suing the at-fault driver personally if they have substantial assets.
Schedule a free legal consultation with a St. Louis Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer. They can help you determine your options for recovering compensation to fully cover your losses.