What do I do if an uninsured driver hits me?
Do you know what to do if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver?
We know they’re out there, but you shouldn’t be left dealing with the costs of the damage if the other driver is at fault, but uninsured. The problem is, suing an uninsured driver is not always a good option. This is because usually if the uninsured motorist had the money, they would probably have insurance.
Courts often will not force a losing defendant to pay the final judgment amount if it puts them in hardship, but an Arkansas Personal Injury lawyer can help you with other available options.
HOW TO HANDLE AN ACCIDENT WITH AN UNINSURED DRIVER
To protect yourself and your finances after an auto accident, there are five key steps to take that ensure you receive compensation for your damages and injuries:
- Contact the police to inform them that there has been an accident. Do not move your vehicle or any debris and do not try to negotiate with the other driver before a police officer arrives. If there is a discrepancy in the story both sides tell, it will be important to have the police there to create an accurate report. The police report will also help in establishing fault, while determining if both parties have insurance or not. Your insurance company will need this report to evaluate your future claims.
- Get contact information from the other driver. Even if you know the other driver doesn’t have insurance, take down their name, phone number, and email address. Some insurance companies require the other driver to sign a document stating that they do not have auto insurance before they will pay any kind of uninsured motorist claim.
- Contact your insurance company. After completing the police report and obtaining the driver’s information, notify your insurance provider that you were in an accident in order to file a claim for compensation. If the report establishes that you are not at fault, this will not affect your policy rates. Most car insurance policies have an “uninsured motorist” plan. These plans help you, the policyholder, in cases like this where you get into an accident when the other driver was at fault and doesn’t have insurance.
- Hire a lawyer. You need an Arkansas Personal Injury lawyer with experience in auto accidents who can help protect you whether you decide to sue the uninsured driver or file an uninsured driver claim. Your lawyer can aid in the success of your case by investigating if the other party has funds or assets they are trying to hide from you and the court. They can also help negotiate payment plans with the defendant in order to get you the outcome you deserve.
- File a claim with the insurance company. If suing the uninsured driver is not in your financial best interest, be prepared to enter the claims process with your insurance company. Sometimes, your insurance company will try to allow you the smallest amount available under your policy by minimizing the damages listed in the police report, so having a lawyer there ensures that you are represented accurately and treated fairly by the other driver, your insurance company, and the court.
If you ever find yourself in a car accident with an at-fault, uninsured driver, or are frustrated with your car insurance company’s claims process, contact the auto accident attorneys at Caddell Reynolds or call (800) 889-6944. Our Arkansas Personal Injury lawyers make your success the focus on every case.