All serious car accidents are emotionally overwhelming. However, learning that you were struck by an uninsured motorist or underinsured driver can make a stressful situation even worse.
While it may seem natural to think about who’s going to pay for car repairs and how you’re going to pay your medical bills, there are certain steps you need to take to ensure you will obtain the most favorable settlement possible.
Here are six of the most important steps to follow in the event of an uninsured motorist accident:
- Contact law enforcement – It is always a good idea to contact to police with any type of car accident, especially when it involves an uninsured driver. Having a police report on file can help you get your expenses covered and will make the claims process a whole lot smoother.
- Exchange information with the other party – Although the police will take the other driver’s information, it is imperative that you do the same. In fact, this is part of the process where you might discover that the other motorist doesn’t have any coverage whatsoever. Ensure to get all the information you can regarding the other driver and their vehicle, as well as contact information from any witnesses.
- Call your insurance adjuster – What your insurer will do depends on how much damage was incurred and the specifics of your policy—particularly if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This type of insurance covers you and the passengers in your vehicle who suffer bodily harm caused by a driver with no insurance. If your claim exceeds the limits of your UM coverage, your policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) may cover the rest.
- Take care of yourself – Ensure that you seek immediate medical attention in the event of a serious injury. Even if your injuries are relatively minor, it is wise to visit a doctor. Not only is it important to your health, but having medical records of the accident can help your insurance claim.
- Take care of your car – If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your repairs will likely be covered as though the other driver’s insurance were taking care of it. If you do not have UM coverage, your coverage won’t’ be sufficient enough to cover the full expense of your repairs, which means you might have to seek compensation through other avenues. Keep in mind, an uninsured motorist most likely isn’t in the great financial shape, which means they may not have enough assets to cover the debt.
- Contact a lawyer – In many accident cases involving uninsured, especially if the victim doesn’t have UM coverage, their insurance provider may not offer the most reasonable amount to cover the damages. An attorney can ensure that your rights and best interests are always protected.
At Eliot Reiner APLC, our Sacramento personal injury lawyer has filed claims for many individuals who have been injured by uninsured, underinsured and hit-and-run motorists. Our firm will be happy to speak with you about your accident, and come up with a solution that puts you back on your feet.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.