Let’s say the worst happens and you find yourself in a serious car accident. Even if everything after the crash goes according to plan, it is a difficult and confusing process. But if you add to all this the fact that the other person is not insured, you could be left facing an absolute nightmare.
In order to protect yourself and your rights to compensation, here are some things to keep in mind if the other motorist is not insured.
- Call the police
For your own safety, and for the safety of those around you, pick up the phone. You can let 911 know if there are any injured people or any crimes, driving uninsured being one of them, going on at the scene. Follow the operator’s instructions, and try to make sure you are safely out of harm’s way when you do so.
- Call your insurance.
The other driver does not have a policy, but you do. Let your provider know as soon as possible what has happened and what the situation is with your car and the rest of the vehicles involved in the accident.
- Exchange information
While you won’t be able to get insurance details from them, get the other driver to give you their name, address, phone number, plate number, email, and any other ID information you can get, such as the number on their driver’s license or VIN.
- Hire a trusted attorney
Accidents with the uninsured are notoriously difficult. Don’t try to go it alone. Hiring a well-known professional will help you understand the process, your rights, and your options. Draw on their experience to guide you through this and give you the most useful advice.
- Gather evidence
Take as many photographs of the accident as you can. Look for environmental conditions such as ice, wet pavement, potholes, or any other deterioration in the road. Ask bystanders and passengers to give you their account of what they saw, and ask for their contact information.
- Avoid dealing with the uninsured on your own
A driver without insurance may panic and try to leave. If this happens, try to get any identifying information from the fleeing car, such as license plate number, make and model. However, it is not recommended that you attempt to stop the motorist on your own as they could be armed, violent, or erratic. If the driver does remain on the scene, they may try to offer you money in exchange for your silence. Do not take them up on this. Even if the accident does not seem very severe, you have no idea how your body or car will be doing by the next day, or further down the line. While the situation may evoke sympathy in you, keep in mind that there are laws across the whole country that compel drivers to carry auto insurance. If anything, this could be the wake-up call that the other person needs to become responsible for themselves and their vehicle.