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You’re in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver – What To Do Next?

    3 minute read

    There are fewer events in life that can ruin your day faster than being involved in an auto accident. Even more maddening is to discover that the person who caused the crash does not have any auto insurance.

    car accident and two men arguingSadly, this is an all-too common occurrence in California these days. That’s because one out of every four drivers in the Golden State does not have the minimum auto insurance as required by state law (which is well above the national average of 14%). And in periods where the economy is struggling, drivers sometimes forgo auto insurance for financial reasons.

    Hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about an accident with an uninsured motorist. But if this does happen to you, here a few suggestions on what to do:

    Tips if Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

    1. Move your vehicle out of traffic. If no one is injured and your vehicle is drivable, California law requires you to move your car to the shoulder or into a driveway or parking lot instead of remaining in traffic. It’s also much safer for you and your passengers.

    2. Be aware of the other driver’s (possible) machinations. Driving without insurance in California can result in suspension of your driver’s license. Given this possibility, uninsured drivers who are involved in a collision may try to employ various tactics to get themselves out of the situation. This may range from trying to flee the accident scene to lying about the incident to offering you cash to not report the accident.

    3. Don’t accept any money. It may be appealing to take the money and forget that this problem ever happened. But it’s unlikely that the money will cover your repairs, and you’ll effectively give up any recourse you might have to obtain compensation later if the uninsured motorist vanishes.

    police officer writing a ticket4. Call 911. Obviously, you should do this if someone needs medical attention. But calling the police to the scene will also generate a record of the crash in the form of a police report, which will help document the fact that you were not at fault.

    5. Exchange information. Get the uninsured motorist’s name, address, phone number, and other contact information. Ask to see a driver’s license if you think that the individual is trying to conceal his or her identity. Also write down the make, model, and color of the offending vehicle. (If the person becomes combative when obtaining this information, don’t press it; let the police take care of it.)

    6. Document the crash scene. If there are witnesses, get their accounts of what happened as well as their contact information. If possible, take photos or videos with your cell phone camera to record injuries to you and your passengers, damage to your vehicle, and skid marks and other physical evidence.

    7. Keep track of medical expenses. Once you leave the accident site, be sure to document any health care expenses you incur. Encourage any injured passengers to do the same. You’ll need this data to support your claim.

    8. Contact your insurer. If you have uninsured motorist insurance, you must file a claim to get reimbursed for medical costs and vehicle damage. If you don’t have this coverage, you can at least inform your insurer that the crash was not your fault — which may prevent a hike in your insurance premiums. Just know that your company will conduct it’s own investigation to determine fault.

    damaged cars after an accident with an uninsured driver9. Get a repair estimate. Find out how much it will cost to fix your vehicle.

    After reading all of this, you might see the benefits of obtaining uninsured motorist insurance so you won’t be on the hook for what could be thousands of dollars in repair costs (or even more for medical bills). This coverage is likely not as expensive as you might think, so why not contact Auto Insurance Specialists to see about getting an affordable policy that suits your needs? It might make one of the worst days of your life a little more bearable.

    This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.