Getting into a car or motorcycle accident is a traumatic event all by itself, especially if you endured any injuries or your vehicle was greatly damaged. Luckily, that’s exactly what auto insurance is for – whether it’s your own car insurance or the other person involved, in the case they were at fault. Their insurance will help pay medical bills, get your car back in working order, or to help you get a new car altogether.
But when you find out you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist, or their coverage won’t cover everything, you suddenly feel like your problems have doubled. The same thing goes for a hit-and-run accident, when no one can find the driver that caused the accident because they left the scene.
What do you do when this happens? What steps should you do first, and what can you expect will happen?
Five Steps to Take After an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist
If you’re in a car accident with someone without insurance, or you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, here’s what you should do.
- Call the Police Immediately
Whether the person has insurance or not, call the police after a car accident because it’s important to have everything documented by a third party, and you never know what might happen in the aftermath of a wreck. An accident report will help you get your expenses paid for, whether it’s your insurance or their insurance paying.
- Get as Much Information as Possible
While waiting on the police, or even while they’re examining the scene, make sure you exchange insurance information with the other person involved in the accident. Of course, as mentioned, if they don’t have insurance, then make sure you get as much information from them as possible, like their driver’s license information, address, phone number, place of work – anything that you might need in court. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses that saw what happened, and take as many photos of the scene and the damages involved, including injuries. Take up close pictures and wide-ranging pictures from different angles.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance will be limited by exactly what the coverage on your policy indicates. Hopefully, you’ll have uninsured motorist protection (for both bodily injuries and property damage), which lessens the sting of a car accident with an uninsured driver out a little bit. Even if you don’t have this coverage, which is mandatory in 21 different states, your insurance agent should be able to help you understand what your next steps should be.
- Seek Medical Attention! Check Your Health Insurance Coverage
Get to a doctor as soon as possible to get checked out, as many injuries don’t present themselves immediately, as adrenaline helps disguise them early on. Your health coverage should help pay your bills, but you’ll probably have to pay the deductible out of your pocket.
- Seek Vehicular Attention!
Now it’s time to see what it will cost to get your car fixed. Your insurance agent will help you understand what you have to do. Generally, your car insurance won’t cover all the damages, and you’ll probably have to take the other person to court for compensation.
A good Austin auto accident law firm, like Fears Nachawati, will help you understand what you should do if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Call them at (512) 535-2206, or come talk to them at their offices in Austin on Congress Avenue. You can also visit their offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, as well as in Denver and Tampa.