Any car accident is upsetting and disruptive, but getting in an accident with an uninsured driver is even more so. California law requires drivers to have insurance to cover injuries or damages that they are liable for in a car accident. Not all Californians follow this law, though, which means that there is a risk you could get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
First Things to Do After an Accident
The first thing to do after an accident is to make sure no one has been hurt, both in your own vehicle and in any other vehicles that were involved. Call the police and call for medical assistance if anyone needs immediate attention.
Exchange information with the other driver. Even if he or she doesn’t have insurance, you will need the driver’s license number, address, phone number, and email address. Keep a record of all the information that you need to know in order to explain what happened to the police. Write down important details that you will need to include in your report, such as weather conditions, as well.
Take photographs of both vehicles as well as any skid marks. It’s a good idea to take pictures of the other driver’s license plate. Obtain contact information from any witnesses and use your cell phone to record witness statements at the scene of the accident.
Additional Actions to Take
If there is any chance that you have been hurt, it’s important to be medically evaluated. Symptoms of an injury may show up a day or two after an accident. What seems to be a small twinge could actually be something much more serious.
Call your insurance company. Let it know that you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver. Your policy may include coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists, so check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you have.
If you don’t have coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists, you may be able to sue the other driver. In most cases, people who don’t carry insurance coverage don’t have a lot of funds, and that’s why they didn’t pay for coverage. But you may be able to set up a payment plan through the courts.
Protecting Yourself From Uninsured Drivers
If your policy doesn’t have coverage for uninsured drivers, talk to your agent about adding this coverage for any future incidents. An accident can happen at any time, and as many as one in eight drivers in America is uninsured. If you choose not to carry this coverage, you are taking the risk of having to pay for damages that were caused by someone else.
Uninsured motorist coverage covers your passengers as well as other drivers who drive your vehicle. It also covers you if you are injured when you are a bystander, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Accident
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you may be able to obtain compensation for injuries and damages, but there is also the possibility that your insurance company will attempt to avoid having to pay. It may try to minimize the amount that you receive or avoid providing coverage at all.
Before you accept whatever the insurance company offers, it’s a good idea to talk to an expert personal injury lawyer. In this way, you will know for sure that your interests are protected, and you’ll have a better chance of obtaining the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Megeredchian Law using the form on this page, and we will get back to you very soon.