Car accidents can be traumatic and overwhelming, but the situation becomes even more complicated if the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance. Dealing with an uninsured driver adds an extra layer of stress, but it’s crucial to stay calm and take the following steps to protect yourself and your interests.
Stay Calm and Gather Information
As with any accident, the first step is to remain calm. Check yourself and others for injuries and call for medical assistance if needed. Although it can be extremely frustrating when an at-fault driver is uninsured, try not to get angry or discuss fault. Exchange contact information with them because you will still need their name, phone number, and address for legal purposes. Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any visible damages. These photos can serve as valuable evidence later on. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information as well.
Notify Law Enforcement
No matter the severity of the accident, notify the police. They will create an official accident report, which can be vital for an insurance claim or taking legal action. The police report can help determine who was at fault in the accident and help the claims process go more smoothly.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine after the accident, seek medical attention immediately after leaving the scene. Some injuries can take time to exhibit symptoms, and having a medical record is critical if you need to make an insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Reach out to your own insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Even though the other driver is uninsured, you may have coverage options that can help with repairs and medical expenses.
For example, if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your policy, this coverage can help pay for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages if you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Additionally, if you carry collision coverage, you are able to file a claim under your policy regardless of who was at fault. However, you will be responsible for your deductible in either of these scenarios.
Keep a detailed record of all communications related to the accident. This includes emails, phone calls, and any paperwork you receive or send to your insurer. These records can be invaluable if you need to prove your case later on. In addition, keep copies of medical records, prescription medication receipts, repair estimates, and any other accident-related expenses.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney in Fresno
Contact a Fresno uninsured/underinsured accident attorney, especially if significant damages or injuries are involved. They can advise you on the best course of action, which might include pursuing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. In addition, a lawyer can determine whether any other parties are liable, whether there are additional options for compensation, and can handle the entire claims process for you.