What To Do If An Uninsured Motorist Hits You

5:41 PM

What To Do If An Uninsured Motorist Hits You

When you get into a car accident, the insurance company of the driver at fault usually pays for the damages. 

But what do you do when you get into a collision with someone who doesn't have insurance?

Even though most states in the US require drivers to have car insurance, some people still drive illegally without liability insurance.

It can be a huge pain to get the money you need for repairs if you get into an accident with such a person. Here's a quick rundown on what to do if an uninsured motorist hits you.

What to Do If an Uninsured Motorist Hits You

1. Stay calm.

The first thing you should do is the same thing you do after an accident: stay calm and make sure everyone is alright. 

Car crashes are often extremely frightening, and it can be difficult to make smart decisions when you have adrenaline pumping through your body. 

Take a moment to catch your breath, calm yourself down, and make sure that you and your passengers are alright.

Once you're sure that nobody needs to call an ambulance, then it's time to start figuring out the next steps.

2. Determine fault. 

Where you live is relevant to this - are you in a tort state or a no-fault state? 

38 of the 50 states in the US are tort states, which means that the driver at fault is the one who has to pay for all the damages. 

If you live in a tort state, it's important that you make sure your insurance company knows you weren't at fault for the accident. 

If you end up on the hook for the collision, your rates could skyrocket. 

If you live in a no-fault state, your insurance company is going to have to pay for the damages to your car no matter what.

3. Call authorities.

Once you've determined who's at fault, it's usually a good idea to get the police involved, especially if you suspect the other driver may be uninsured. 

Insurance companies are often skeptical of claims involving uninsured motorists since they don't have a way to confirm what happened with the other driver's insurance company. 

The best way to fix this is to have a police report. 

The police can act as a third party and confirm that what you're telling the insurance company is true. They can also help you confirm whether or not the other driver is telling the truth about their insurance.

4. File a claim.

With your police report in hand, the next step is to go ahead and officially file a claim. You don't have to do this right away, but you should make sure it's done as soon as possible. 

Many insurance companies only give you 30 days to file a claim, otherwise, you get nothing. Make sure your insurance company has the police report you got from the scene of the accident so they can confirm what you're telling them. 

Try to collect as much information as you can about the other driver, just in case. This can go a long way for your claim.

If you file a claim but don't get enough money to pay for your repair and medical bills, you may want to consider taking the other driver to small claims court. If you need guidance on how to go to small claims court and get what you are owed, there are experts who can assist you.

Whether or not this is a good idea will depend on your situation as well as theirs, so it's best to talk to a lawyer before taking that step.

Drive safely and remember these four tips so you'll know what to do the next time an uninsured motorist hit you.

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