There are certain things you should do if you get in a car accident with someone without insurance. You can check out our guide here to learn more.
6 million Americans get into a car accident every year.
And while it is required that drivers do have insurance, not everyone follows this rule. So, what happens if you get into a car accident with someone without insurance? Who pays for your car to get fixed and any medical bills you might accrue on top of it?
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what to do in that situation, and what your rights are.
Read on for crucial information on what to do should you find yourself in this position.
If You’re in a Car Accident with Someone Without Insurance, Look at Your Own Insurance Policy
Because the other driver doesn’t have insurance, there’s typically no one to bill to cover the cost of repair or medical bills. That’s where your own insurance comes in.
Some states require that you have uninsured motorist coverage or UIM. Washington, however, is not one of them. You can see what’s required by state in this article.
While not all states require you have UIM coverage, all states are required to offer it to you when you take out a policy. If you have the coverage, you can claim up to your total liability coverage per accident, but not more.
So, if you find out the other party has no coverage, your first port of call will be your own insurance.
Score! They Have Insurance….But Is It Enough?
Just because the other party has insurance doesn’t mean they have enough insurance. What does this mean?
In some states, there’s only a bare minimum insurance required for a driver to get on the road. If this is your state, that means that just because the person you got in a collision with has insurance, it doesn’t mean they have enough to cover the accident.
As such, you’ll need to speak to the other party or their insurance company immediately to figure out if you’ll be covered. If not, you can use your own UIM insurance coverage.
But, you’ll need to be sure that you make the claim in a timely manner. Not all insurance companies allow you to make a claim after a certain amount of time, typically 30 days. Because of this, you’ll need to follow up as soon as possible, and not let the time roll by.
If You Live in a No-Fault State
In no-fault states, your insurance will still have to pay some of your bills no matter what happened. They will still be responsible for a portion of things like car repair and lost earnings.
You can view a list of no-fault states here. Washington isn’t one of them, though. If you don’t live in a no-fault state, the person who is at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying for most of the repair work and lost wages.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver?
You’ve probably heard a lot about car accident lawsuits, especially if you watch a lot of day time TV. And while suing someone is an option, there are some reasons why it may not be the best idea in this case.
In no-fault states, lawsuits are very difficult to carry out. This is because by law, neither party is actually at fault for the accident. As such, a judge can’t really decide who to hold responsible in court.
If you sustained very serious injuries and require help with medical bills, or someone died in the accident, there may be recourse. Otherwise, it’s not the best plan of action.
Additionally, when you sue someone for a car accident, you’re typically suing the other person’s insurance. When someone doesn’t have insurance, you’re simply suing the other person. Most people don’t have access to huge amounts of money.
Therefore, if you sue someone for $300,000 in medical bills, you made find yourself unable to collect even if you win. If they don’t have the money, they don’t have it.
What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident
But, if you are in a car accident, you should immediately stop the car, get out and call the police. Do not apologize, as this can be used as an admission of guilt.
Take as many photos of the accident, injuries and damage to the car as possible.
Get as many details as you can, including the model and make of the car, as well as the other car’s driver’s license. You should also exchange details with the other driver. Even if they don’t have insurance, you should still get their phone number and other contact information.
Lastly, never accept money from someone after an accident. Because you won’t know how much everything will cost, you don’t want to accept money that doesn’t cover everything you need.
Getting Into an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Getting into a car accident with someone without insurance is extremely stressful. But, thankfully, you do have some recourse and you can get your bills paid. Make sure you work with your own insurance company and make your claims as fast as possible to avoid being denied for being too late.
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