Hit by an Uninsured Driver: Here is what you should do
Though a minimum amount of liability auto insurance is a legal requirement in Illinois, there are some drivers behind the wheel without the right insurance. A recent report from Insurance Research Council shows that one in every eight drivers don’t have auto insurance. Even if you are good driver who follows the traffic rules, every time you hit the road you are vulnerable to auto crashes with an uninsured driver.
Getting involved in an auto accident is something no one plans for. If your car is damaged and you got injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, then you can draw comfort in the fact the insurance will take care of it. With the help of an experienced Rockford personal injury lawyer, you can successfully file a personal injury claim and get compensated for all medical-related expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
So what happens if you’re hit by an insured driver? Here are the step by step answers.
- Call the police immediately. Whether or not someone got injured, call 911.
- Get the name and address and driver’s license number of the other driver.
- Get the car license plate number.
- Gather as much information as possible about the other driver and his or her vehicle and put it in writing.
- Write down the events immediately before, during, and after the crash while these memories are still fresh.
- If you have a device with a camera, take photographs of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and other photos of the crash scene.
Some auto accidents are minor while other are severe. When possible, you can still follow the tips given above. However, if you have been injured and can’t move, things might be different. When you gain consciousness, consider getting in touch with your attorney and file a personal injury claim.
You may need to sue the other driver
After getting into an accident with an uninsured driver, you could be left with many bills that are not covered by your insurer. If this happens, your best chance is to launch a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Your attorney can help gather the necessary evidence, determine whether or not you have a valid claim, and build a strong case.
If you’re hit and the other driver speeds off, you may never have the chance to learn if he or she had insurance. In this case, your uninsured driver coverage will kick in and cover your injuries. Some drivers out there could be having some insurance cover, but not enough to cover the damages arising from the accidents they are responsible for. Your liability insurance can top up what the offending driver is able to offer. These are underinsured drivers. Ask your insurance to check if your policy covers underinsured drivers.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, you’re known as the first-party claimant. Your insurer will act on your behalf, as well as the company’s behalf. But if you file a claim for coverage under an uninsured driver policy, you’re treated as a third-party claimant. You and your insurance may be called upon to negotiate a settlement.