While most states legally require drivers to carry adequate insurance, not all of them do. Car accidents are frightening enough, but the possibility of not having your expenses covered—for an accident that wasn’t even your fault—is often scarier. In a typical accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would be responsible for paying for property damage and medical bills. Who will pay when you’re hit by an uninsured motorist?
Here’s how to handle this frustrating situation.
File a police report
Assuming you don’t need immediate medical attention, the first thing you should do is file a police report. Calling the police after an accident should be your number one priority—never try to handle an uninsured motorist claim on your own.
While you’re on the scene, take as many photos of the scene, the damage and the injuries as possible. Try to capture the weather conditions, any stoplights or stop signs and other factors that could have affected the accident. Make sure to take photos from multiple angles.
Once you’ve filed the police report, ask how you can obtain a copy. Do so as soon as possible.
Call your attorney and file a claim
Your next step is to call your attorney and file a claim with your insurance company. Pennsylvania is one of the few “no fault” states in which you are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which should cover your medical expenses. No matter who was at fault for the accident, you file the claim with your own insurance company.
Your attorney will help you file your insurance claim—they’re skilled at cutting through the red tape and getting the best settlement possible. Many drivers forget that their insurance company doesn’t work for them, despite the fact that they pay the premiums. Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible. Having a skilled attorney on your side makes it easier to get the settlement you deserve.
If your insurance coverage doesn’t cover all of your property damage and medical bills, you can choose to press charges against the other driver. They may be criminally liable as well as civilly liable. Depending on the amount at stake, recouping your money can be done in small claims or traditional civil court.
Keep in mind that many people who drive without insurance may not have the money to pay for your damages. Even if you win your case, you may never see the full judgment. Your attorney will guide you as to the best way to proceed.
Consider uninsured motorist coverage
Finally, you should consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. It’s usually an extra $20 per month, but it can greatly help with covering your costs in the event you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident where the other driver has no insurance, a good attorney can help you get the results you need. Reach out to Rosato Law Offices today to schedule a consultation.