Every driver is required to have automobile insurance and to have a certain amount of coverage. But that doesn’t mean that every driver does. Some drivers just don’t want to get insurance, and other drivers can’t afford to do so. Some drivers can’t get insurance because they aren’t supposed to be driving – so they are out there driving illegally and doing so without insurance.
If you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, you may be unsure of what to do. Here’s what a Mesa personal injury lawyer would tell you:
Steps to Take after the Accident
Whether the other driver has insurance or not, there are a few things that you should do right after the accident to protect yourself. First, call the police so that a report can be filed. Even if you don’t think that the accident is severe or that your injuries are serious, you need to file a police report. You never know what may be discovered later – serious internal injury or a mechanical problem with your car because of the accident – and having that initial police report will help you to document what happened so you can get the appropriate compensation.
The police officer will collect the contact information from the driver, but you should also. That way, you can get in touch with the driver if you need to before you get back the copy of the accident report.
You should also collect any evidence you can while you are at the scene, including pictures, photos, and the contact information of any witnesses. This evidence may be useful if you have to bring a personal injury lawsuit later.
If you are dealing with an uninsured driver, the person may try to offer you direct compensation for the damages or may even try to bribe you to not call the police so they don’t get in trouble. Never accept money or a bribe from the other driver. Accepting a bribe could land you in legal trouble, and accepting payment for repairs or injuries could limit your ability to collect later if the damages are found to be more than thought.
Options for Suing for Compensation
Typically, if you are in an accident that is not your fault, the other driver’s insurance company would pay for your damages. But if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your options are going to be limited. You can sue the driver directly, but your ability to collect may be limited since the driver may not have much in savings or assets. Your personal injury attorney serving Mesa will explore all options for collecting from the person to ensure that you get the most of what you deserve.
The other option may be to sue your own insurance company for the additional compensation. What you are able to get will depend upon the circumstances of your accident and the details of your insurance policy. However, your personal injury attorney in Mesa may be able to find exceptions in our policy that make your insurance company liable for paying you damages after the accident.
You can protect yourself against losses in an accident with an uninsured driver by being proactive. Talk to your insurance company about getting uninsured motorist coverage. The policy would cover you against damage in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and you will have recourse to sue the insurance company for additional payment.
You should also look into underinsured motorist coverage. You may be in an accident with a driver who has insurance, but the insurance limits may not be high enough to cover the damages in the accident. The underinsured coverage would fill in the gaps so that you are fully compensated.
Even with these insurance policies, you may find that you are not getting compensated fairly. You should always talk to a Mesa personal injury lawyer after your accident to learn what your rights are and what you should expect in a settlement.
The attorneys at Rasmussen Injury Law are ready to help you if you have been injured in an accident in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Our attorneys will explore all the legal options available to you, and help you build a strong case to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries and the damages to your property. Call us today to talk with an injury lawyer about your accident and learn about your legal options.