What Happens if I Crash and the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Car accidents are already stressful events. They’re even worse if one driver doesn’t have insurance. If you were involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, don’t panic. You still have options, but it’s important to know what to do.
Uninsured drivers are too prevalent. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), around one in eight drivers is uninsured. Uninsured accidents happen more often than people realize.
If an uninsured driver caused your accident, you have options. It’s also smart to contact a lawyer very soon. To get a FREE consultation with an attorney today, call (214) 305-8277, or contact us online.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance After a Crash
Most states require drivers to carry auto liability insurance. Despite the requirements, many drivers still won’t buy insurance. Or, a driver might get insurance but cancel it after registering their car.
If you live in a fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurance covers accident costs. To help protect injured drivers, insurers offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
All insurance companies must offer you UM coverage. Unless you opted out, you probably have it.
What Happens After an Uninsured Accident
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Your UM coverage should pay for medical costs, property damage, or both.
Sometimes, UM coverage will also help cover lost wages and pain and suffering. Check with your insurance policy and state requirements to know for sure.
If the other driver has no insurance, your insurer should help. You will need to contact your insurance company. Your insurer will investigate the accident and your damages.
You should be able to trust your insurance company. But the sad truth is that insurers care most about their bottom lines. Insurance companies must follow the laws under Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541. If you feel your insurer is not being fair, contact an attorney immediately.
Other Coverage for an Uninsured Accident
Besides UM coverage, you might have other insurance to help your costs:
- Collision coverage pays for vehicle repairs or replacement.
- Medical payments coverage pays medical bills for you and your passengers.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, and other non-medical costs.
You most likely have PIP coverage unless you opted out in writing. Check with your insurance agent if you’re not sure about other insurance types.
What if the Other Driver Has Some Insurance?
Sometimes, the driver is underinsured — He or she has some insurance but not enough to pay for your damages.
Most states require insurers to offer underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. You probably have UIM insurance unless you opted out. UIM coverage pays for the difference if the other driver’s insurance doesn’t cover your costs.
How Much Uninsured Motorist Insurance You Need
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), you might need extra uninsured motorist coverage if:
- You want to ensure long-term medical coverage.
- You have a vehicle with high repair/replacement costs.
Having UM/UIM coverage is a good idea. You never know when an uninsured driver might crash into you. Sufficient coverage protects from paying costs out-of-pocket.
When Uninsured Motorist Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything
If your accident was severe, your UM/UIM insurance might not be enough. If you still have damages, you can sue the other driver.
Your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to seek money from the driver. But keep in mind that uninsured drivers often can’t afford insurance. They might not have much money to draw on.
Talk to your lawyer about the possibility of suing. They can help you decide on the best course of action.
Uninsured Accidents in No-Fault States
If you live in a no-fault state, every driver is responsible for their accident costs. Your insurance company should cover your damages if you crash with an uninsured driver. If you suffer severe injuries, you might be able to sue the driver for additional costs.
What to Do if You Crash with an Uninsured Driver
After any accident, it’s essential to document what happened. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Report the Accident
Call 911 to report the crash to the police. Officers should create a report if the accident resulted in:
- Over $1,000 in property damage.
You’ll need to get a copy of the accident report for your records. The police report is the first official documentation of the crash.
If the other driver has no insurance, they must discourage you from calling the police. They know they’ll face penalties for not carrying insurance. However, reporting the accident protects your rights. Without a police report, you might have trouble proving the crash happened.
Document the Scene
Take pictures of:
- Your injuries.
- Your vehicle damage.
- The entire accident scene.
- Anything else that helps show what occurred.
If the other driver is acting strangely, you might get a video of their behavior. Take a picture of their vehicle and license plate, too. Uninsured drivers are more likely to hit-and-run to avoid consequences.
If anyone else saw the crash, talk to them. Ask what the witness saw and get their contact information. Your lawyer can reach out to witnesses for statements later.
While waiting for the police, exchange the following with the other driver:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Any insurance information
Even if the driver is underinsured, get their insurance information — this will allow you to file a claim with their insurer.
Call Your Insurance Company
If you know the other driver doesn’t have insurance, contact your insurer. Tell them that an uninsured driver hit you.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer
Reach out to an experienced lawyer for help. If the other driver was uninsured, you might have trouble getting the recovery you deserve. Your lawyer can help by:
- Gathering evidence from the scene.
- Making sure you aren’t blamed for the accident.
- Handling insurance companies.
- Keeping track of your damages.
- Helping you build a strong claim.
Get a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Our car accident lawyers can help after an uninsured driver accident. To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (214) 305-8277, or contact us online today. We do not charge a fee unless we win you money.