It’s every motorist’s worst nightmare: you’re just minding your own business when–boom!–out of nowhere a car rams into yours from behind. You get out to assess the damage, only to see the other driver speed off. It doesn’t take you long to realize that the other driver wasn’t insured, and now you’re liable for what looks like a costly repair.
Even if you didn’t suffer an injury during the car accident, this can be a costly, time-consuming, stressful event to deal with.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll discuss what to do if you’re involved in a car accident with another driver that wasn’t insured, and when to hire a skilled Pensacola accident attorney to help.
Let’s dive in.
5 Actions to Take After a Hit-and-Run
Experiencing a hit-and-run accident can be incredibly jarring. Keep calm and take these 5 steps to protect yourself and your passengers:
1. Secure the location
The priority after an accident like this is to ensure that everyone involved is safe. If your car is still driveable, move it to a safe location out of the flow of traffic. Make sure that witnesses, pedestrians, and anyone else involved are standing in a safe location, away from the flow of traffic.
2. Call the police
Contact the police to report the hit-and-run and summon all necessary medical personnel. Even if the accident was minor, you must contact the police to secure an accident report, which will allow you to file a claim with your insurance later.
3. Stay where you are
You’re unhurt and your car is still driveable. Should you go after the other driver and attempt to chase them down? The answer is always no. The risks of a car chase are far greater than the possible perks of catching the guilty driver.
Instead, stay where you are and make note of every detail you can remember about the incident, including the make, model, and color of the other car; the car’s license plate number; the driver’s appearance and physical characteristics; and the circumstances surrounding the crash.
4. Go to the doctor
Even if the accident seemed minor and you do not need ambulance transport to the hospital, you should visit a doctor anyway. Some injuries, like whiplash and spinal fractures, can take days or even weeks to present symptoms. Visiting the doctor quickly is essential to protect your health and make sure you’re not missing any underlying injuries that resulted from the crash.
5. Hire an attorney
Figuring out how to pay for the damages caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver can be incredibly stressful. While you do have some options, you’ll need a skilled accident attorney to help you navigate them. Contact an attorney as quickly as possible after the accident to ensure you’re not missing out on any opportunities or statutes of limitation timelines.
What NOT to do After an Uninsured Accident
Now that we’ve gone over what you should do after a hit-and-run, let’s discuss things to avoid at all costs:
- Don’t panic. Don’t admit fault. Also, don’t agree to a private payment arrangement until you have all the facts regarding the extent of the damage and possible injuries. Uninsured motorists often make pleas for sympathy after an accident. As kind-hearted as you may be, you have to ensure YOUR financial wellbeing is not at risk during this process. There may be provisions built into YOUR insurance policy that will protect you after impacts with an uninsured motorist. As such, you may not need to “settle” with the other driver on the spot.
- Don’t wait to file an accident claim. Once you have an accident report in hand, you’ll need to file a claim with your car insurance company. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the crash and follow the steps they recommend. They may require you to work with an insurance adjuster, either over the phone or in-person to accurately detail all damages.
- Don’t avoid hiring an attorney. If you experienced an injury, you need to hire a personal injury attorney to protect your financial interests. The longer you wait to take this step, the more likely it is that you’ll miss out on the payment or settlements you deserve.
Can you Get Compensation After an Accident With a Motorist Who Wasn’t Insured?
The answer is: it depends.
Some auto insurance policies provide uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage kicks in if you suffer an injury at the hands of a driver who does not have auto insurance.
While not all states require uninsured motorist coverage (including Florida), most drivers can purchase it at an additional cost. While the additional coverage may not seem necessary, it will cover damage to your vehicle and compensate you for injuries suffered in an accident.
Other policies, like collision insurance or health insurance, may also kick in to provide coverage after an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Getting Hit by a Motorist Who Wasn’t Insured Isn’t Necessarily the End
If you were hit by a motorist who wasn’t insured, you’re probably wondering what comes next. Fortunately, you don’t need to go it alone.
Here at Ward & Barnes, we provide car accident representation for people hit and injured by uninsured motorists and more. To learn more about our services or our team, contact us today.
Even when you’ve been hit by a car that wasn’t insured, we can help!