By law, in the state of California, you need at least some insurance coverage to legally operate a vehicle. However, not everyone follows the law. Unfortunately for you, if you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it can make the aftermath a bit more complicated.
Knowing how to respond when you crash with a driver who does not have automobile insurance can help you identify your next steps. Using care, you can avoid mistakes that could disrupt your effort to get compensation.
Take detailed notes
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you should still call the authorities. They can write a report that corroborates your story which may support your claim. While at the scene of the accident, document details including the following:
- Date and time
- Vehicle description
- Other driver’s contact information
- The extent of property damage
File a claim
The notes you take at the scene of the accident can provide considerable support when you call to file a claim with your insurance company. According to American Family Insurance, never accept money from the other driver. Uninsured drivers may panic about the legal repercussions of not having insurance and try to prevent you from reporting the situation in exchange for monetary gifts. This type of agreement could leave you high and dry if your vehicle’s repairs and your medical bills exceed the amount of money, they gave you.
When you contact your insurance company, you will want to give them all of your notes, any investigative reports and the contact information of the uninsured motorist. Refrain from explaining how the accident happened and instead present your insurance company with the facts you gathered at the scene. Allow them to reach their own conclusion. Your vigilance in carefully reporting your situation may help you acquire the compensation you deserve. If you experience ongoing problems, you may choose to enlist the help of a legal professional to guide you through alternative solutions.