What Should I Do If I Was Hit By an Uninsured Driver?
May 30th, 2019 by McNeely | Stephenson
In both Indiana and Kentucky, driving without valid car insurance can result in hefty fines and license suspension; in the Bluegrass State, it can also lead to jail time. Yet the most recent statistics available show that in 2015, 11.5% of Kentucky drivers and 16% of Indiana drivers were getting behind the wheel with no coverage to protect themselves and their victims in the case of an accident.
A car wreck and its aftermath are difficult under any circumstances. But when the other driver lacks auto insurance, you face an additional roadblock to getting the money you need for damage and injuries. That doesn’t mean you are totally out of luck, but it does mean you will have to open a claim with your own insurance company. And don’t assume they have your best interests at heart and will immediately offer the full amount necessary for repairs and recovery (they don’t and won’t).
You will likely have to negotiate with your provider, but it’s not advisable to take on this task alone. An experienced car accident attorney will do the talking for you and ensure you receive the best possible settlement.
What Should I Do at the Scene of the Accident?
You’ve gotten over the initial shock of impact, checked yourself and passengers for obvious injuries, found your insurance card, and gotten out of the car to speak with the other driver. You ask for their insurance information and get the unwelcome news that they have none. So what now?
- Ask for the other party’s personal information — name, phone number, address. It’s also a good idea to collect the contact info of any potential witnesses.
- Call the police. This is important in any accident, but especially so if an uninsured driver is involved. Write down the responding officer’s name and badge number.
- Record the other car’s model, make, color, and license plate.
- Take photos of the accident scene and the damage to both cars.
- Note crash details: time, location, etc.
Uninsured drivers panicked about facing legal repercussions may try to pay you off on the spot. Whatever you do, don’t accept this money. It’s just too early to know your total expenses.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim
If a driver is uninsured, it’s a pretty safe bet that they have few to no assets and suing them directly for damages would be fruitless. If you are a driver in Indiana or Kentucky, you have uninsured motorist (UI) coverage built into your policy unless you specifically opted out (and we hope you didn’t!).
UI insurance is designed to cover damages that typically would be paid out by the other driver’s policy. But insurers are notorious for delaying, denying, and minimizing claims in order to save themselves money.
If you’ve been in an accident involving an uninsured driver, you need an experienced Indiana and Kentucky car accident lawyer to build your case and negotiate a settlement that’s favorable to you. Call the skilled attorneys at McNeely Stephenson or contact us online. We offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose.