From fender bender to head-on collision, motor vehicle accidents are inconvenient, frustrating and often deadly. If you are on vacation or traveling in a state you are unfamiliar with, the process is even more complex as you worry about how to get your car fixed and how to get your medical bills paid for.
The issue compounds even further if the at-fault driver has no car insurance. As the accident was not your fault, is it fair that you must pay for your own medical expenses and property damage? There are a few ways you can protect against those who are uninsured or underinsured.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
Your insurance company probably offers some type of coverage that you can add to your existing policy that protects you in these situations. When another driver does not have enough coverage to take care of your bills, or they do not have insurance at all, your insurance company will step in and cover your costs.
In most situations, you must pay a deductible before your insurance company will pay out. This means you are still out the costs of your deductible for an accident you did not cause. Uninsured/underinsured coverage is usually inexpensive to add to your policy but may still leave you responsible for some bills you should not have.
After the accident
Adding coverage to your policy is something great you can do before you are in an accident, but how should you handle it after the accident? First, get as much information from the other driver as possible: name, license plate number, driver’s license number and contact information for the driver and any witnesses. Second, always file a police report after an accident to ensure that there is a record on file of what really happened. Law enforcement may also issue a citation to the other driver for not having insurance.
Finally, you may want to speak to an attorney after you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you have any expenses because of the crash, you may be eligible for compensation, and an attorney can help you get it.