I was in an accident with an uninsured driver. What happens next?

If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver, you probably have lots of questions. Who is responsible for my medical bills? What about the damage to my car?

Having car insurance is not only the responsible thing to do, it’s a requirement in North Carolina. Despite this, there are plenty of drivers on the road who are uninsured for one reason or another. They could be knowingly and willingly driving without it. Perhaps their policy was up for renewal and they forgot to fill out the paperwork.

What should I do after an accident with an uninsured motorist?

If you are involved in any type of car accident, the first thing to do is to make sure everyone is safe. Call 911 if anyone needs medical attention. The next call should be to the police so that you can file a report.

If the other driver involved in the accident doesn’t have insurance, typically one of these three scenarios will play out:

  • When you exchange contact information, the other driver will be honest. They’ll tell you right away that they don’t have insurance.
  • The uninsured driver will give you expired or incorrect information. You won’t know that they don’t have insurance until you begin the claims process.
  • The uninsured driver will try to flee the scene. Never try to chase down or follow a hit-and-run driver. Instead, do your best to memorize the license plate number or take a photo of the car. Write down details right away.

Once you learn that the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you’ll want to consult with an attorney.

How can a car accident attorney help me?

Your own car insurance is designed to provide coverage in these circumstances — this is called uninsured/underinsured coverage. However, when your insurance company offers an initial settlement, it may not be enough for you. It is natural to want to take the first offer they give you. Furthermore, after the stress of an accident, you may not be thinking clearly. You may be injured, out of work and without a vehicle. You need the money desperately and just want to get on with your life.

Don’t leave your financial future in the hands of an insurance company. A car accident attorney can help ensure that you will receive a fair settlement, one that takes into account not only damage to your vehicle and your current medical bills but your future medical bills as well.

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