Written on Jul 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM
What Should you do if You've Been hit by an Uninsured Driver?
According to the Insurance Research Council, 23.89% of drivers in Florida are uninsured, making it a state with one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the U.S.
While car accidents are usually unintentional, they can be traumatic and inconvenient, especially when dealing with being hit by an uninsured driver.
Although drivers are required to carry liability insurance in the state of Florida, unfortunately there are many uninsured drivers out there who put both themselves and others at risk. That said, as a victim of an accident it’s essential to take certain steps to protect your rights and make sure you are properly compensated for losses and damages.
What is Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist is a part of your auto insurance policy that covers you. Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) can be used when an uninsured driver is at fault in an accident and is unable to pay for damages. Underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) is used when a driver’s liability insurance is inadequate and will not cover the total amount of your damages.
Many people decline UM and UIM coverage to save costs on premiums, and if your liability coverage is low, typically your UM coverage will be as well. Making sure you have adequate Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist coverage included in your policy is a must, and can ensure that you get the compensation you need for repairs, medical bills and other losses or damages.
What to do in the Event of an Accident
1. Contact the Police
Drivers involved in a collision should always contact the police immediately following an accident. It is imperative to make sure you obtain proper medical attention and treatment for any injuries you may have sustained, and to document the incident so you can provide important information when you file an insurance claim.
Leave the accident scene as-is (barring any severe traffic impediments or safety issues) so the police can properly assess the accident, take statements, and fill out a written report. This report will be used by the insurance companies to evaluate the circumstances of the accident and to determine the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
It's important to understand that police reports outline the circumstances of the accident, and help attorneys facilitate your case and get the information they need.
2. Get Contact Information
After the police have written a report, it is crucial that you obtain accurate contact information from the other driver who is involved, including any insurance information. Make sure to obtain the driver and passenger names, phone numbers, insurance (if any) and car information, addresses and email addresses. If there are any witnesses to the accident it is a good idea to get their information as well, as it can help with your insurance claim down the road.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
If you have a copy of your auto insurance declarations policy, read it to see if UM or UIM is included and what it covers. It is critical to find out if you have coverage as soon as you can. When you call your insurance company to inform them of the accident, they can also check to see if UM or UIM insurance is included in your policy and what it covers.
4. Contact an Attorney
Although filing a claim for an accident with an uninsured driver involves only your insurance company, the process can get complicated. If you're unsure about the process of filing a claim or have questions about your Uninsured Motorist coverage, talk to an attorney who can help you through the process.Your insurance company may try to minimize the damages of the accident so they don't have to provide full compensation for your damages.
Seeking the counsel of experienced attorneys who are well-versed in dealing with UM claims can help to insure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Lowman Law Firm at (352) 796-0016 or toll-free at (866) 9-LOWMAN.