All drivers operating a vehicle in Cameron or Buffalo, TX must have automobile insurance. However, some drivers choose to break this law and venture onto the road uninsured. If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may wonder how you’ll be compensated for your injuries. Hiring a car accident lawyer will prevent you from suffering financially due to another person’s irresponsibility.
The Other Driver Has No Insurance: What Do I Do Now?
The actions you take immediately following the accident can drastically impact how easy it is for you to receive compensation for your injuries. You’ll want to complete these steps to ensure you have the best chance of having all your medical bills and repair reimbursed.
Call the Police
Whether the other party has insurance or not, calling the police when you have been in an accident is always wise. However, it is particularly vital in accidents where one party is uninsured. Once they arrive, the police will file a report based on the information you and the other driver provide.
In addition, if there are individuals present who witnessed the accident, they will likely ask them for a statement detailing what they saw. It doesn’t matter if you plan on seeking compensation from your insurance company or decide to pursue a solution for the at-fault driver in court: having a police report verifying what happened will make the process much smoother.
Accept Medical Care
If you are injured, accept the care of the emergency personnel who arrive with the police officer. If the officer comes alone, tell them you are injured and let them request an ambulance. If you have injuries from the accident, having them treated or confirmed by a professional at the scene makes it easier to seek compensation for your medical bills later.
Don’t Accept Money
Driving without insurance in Buffalo, TX will cause the driver to incur penalties and fines. Since the fines range between $175 and $350, on top of the compensation the driver owes you for damages, it is not uncommon for individuals to try to offer you cash not to call the police. While you may be tempted to let the driver give you payment for your repairs, accepting money from the at-fault driver could cost you in the long run.
For example, the other driver may give you $95 to repair your cracked bumper. You may accept the money, trying to avoid the effort of filing with your insurance company. However, if you take your vehicle for repairs and learn that your entire bumper needs replacement, you will have to pay the difference. You will also have difficulty seeking compensation from your insurance company since you didn’t follow appropriate protocol.
Although the other driver doesn’t have insurance information, you’ll still want to get their contact information. Make sure you note their vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. Hopefully, the other driver will be forthcoming and provide you with accurate contact information, but unfortunately, some drivers will give incorrect details to avoid being held responsible for their actions.
Write down your recollection of the accident before the memory begins to fade. If witnesses are present, ask them for their contact information and if they would be willing to give a statement to your insurance company if necessary.
Additionally, you’ll want to note the responding officer’s name and badge number and the names of any emergency personnel who gave you medical care. Finally, write down any information that you feel is relevant, as you may need it to file your claim successfully.
If your cellphone has a camera, make sure you capture pictures of the damage done to your car and the other driver’s vehicle. Shots showing traffic signage, each car’s direction, and the accident scene can help prove your innocence. While notes are valuable to filing your claim, they are subjective. Photographs provide an objective look at the aftermath of the event.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Cameron or Buffalo, TX
After your accident, speaking with a car accident lawyer will provide valuable insight into the best way to seek compensation. Your lawyer will look at the details of your situation and advise you on if you should file a claim using uninsured driver insurance or sue the at-fault driver.
They will also investigate if other parties may be responsible for your injuries and damage in addition to the other driver. With an experienced lawyer exploring all avenues for compensation, you’ll be able to make sure you receive the funds you need to pay for your medical bills and vehicle repair or replacement.
How Do I Seek Compensation if the Driver Is Uninsured?
Individuals wounded by uninsured drivers in Cameron, TX, have three options for procuring compensation. You’ll want to be working with a skilled lawyer who can recommend which option has the potential for the most significant compensation and handle the legwork required to achieve your funds.
Sue the Uninsured Driver
Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver requires proving that they caused the accident through intention or negligence. Since they do not have insurance, you will be requesting they compensate you with their own money. Depending on the driver’s financial situation, you might not be able to receive all your funds at once and may have to be awarded small amounts over time.
Legal representation is necessary to file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver. Your lawyer will file the lawsuit, collect proof of your injuries, and provide evidence that you were not at fault in the accident. If your lawsuit has to be settled in court, they will represent your case and follow through on getting you the compensation you seek.
File a Claim With Your Insurance
Your automobile insurance most likely includes coverage for when uninsured drivers hit you. In Cameron, TX, drivers must intentionally cancel this insurance coverage. Otherwise, it comes standard with their plan. So, unless you remember opting out of uninsured driver coverage, you should be able to take advantage of this aspect of your insurance policy.
Sorting through what is and isn’t covered by your policy can be confusing, so your lawyer will explain your policy and what it can offer you. Your insurance company hopes you claim the minimum amount possible, so they cannot be trusted to advise you on your best course of action when filing a claim. Your lawyer will also handle the paperwork and provide your insurance company with documentation of your injuries and accident, so they accept your claim.
Pay Out of Pocket With Personal Health Insurance
This option should only be used if you have no other choice. You are left responsible for the co-pays and deductibles in this scenario, which can quickly become costly. You also receive no compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering. If you choose to go this route, your lawyer can help you understand your policy and ensure you are using it to receive the best level of care possible.
Being in an accident with an uninsured driver doesn’t have to ruin you financially. When you work with a skilled car accident lawyer, they can help you build the case you need to get the compensation you deserve. Contact Brian C. Gutierrez for a free consultation today.