No matter how careful you are as a driver, other motorists may not be as responsible as you. Getting hit by another driver is a big problem, but it’s even bigger if they aren’t insured. The numbers may surprise you: 1 in every 7 American drivers doesn’t have basic car insurance. So what happens when an uninsured driver hits your vehicle?
Depending on the circumstances, three possible things will happen if a non-insured driver hits you:
#1. Your insurer will answer for the repairs, but they will go after the uninsured driver to recover the cost. This means you will have to testify in court and endure the dragging legal process. In some cases, hearings can take weeks.
#2. Your insurer will cover the cost with no fuss, but only if you have an under-insured or uninsured motorist inclusion. This means that you need a special coverage clause. Otherwise, you’d have to settle on the first scenario or the last one:
#3. You would shoulder the repairs of your car on your own. This means you’d shell out money from your pocket. This is the most convenient choice if money isn’t an issue. However, doing this will not put the other driver accountable.
What to do when an uninsured driver hits your car
Ensure your safety
After the crash, make sure that you and the other passengers are safe. Also, check the driver who hit you and make sure that he or she is fine. Pullover to the side of the road while you assess the situation. Ask the other driver to do the same.
Secure pieces of evidence
Once you’re safe, take photos and videos of the scene. Document the damage of your car. If you have dash and rear cams, you can use the footage when filing for a claim to your insurer. Also, you can use it as evidence if the other driver tries to come clean.
As quickly as possible, call 911 so the police will reach your area. You must report the situation since the other driver is uninsured. This way, the police will get his or her name, contact number, and address. Make sure that you have your license ready in case the police will ask for it.
Don’t accept money
If the other driver tries to come up with a settlement, avoid taking money. When you do this, you’re letting him or her off the hook. Take note that the driver at fault would have to face penalties over the damages. Also, you don’t have any idea yet about the damages to your car. Most likely, it will turn out that the cost of repairs is higher than what the other driver has given you.
Accepting settlement money from the uninsured driver who hit you can also raise problems if you try to file an insurance claim.
Don’t panic or start a fight
As much as getting hit is a big hassle, try to stay calm. Don’t let anger get the best of you. Besides, you need a clear head to communicate with the authorities and to document the situation.