Every second, a new car accident happens in the United States. In fact, more than 4.4 million people are seriously injured in a car accident each year. Tragically, there are nearly 40,000 fatalities due to car accidents.
Besides the human toll, there is also a massive financial price tag. The financial impact of car accidents is rapidly approaching $900 billion.
The good news is that auto insurance helps consumers pay for the damage. However, what happens when the other driver is not covered.
Read on to learn what happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Explore topics like the importance of car insurance and what to do after an accident.
What Happens If You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver?
After an accident, one of the first things that happen is an exchange of information. For example, drivers share their auto insurance when they are at fault for the collision. What happens when the other driver does not have insurance information to share?
For starters, you should still collect their personal information. This includes name, address, and phone number. Also, document their license plate number and a description of their vehicle.
In the short term, you may have to rely on your own insurance. Auto insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
This is additional coverage that you can purchase to mitigate risk.
Only a small number of states require drivers to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A few more states mandate insurance companies to offer it to drivers. Depending on the state that you live in, this coverage type may not be an option.
What About Collision Coverage?
Collision coverage provides an opportunity for reimbursement. It will cover damages to the vehicle if the at-fault driver is uninsured.
The issue is that collision coverage is not as extensive as uninsured and underinsured coverage. Collision coverage is only going to cover the damage to the vehicle.
If you are hospitalized or use ambulatory services, collision coverage is not applicable. This includes physical therapy and follow-on health care that may be required.
Should You File a Lawsuit?
Another option is to file a civil lawsuit. Uninsured drivers should not be let off the hook for vehicle damage and health implications.
Filing a civil lawsuit is another way to secure financial justice. You will need to contact a lawyer to represent you in court.
This is why it is so important to document the other driver’s information. Without the driver’s contact information, it will be difficult to communicate with the defendant. The court will experience issues serving the person a summons to court.
There are a few different outcomes in court. The judge may award you financial damages or the driver may reach a settlement with you.
A Recap of What Happens If You Are Hit By an Uninsured Driver
With so many accidents occurring across the country, getting hit by an uninsured driver is likely to happen. While lack of insurance makes it harder, you are not without options.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is your best recourse. Using collision coverage or filing a lawsuit are also viable alternatives.
If you enjoyed this article about what to do if you are hit by an uninsured driver, check out our blog for more great content.