The Alabama Department of Transportation reported that in 2020, there were over 130,000 car crashes in the state, that resulted in over 55,000 injuries and 586 deaths. Car accidents are stressful events, even under the best of circumstances. But imagine the added stress when you discover the other driver involved lacks insurance.
In Alabama, driving without insurance is illegal, but unfortunately, some people still take the risk. If you find yourself in an accident with an uninsured motorist, taking the right steps can protect you and ensure you handle the situation correctly.
Stay calm and prioritize safety
First and foremost, stay calm. Accidents can be alarming, especially when you discover the other party does not have insurance. Ensure everyone is safe, and move your vehicle to a safer location if necessary. Check for injuries and call emergency services if anyone needs medical attention.
Notify the police
Always report the accident to the police, especially if the other driver lacks insurance. A police report will provide an official account of the incident, which can be important for your claims process. The report will also note the lack of insurance on the part of the other driver.
Collect as much information as you can from the uninsured driver: their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and license plate number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact details as well. Take photos of the accident scene, including the damages to both vehicles and any other relevant details.
Contact your insurance company
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you should inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it can help cover the damages and medical expenses resulting from the accident.
Document all expenses
Keep records of any expenses you incur as a result of the accident. This includes medical bills, car repair costs and any other related expenses. These records will be important when seeking compensation from your insurance company.
Avoid settling without consideration
The uninsured motorist might offer to pay for the damages out of pocket. While this might seem tempting, ensure you fully understand the extent of the damages and potential costs before agreeing to any terms. It is also essential to consider the long-term implications of injuries or damages that might not be immediately apparent.
While an encounter with an uninsured motorist can be daunting, following these steps can help you navigate the situation with minimal stress. Taking these precautions will better equip you to deal with the aftermath of the accident and ensure you receive the necessary support.