Did you know that 13% of drivers on Texas roads- about 2.6 million Texans- are driving without any car insurance? This means that about one in ten drivers around you has the potential to be a motorist that hits you. If you are involved in a wreck with an uninsured driver there are a few things you need to be sure to do.
When you are in any kind of car accident, before you do anything else, make sure nobody is seriously injured and if they are call 911. If you don’t need emergency medical services, you should still call the police because you will want to file a police and accident report on the wreck for your insurance and in case you have to go to court.
Next, collect information from the other driver including their name, phone number, address, license plate, their cars make and model and their drivers license number. If they don’t have insurance, they may urge you not to call the police because they won’t want to get a ticket (it is illegal in Texas not to cover at least liability insurance). Don’t listen to them, call the police anyways so that you have an accident report in case you need to go to court later or at the very least to turn in to your insurance company.
The next thing you should do while still at the scene of the accident is to take pictures to document the damage caused at the scene. Take detailed pictures of your car and their car as well as the surrounding area and any other property that is damaged. It’s also a good idea to make notes about your surroundings, the time of day and the weather conditions.
After the accident look around for people who may have witnessed the accident and ask if they would be willing to stay and give a statement to the police when they arrive. It’s good to collect at least one witness, more if possible, to the accident so that they can give a report as to what happened and who was at fault.
Once you leave the scene of the wreck, the ideal situation would be to have the uninsured driver able to pay out of pocket cash to you for the repairs needed on your vehicle, person and property. If they are unable or unwilling to pay these bills, there are two things you can do.
In the short-term you can call your insurance company. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, it will include a provision for uninsured motorists and after paying your deductible, the insurance company will cover the repairs to your vehicle and any other bills you might have.
The next thing you may consider is taking the uninsured motorist to court and hold them accountable to pay for the damage they caused to your car, property and body. You will need to hire a lawyer and consider the costs. Also be aware that this process may take many months to complete and may cost you some money up front.
Getting in any type of car accident is a hassle; it is an extra hassle when you are hit by an uninsured motorist. Make sure you are prepared for this to happen by following these steps.
An encounter with an uninsured driver can damage both your budget and your Texas auto insurance rate without the right uninsured motorist policy. It is important to check your policy with your auto insurance carrier. If your current policy does not cover uninsured motorists consider comparing Texas car insurance online to find a better rate or better policy.