The most important thing to remember in the event of an accident is to stay calm. You may not know how to proceed after a collision, particularly one involving an uninsured motorist.
Here are some basic steps to take immediately after an accident. The first step should always be to make sure everyone is safe and uninjured. It is also a good idea to contact the police to create a record of the incident. You also need to determine whether the other motorist has insurance.
Accidents involving uninsured motorists
According to the Insurance Information Institute, as many as 15 percent of motorists in California are uninsured. Long before filling out an insurance claim, you should exchange information with the other person or people involved in the accident. However, you might not have this information if the other driver falls into one of these categories:
- Unidentified hit-and-run driver
- Driver of a stolen vehicle
- Driver without a valid insurance policy
If you determine the driver does not have insurance, you need to act quickly and fill out an accident claim for your insurance company.
Filing accident claims
Because you will only be working with your own insurance company, even if you are not at fault, there are a few key differences with this type of accident claim. First, you typically only have up to 30 days to file.
Unlike accidents with insured motorists, you cannot expect the other driver’s insurance to cover your damages. A consulting service with experience handling uninsured cases is usually required to file a claim correctly and to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Do not assume that your insurance company will pay the full amount just because you have a policy with them.
Receiving your compensation
It can be very difficult to remain calm during an accident, but be sure to determine whether the other motorist has insurance. If not, you need to begin the process of filing an accident claim soon, with help, if necessary.