What to do when the other driver doesn’t have car insurance

In the course of your lifetime, you’ll most likely be involved in at least one car accident. Even the best drivers are involved in accidents, which are increasingly common across the United States. To see just how frequent car accidents are, you can simply look up the statistics in your area. For instance, according to New York car accident stats, there were nearly 6.3 million car crashes reported to police in 2015, just in New York state. Among all of those accidents, there were more than 35,000 fatalities and nearly 2.5 million injuries. Hopefully, you’ll only ever be involved in minor accidents, although the chances of you or someone in your vehicle getting at least injured are fairly high.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is the legal process. You’ll want to focus on healing, or helping your loved one heal, not on lawsuits and insurance claims and medical bills. Unfortunately, sometimes you may have to deal with these issues. If the other party involved in the accident is insured, this will reduce the number of headaches in the legal process following an accident. In nearly all states, it’s mandatory for drivers to have car insurance. However, there are of course still people who drive illegally without car insurance. And, unfortunately, there’s a chance that the other party involved in your crash is one of these illegal drivers.

Having an uninsured party involved in the car accident makes things more complicated. So if this happens to you, what should you do?

Call up your insurance company

Regardless of the details of the collision, you should call your insurance company and report any accident that you’re involved in. However, this is especially true if the other party does not have insurance. Depending on your insurance coverage, your insurance company can help you decide how to proceed.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage — which protects you in the case that an uninsured driver hits your vehicle — then the process will be simplified. In this case, there are straightforward rules to follow, and you will be covered for the accident by your own insurance company. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may still cover some or a part of the costs of your medical bills and car repair fees.

Keep in mind that your insurance company may have a time limit on when you can report the accident, particularly if the other driver is uninsured, so it’s best to call your company as soon as possible.

Consult with an attorney and consider filing a lawsuit

Depending on your state’s laws, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the uninsured other driver. If you were to win a lawsuit, you may be awarded money that can help pay your medical bills or lost wages. Because the laws surrounding car insurance and liability are complex and nuanced, consult with an attorney who specializes in this area. An attorney will be able to tell you the best course of action, and will give you the best chance at actually winning the lawsuit.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, there are courses of action available to you. Although the process may be stressful, it’s a situation that drivers across the country face on a regular basis, and there are resources available to you to help remedy the situation as much as possible.

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