What to Do When You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver
Approximately 13 percent of American drivers are uninsured. Fortunately, that rate is significantly lower in Iowa at approximately 8.7 percent. Still, that means if you are the victim of an auto collision, the odds of the other driver being uninsured are about the same as rolling a five when it is your turn playing Monopoly.
What should you do if you are hit by an uninsured driver in Sioux City, Iowa? Can you still collect compensation for personal injury and damage to your vehicle? That depends heavily on your actions directly following the accident – and how well you prepared for such an unfortunate event with auto insurance coverage before it happened.
5 Steps to Take When an Uninsured Driver Hits You
1. Remain calm and file a police report
The uninsured driver may try to appeal to your empathy following a collision – or even become hostile. Do not be swayed or intimidated. Unless the location is unsafe or you require immediate medical attention, remain at the scene of the collision and call 911. The police report will contain crucial details including the uninsured driver’s contact information and whether they appear to be responsible for the collision.
2. Accept no degree of liability for the collision
Be gracious to the uninsured driver. There is no need to agitate them any further, especially as they learn the police are en route. However, it is crucial that you say nothing which could be construed as an admission of liability for the collision, however small or harmless it may seem. Even a statement as simple as “I’m sorry!” may be taken out of context. (Interestingly, Canada has legislated the word “sorry” to not constitute an admission of guilt.) Answer the responding officer’s questions openly and directly, but omit any potentially incriminating details.
3. Seek medical attention
Many victims of auto collisions do not experience pain or injuries immediately. This does not necessarily mean they got lucky, as many types of injuries only present themselves days following the accident. Seek medical attention as soon as possible, as leaving an injury untreated may worsen its effect and prolong your recovery period.
4. Contact your auto insurance provider
Your vehicle is in need of repair, and you may have incurred medical costs. They say that insurance is the only thing you buy and hope you’ll never need, but a good insurance provider will help you greatly as you navigate this difficult process. Insurance agencies like The Hoffman Agency offer a variety of auto insurance coverage options, to help in situations like this.
5. Determine whether you need a car accident attorney
Your insurance provider will only be able to offer so much help. A qualified car accident attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision and determine whether or not the uninsured driver owes you compensation. The legal process following a collision involving an uninsured motorist can get complex very quickly. As clever as you might be, making certain you receive the compensation you deserve requires a very specific legal expertise.
How Can You Protect Yourself Against an Uninsured Driver Before a Collision Takes Place?
Iowa state law does not require residents to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance – but if you’ve ever rolled a five in Monopoly, then you already know having an auto insurance policy in place is a good idea!
Even if you follow the steps outlined above, you may be unable to collect compensation from the at-fault uninsured driver. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance goes into effect under this circumstance, ensuring the damage to your vehicle and medical bills resulting from the accident are covered.
Are you interested in learning more about how uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance can prevent financial hardship resulting from another person’s irresponsibility? Contact an insurance agent at The Hoffman Agency today for a simple, no-obligation explanation. Serving the Mapleton and Sioux City areas – we’re passionate about keeping you safe out there!