What to Do After Being in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
Under Missouri’s fault-based insurance law, the driver who is at fault for a car accident is the one who pays for related medical bills and property repairs. If you get into an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, this can make the recovery process difficult. Take the following steps if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver to pursue the financial compensation that you deserve.
Call the Police
Call 911 from the scene of your car accident as soon as you find out that the other driver does not have car insurance. It is against the law to drive without insurance in Missouri. Notifying the police will result in the driver facing consequences for failing to carry insurance. It will also create an official record of the crash – the police report – which you can later use to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Don’t Admit Fault
When you step out of your vehicle and start to talk to the other driver, it is important not to apologize or admit fault for the car accident. Even if you believe that you contributed to the collision, don’t accept any blame. Instead, wait until an investigation is performed and the cause of the car accident is confirmed. The other driver or a third party may share fault for your collision.
Do your best to collect evidence and information about your car accident before you leave the scene. This includes taking photographs of the scene of the crash and speaking to eyewitnesses. Other types of evidence that may be available in the days following your collision include traffic camera footage, a copy of your police report, medical records and cell phone records. Gathering evidence while it is still available is important for building an injury claim, as you may need to prove that one or more parties caused your accident to be eligible for compensation.
See a Doctor
Go to a hospital in Kansas City immediately for injury treatment. If you have health insurance, this can help you pay for your medical care while you wait for an insurance settlement. It is important to see a doctor right away, as this can allow you to get the professional treatment that you need. It also shows an insurance company that you met your responsibility to mitigate your losses.
Call Your Own Insurance Company
Missouri law makes it mandatory for all drivers to carry at least minimum amounts of liability insurance. This guarantees that all drivers have the funds to pay for the losses caused by car accidents. Getting into an accident with an uninsured driver means that he or she does not have the insurance coverage to pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs. This changes the options that you have for financial recovery.
Instead of relying on the other driver’s insurance, you will need to contact your own car insurance company for coverage. You may have one or more types of first-party insurance that can pay for your losses, such as medical pay, personal injury protection, comprehensive, collision or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. If so, your own insurance company will pay for your losses, even if you did not cause the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Help
If you do not have the necessary type of first-party car insurance to cover your losses, or if your insurance company is not offering as much as you believe you deserve for your car accident, contact an car accident attorney in Kansas City to assist you with the claims process. An attorney can help you pursue financial compensation through all available outlets, including filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or a third party, such as an employer, product manufacturer or the government. An attorney can guide you through every step after an accident with an uninsured driver.