Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver has the potential to cost you dearly. Here’s what you should do to protect yourself after an accident.
Picture this: You were waiting at a stoplight when you’re hit from behind. The other car slammed into you violently, causing quite some damage to your vehicle. Your heart is beating like a drum and you’re feeling a sharp pain in your shoulder.
You pull on the side to assess the damage and talk with the other driver. You realize that it might cost you more than $500 to fix the car and you’re pretty sure that your injury will keep you off work for a few days.
The at-fault driver looks very scared. With tears in his eyes, he tells you that he is uninsured and he’s asking for your compassion. While you may feel compelled to help him and let him go away, this decision could cost you dearly.
Here’s what to do instead if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
Call the Police
Even if the accident doesn’t seem like a big deal or if the at-fault driver is insured, it’s still wise to call the police at the scene of the crash. According to the law in Missouri, you must call the police when a person is injured or killed or the property damage exceeds $500. Moreover, if the at-fault driver is uninsured, the police report will help you build your case and streamline the entire legal process.
Exchange Contact Details
Just because they don’t have insurance, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exchange contact details with the at-fault driver. Ask for their name, telephone number, and email address. Write down the vehicle model and registration number too. If you notice any witnesses, then make sure to ask for their contact details too as their statements can prove valuable in your claim.
Don’t Accept Any Money
The at-fault driver may try to convince you that the damage is not that bad. They might even offer to give you some money, claiming that it should be enough to cover your damages or injuries. It might be tempting to accept their offer, especially if they seem desperate and the accident was just a fender bender. However, you can’t tell for sure how extensive the damage is or how much treatment your injuries will require. So, it’s better to deny any offer regardless of how tempting it can feel to end the hassle right there.
While you are waiting for the police (and if you are feeling well enough,) try to collect some evidence to support your case. Take pictures of the cars, the scene of the accident, road conditions, and so on. Write down any details that you think might help you when you will fill your claim.
Speak with a St. Louis Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Speak with an experienced St. Louis uninsured motorist attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Negotiating with the insurance company can be intimidating, but an experienced lawyer will understand how to handle your case and ensure you will get the compensation you are legally entitled to.