As a responsible driver, you would not dream of getting behind the wheel without having the proper insurance in place. The fact is, however, that not every driver is as responsible as you are. Motorists make the extremely bad decision to drive without insurance every day, and sometimes, they cause dangerous accidents. If you have been injured by a negligent driver without car insurance, there are some basics you should consider.
Reporting the Accident
In the State of Texas, there are certain situations in which you are required to report a car accident, and these include:
- If the accident causes anyone to be injured (death obviously applies here)
- If the accident causes more than $1,000 in property damage (if there is any body damage to either vehicle, it will almost certainly reach this minimum)
- If the accident involves someone breaking the law, such as not having the appropriate car insurance
If the at-fault driver admits to you that he or she does not have car insurance or if he or she refuses to show you proof of said insurance, you should call 911 from the accident scene and report the situation.
The Role of the Police
After being in an accident caused by an uninsured driver (or a driver who appears to be uninsured), wait at the accident scene until the police arrive. Once the police are on the scene, the officer is likely to do all of the following:
- Ticket the uninsured driver
- Fine the uninsured driver
- Suspend the uninsured driver’s license until he or she obtains the necessary insurance
Further, the attending officer will write a police report that delineates the details of the accident, which will likely be critical to your insurance claim.
Going Through the Insurance Company
If the other driver does not have car insurance, you obviously cannot file your claim with his or her insurance company. In such a situation, you will file what is known as a first-party claim with your own insurance company. This means you will go through your own insurance policy to be compensated for the damages you have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. This will go through the uninsured/underinsured driver component of your policy, and while this type of insurance is not a requirement, most quality insurance policies do include this coverage.
Car insurance claims are complicated at the best of times, but if yours involves an uninsured motorist, it makes things that much more complicated. In such an instance, you are well-advised to work closely with an experienced personal injury attorney throughout the process. Finally, if you do not carry uninsured driver insurance, your only option may be to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.