Any auto accident is a nerve-wracking experience, but when you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you have to worry about even more potential issues. Someone who is driving without insurance is breaking the law; in California, you must have car insurance to protect others if you have a vehicle. For you, the victim of the accident, the lack of insurance is particularly worrisome; learning more about your options after a Redlands crash with an uninsured motorist can help you determine what to do and what to expect from the process.
What to Do After a Collision with an Uninsured Motorist in Redlands California
While insurance is a legal requirement, drivers do break the law regularly. When this happens, it is essential for you to fully document the accident. Filing a police report is required already if the accident has injuries (read more about police reports and your accident here); it is absolutely essential to call the police after an accident with an uninsured person. The police report from the scene will be needed to document the accident for your own insurance company.
You May Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you are complying with the law and have car insurance, you may have uninsured motorist coverage as well; California requires all insurers to offer this coverage. While this will help protect you after you’ve been in a collision with an uninsured driver, it may not cover everything. This insurance is elective, but having it will save you time, money and trouble if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage (you can determine if you have this by reviewing your policy), then your own insurance company should cover your costs; they will then attempt to recover these costs from the other party. Problems can arise if your insurer does not cover the full extent of your damages and injuries; you may need an attorney to help if this happens.
If you Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is optional; while your insurer is required to offer it, you do not have to buy it. If you do not have this coverage, you will have to pursue the other driver for your damages. In this situation, you will almost certainly need an attorney; the person who hit you will be facing stiff legal fines, penalties and paying you for the damage they caused may not be their top priority. A Redlands auto accident attorney can help you learn about your options and what to expect after a collision with an uninsured motorist.
Do you Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Some drivers technically comply with the law, but fail to have enough coverage. In this case, you can use underinsured motorist coverage to recover losses in excess of the other driver’s policy. If you do not have this coverage, it is best to work with an auto accident attorney to help recover your losses and ensure you are treated fairly by the other driver and their insurer.
Being hit by a driver who is not insured creates additional concerns and complications beyond those experienced by the typical car accident injury victim. When an uninsured or undersinsured motorist has hit you, you should seek out the advice of an attorney to ensure you are treated fairly. If you find yourself in this situation, we are here for you; contact Harshbarger Law right away to talk about your options.