Getting hit by an uninsured driver feel like you’re trapped in the middle of a nightmare. Even though the other driver clearly caused the accident, you may find yourself with a host of bills, including both vehicle repair bills and medical bills, and little recourse for handling those repairs.
Unfortunately, since around 10% of Nevada drivers do not carry auto insurance, this scenario plays out all too frequently. What should you do next?
Contact the Police
Uninsured drivers may have any number of reasons why they want to avoid reporting the accident. They may worry about fees, fines, and penalties for not having current auto insurance. They may have fears regarding their ability to continue driving. They might offer a sob story about how they cannot afford the accident.
You cannot afford to ignore the accident or fail to report it. Contact the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. An accident report can help establish when and where your accident took place and who caused it, which can make it easier for you to move forward.
The police will collect the other driver’s information and ask for statements about the accident. You can also collect that contact information for your own purposes. Even though the other driver does not have insurance, you still want to be able to contact that driver later–or to make it easier for your insurance company to make that vital contact.
For a free legal consultation, call 702-602-HURT
Visit the Hospital
If you suffered any type of injuries in the accident – or suffered significant property damage, which could indicate that you suffered injuries, even if you did not notice them at the time–make sure you visit the hospital after your accident. You need a medical report that establishes any injuries you sustained and when they occurred.
Follow the instructions given to you by your medical care team. If you do file a personal injury claim later, your medical records can prove vital – and you want to show that you have done your part to maximize your recovery and reduce the potential for future injuries as much as possible. By following the instructions of your care team, you also increase the odds that you will make a full recovery.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Your own insurance coverage can go a long way toward protecting you in the aftermath of a serious accident with an uninsured driver. Check your insurance policy to see whether you have these vital coverage types.
Nevada insurance companies provide an option for MedPay insurance for their clients. MedPay insurance provides coverage for your immediate medical expenses after an accident.
Since MedPay is optional in Nevada, there is no minimum coverage amount. You will need to check with your insurance company to see how much coverage your MedPay policy offers. However, if you do carry MedPay insurance, it can prove essential to take care of those medical bills that you face immediately after the accident, from your initial emergency room trip to the cost of hospitalization, if required, for your car accident injuries.
MedPay coverage kicks in regardless of who caused an accident, which means that the other driver’s insurance coverage – or lack thereof – will have no impact on whether you can use it to cover the cost of your medical bills.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, you may find that your insurance will cover many of the costs associated with your auto accident. Your uninsured motorist coverage may cover costs like:
- Damage to your vehicle
- Your medical costs
- Your lost wages
In some cases, you can even pursue compensation for pain and suffering through your uninsured motorist policy, up the limits of your policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is usually a standard part of comprehensive or collision insurance. Even if you only carry liability insurance on your vehicle, however, you may be able to add on uninsured motorist coverage relatively inexpensively–and many insurance agents in Nevada will automatically recommend adding it.
Check your policy after an accident with an uninsured driver to see whether you have coverage and how much compensation that coverage might provide for the damages you sustained.
Get in Touch with a Car Accident Lawyer
Sometimes, after a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may have the right and ability to sue that driver directly. A lawyer can also help you understand your rights as you pursue compensation through your own insurance company if you intend to use your uninsured motorist insurance to help cover the cost of damages following your car accident.
Dealing with your own insurance company is usually easier than dealing with another driver’s insurance company. However, when you have to file an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company may not handle things as smoothly. A car accident lawyer can help you with the process, from detailing the compensation you can potentially recover for any injuries you sustained in the car accident to working with you as you navigate the claim with the insurance company.
If you suffered injuries in the accident, you should talk to a car accident lawyer before you report the claim to your insurance company and start dealing with the claim. While damage-only claims can prove relatively straightforward, claims that involve significant injury may prove much more complicated, and you may have a much harder time getting the insurance company to agree to offer the compensation you deserve. Working with a car accident lawyer can make you feel much more confident with your claim and make it much easier for you to achieve the compensation you deserve.
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Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in any type of car accident, including an accident with an uninsured driver, you may need an attorney to help you through the claim process. At Pacific West Injury Law, we work with our clients to help them maximize the compensation they can recover for serious car accident injuries. Contact us today to learn more about the services we can provide.