After a car accident in which the other party is at fault, you might assume that the damages and medical bills will be taken care of by their insurance. Unfortunately, these assumptions are not always correct. In North Carolina, if you own and drive a vehicle on the roads, you are legally required to have liability insurance that would cover any potential damages that occur. However, records from as recently as 2019 show that 12.6% of motorists were uninsured.
If you’re the victim of an accident caused by someone who falls under this 12.6%, what are you supposed to do? You might feel like you’re up a creek without a paddle. Surely, you can’t be properly compensated if the other party is uninsured, can you? The good news is that there’s still hope: uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is required under every auto policy available. Strange as it may sound, responsibility for an uninsured motorist falls to the insured party. The insurance agency steps in and covers any expenses that would have been covered by the at-fault party. In this way, UM coverage can protect policyholders regardless of the insurance status of other motorists.
Thankfully, the process of filing a claim is largely the same as when both parties have liability insurance coverage. Below is a brief summary of the steps to take after an accident:
1. Exchange Contact Information. Even though the other drive his uninsured, it’s always a good idea to exchange information in case you need anything in the future.
2. Photos & Notes. Take pictures of your car, the other cars, and the surrounding road. Record notes detailing the conditions of the road and the events of the crash.
3. Notify Your Insurance Company. Get the ball rolling as soon as possible, as filing and communication often take time.
4. Keep Record of Expenses. This is an important part of the insurance process. Everything from auto body repairs to medical bills is eligible for reimbursement, so be sure to keep an itemized list of expenses.
5. Hire an Attorney. Legal representation is critical in an uninsured motorist case. They’re relatively unusual, and you may have to defend your innocence in the events leading up to the accident.
Looking for legal representation? Wayne Hardee Law is here for you! We take on all kinds of automobile accident cases, including those involving underinsured and uninsured drivers. With a number of large medical and automotive expenses on the line, you must find an attorney with the skill and expertise necessary to fight on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation with Wayne Hardee Law today to learn how our experience can make a difference!