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How to Handle A Car Accident With An Uninsured Person

February 6, 2016

If you’ve been involved in an accident in which the other driver doesn’t have insurance, then you’ve probably already beat yourself up wondering how you’re going to pay for your injuries or car repairs, without the ability to sue the other driver’s insurance for your expenses incurred.

There is a glimmer of hope in this situation. What you’ll need to do is first track down your auto insurance binder or contact your insurance company to verify the details of the coverage you have. Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to look for the following in your policy to move forward with your case:

Uninsured (UM) or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

If struck by a hit and run driver or one that is either underinsured or not insured at all, it’s helpful to have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. When signing up for a new policy, it’s important to note that unless a waiver is signed, UM can automatically be tacked on to your policy even if you weren’t aware of it.

It can cover medical expenses or property damage that results from a collision, especially if they exceed your policy’s PD or BI limits. To take advantage of your UM or UIM coverage limits, you must file a claim within 30 days of the accident in most states. Therefore, it’s prudent to quickly evaluate whether or not the other party has insurance, and move swiftly if not, following an accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Most insurance companies are required to offer its customers personal injury protection coverage of at least $2,500 when setting up their policies. PIP coverage provides some degree of financial protection for:

  • the driver of the car;
  • his or her passengers at the time of the accident; and
  • a pedestrian who is struck because of an uninsured motorist.

In the case of the party not having insurance, its payout does not vary depending on who is at-fault for the accident. It also serves as a practical option for recovering lost wages that resulted from the accident, as it covers them up to 80%.

Collision Insurance

When you decide to add collision coverage to your policy, it serves as a sort of property damage policy for your own car, should you have an accident with either an uninsured or underinsured driver. This type of coverage can be particularly ideal for covering necessary repairs to your own vehicle, if you live in an at-fault state, or if the other party lacks insurance.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive coverage can be effective in significantly reducing costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle in the following situations:

  • a tree falls on it;
  • it gets stolen;
  • it is vandalized; or
  • it is damaged in a fire.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a party that does not have insurance, then the cost burden of covering medical and property damage expenses is not a burden of your own. Understanding the different types of coverages that make up your auto policy can greatly impact your costs should an accident occur.

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