After you get into a car accident, one of your first actions is probably requesting the other driver’s insurance information. Sometimes, the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage. Despite it being the law in Montana, hundreds of drivers in the state drive around with gaps in their insurance plans or coverage below the required minimum. If this happens to you, know how to protect your interests. Speak with a Billings motor vehicle accident attorney right away to protect your rights.
What to Do After an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident
If you find out the other driver involved in your auto accident doesn’t have adequate insurance, don’t panic. It does not mean you won’t receive compensation for your property damage or injuries. It only means the process of obtaining compensation will be slightly different.
Here is what to do in these situations:
- Call the police and report the accident. An uninsured motorist may try to escape liability and legal trouble by fleeing the scene of the crash. Contact the police as soon as possible after a hit and run accident to report the details of the crash, such as a description and license plate number of the other vehicle if possible. If the other driver remains on the scene, contact the police to obtain an official report.
- Collect the other driver’s information. Get his or her name, phone number, and email address. It is a good idea to call the phone number while still on the scene to make sure the other driver didn’t give you a fake number. If the other driver is uncooperative when you ask for information, the police can help.
- Seek medical attention for injuries. Check yourself for injuries and seek medical attention right away. You may not immediately notice an injury. Go to a physician and tell him or her about your accident to see if you have any hidden injuries. Keep a copy of your medical report, treatments, and bills.
- Report the accident to your own insurance company. Tell your insurer that the other driver does not have insurance. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your own insurance policy steps in to compensate you. If the other driver has some insurance, your policy will cover what remains.
If the driver pulls a hit-and-run, which is not uncommon when they don’t have insurance, you should still file a claim with your insurance. Your uninsured motorist coverage, along with your normal liability coverage, will help recover any property damage and injury expenses.
There are situations where your damages exceed your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This can make it difficult to recover the full costs of your injuries. Contact Heenan & Cook, PLLC, for a free consultation. We will be able to help you file a personal injury claim against the responsible driver to pursue fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries and/or property damage.
When to Speak to an Attorney | Heenan & Cook, PLLC
If you are unsure how to negotiate your claim with an insurance adjuster after being in a crash with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, don’t hesitate to call an attorney. An experienced lawyer can advise you on what to say to claims adjusters, and help you file a personal injury claim if this is the best decision for your case. The team at Heenan & Cook, PLLC, has dealt with plenty of uninsured motorists in Billings, Montana, and knows when to settle and when to go to court.
Most drivers who do not carry insurance do not have any money to give after a settlement win. However, an attorney can help you understand your options and do what is in your best interests. Working with a lawyer can give you peace of mind and renewed confidence in the state of your case. When in doubt, contact Heenan & Cook, PLLC, for a free consultation.