A car accident is a traumatic and stressful event. At the scene, there can be chaos that makes it difficult to think straight and take the proper steps to protect yourself. On top of this, if the other drivers involved are already in trouble with the law or perhaps don’t have auto insurance, they may not be forthcoming with their information, or they may even leave the scene quickly, before you have a chance to get their insurance information.
It’s helpful to know ahead of time the steps you should take to protect yourself should you be involved in a car accident. Here are few suggestions for making sure you are not stuck with costly repair bills or medical bills.
Take Your Own Notes and Pictures
As soon as you know you are safe, take pictures of the accident scene to document the immediate aftermath of the accident. These pictures can be used to disprove any false claims made by other drivers.
If you realize that the other driver has left the scene before you have had the chance to get their insurance information, immediately take the time to write down some notes while everything is still fresh. Write down:
- Vehicle description (color, unique features)
- Vehicle year, make and model
- Driver description
- Passenger description(s)
Find Witnesses and Take Statements
There are usually witnesses to accidents, so as you are writing your notes find out what they saw and remember also. Witnesses may have had a different vantage point than you and may have additional information. If the other driver has left the scene, ask questions such as:
- What direction did the vehicle go when leaving the scene?
- Did they talk with the other driver?
- If so, did the driver mention their name or any other identifying information?
- Did they see the license plate?
Also, make sure to take down the personal information of witnesses. Witness statements are not only good for finding drivers who have left the scene but can also corroborate your account of the accident, which will be very helpful when you are trying to recover insurance money for damages.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Often, when a driver leaves the scene of an accident before providing their information to the other driver it is because they are an uninsured motorist. Though all states require drivers to have auto insurance, there are plenty of drivers who find ways to avoid it.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or have no information on the other driver, you may be able to seek compensation through your own insurance company, if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
While not required in all states, and not available in some states, uninsured motorist protection is used to have your own insurance company pay for damage to your vehicle or injuries to you if the other driver is at fault.
To find out how little uninsured motorist coverage costs, use the InsuranceWins fast and easy quote form to get quotes from major carriers. It may be money well spent.