What to Do in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
The state of Oklahoma requires that all drivers, regardless of if they drive a passenger vehicle, a commercial truck, or a motorcycle, must carry auto liability insurance. This insurance exists to cover the medical costs of any injured parties following a car accident. It helps protect and aid those who have suffered damages in an accident, giving them a chance to get back on their feet.
However, a significant number of Oklahoma drivers do not have car insurance. In some cases, drivers only have the bare minimum insurance coverage available, which does not even cover the full scale of the damage they caused.
Oklahoma has such an uninsured driver problem that they enacted a statewide program to catch uninsured drivers before any damage occurs. About 25% of drivers in Oklahoma are driving without auto liability insurance. Driving without proper insurance can lead to an uninsured driver accident, which causes many complications.
Car insurance exists to protect those who suffered injuries in an accident. Whenever you do not have insurance, you put those injured at a disadvantage. Fortunately, if you were involved in an uninsured accident, there are still ways you can seek compensation.
With the help of an Oklahoma car accident attorney, you can receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Give the Oklahoma personal injury law firm at AMA Law a call today if you suffered an injury in an uninsured accident.
Oklahoma Car Insurance Requirements
As we said earlier, the state of Oklahoma requires that all drivers on the road must have auto liability insurance. Car insurance covers any damages sustained during a car accident. Oklahoma has set minimum requirements for its drivers.
Under the Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Law, every motorist must carry liability insurance in the amount of:
- $25,000 per person (bodily injury)
- $50,000 per accident (bodily injury)
- $25,000 per accident (property damage)
Remember, these are the bare minimum that Oklahoma motorists must have to drive on the roads legally. Unfortunately, many would rather be an uninsured driver.
What to Do After an Uninsured Driver Accident
While it is state law, many motorists ignore the law and continue to drive on the road without proper liability insurance. Even if they are the most careful driver in the world, driving without insurance is illegal in Oklahoma. When an accident does occur, things can get complicated.
Oklahoma is an at-fault state, which means that an investigation takes place to determine who caused the accident, or who is liable. Once this investigation verifies who is at-fault, that party is responsible for covering the cost of the damages endured by the other parties.
Often, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance covers the costs. However, when an at-fault driver does not have insurance, you are left with no clear plan on how to pay for medical bills, car repairs or replacement, or lost wages. That is why having an esteemed Oklahoma car accident attorney on your side is so crucial.
Here are some steps you should take following an uninsured driver accident:
Call the Police
Regardless of the type of accident you are in, you should always call the police, especially with an uninsured driver. While on the scene, the police will investigate the accident, compiling evidence and information to create a report detailing what occurred.
The police will also verify the insurance of all involved parties, which means they can discover if a driver is uninsured or not. This police report will assist you in proving liability if you need to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation.
Trade Information with the Uninsured Driver
As is the case with all car accidents, you should always exchange information with any driver you were in an accident with, especially in an uninsured accident. Make sure the information given to you is accurate, such as:
- Full name
- Phone number, either work, home, or cell
- License plate number
- Car make, model, year, and color
You can also take a picture of their driver’s license to have that ready when needed.
While still at the scene of the accident, collect as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of all vehicles involved at multiple angels and close up on damage, including their license plate. Also, take pictures of the crime scene itself, including any property damage. Pictures will help your case tremendously.
If there are any eyewitnesses, get their contact information and statement, so you can reach out to them later if need be. Also, write down your own report of the accident while on the scene. After the adrenaline wears off, you may quickly forget vital details.
Write down what happened, who was involved, the officer on the scene, their badge number, and any eyewitnesses. Ask for a copy of the police report, as well.
Contact Your Insurance
Next, you need to contact your insurance company to alert them of the accident. Some companies have a deadline to file a claim, so do not wait.
When reporting with your insurance company, inquire to see if you have Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Coverage (UM/UIM). All auto insurance plans in Oklahoma offer UM/UIM coverage. While the state does not require you to purchase it, it is encouraged. You should have it unless you explicitly denied it.
In the instance of an uninsured driver accident, UM/UIM coverage will cover the damages you sustained during your accident that the at-fault party cannot, which includes medical bills to you and anyone else in the vehicle with you.
Remember, UM/UIM does not cover repairs to your vehicle. If you have collision coverage, that will cover repairs.
However, even though you have UM/UIM coverage, you may still be in a battle with your insurance company. That is why collecting evidence is so vital, to prove the other driver was at fault. A trusted Oklahoma personal injury attorney can help you get the appropriate compensation following your accident.
Contact AMA Law
Car accidents are stressful on their own. When you throw in an uninsured driver, things get even more complicated. Often, these accidents leave you questioning how you are supposed to pay for car repairs, medical bills, and more.
Thankfully, there are ways you can still receive compensation. If you have Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Coverage, your insurance company will cover the costs of the damages. Often, this coverage will not exceed the amount of your standard liability coverage.
You can also file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, even if you are successful in proving the fault of the uninsured driver, this process may cost you more time and money than you’d wish. There is also no guarantee you’ll receive the compensation you deserve. Many uninsured drivers do not have enough money or assets to cover your damages, so filing a lawsuit might be a losing battle.
Regardless, having an experienced car accident attorney from our Oklahoma law firm can help you find solace in these troubling times. We will review all evidence to help you decide the right course of action to receive the appropriate compensation.
If you were involved in an uninsured driver accident, contact an Oklahoma personal injury at AMA Law today.