Getting into a car accident is stressful enough but learning that the driver of the other car is uninsured can create additional stress. Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon issue. Even though insurance is required to drive a vehicle legally in Wisconsin, 13.3% of Wisconsin drivers were uninsured in 2019 – that’s about 1 in 8 motorists without insurance.
In Wisconsin, the driver who is at fault for a collision is the one who pays for damages but it’s more complicated when the at-fault driver isn’t covered by insurance.
If you find yourself in a fender bender with an uninsured driver, take a breath and stay calm.
what to do in a Car Accident with SOMEONE WITHOUT INSURANCE
Assess the damage and injuries
Most importantly, make sure everyone is safe. Assess yourself and the other party for any injuries and determine if an ambulance is needed.
Call the police
In Wisconsin and many other states, it’s the law in many cases to call the police. Additionally, the police report is vital to the insurance claims process as it can help determine which driver is at fault.
Although it can be difficult, refrain from apologizing as this can be used against you when insurance companies determine who is at fault for an accident, or liability. Keep the conversation focused on the facts.
Exchange contact information
It’s important to get the other driver’s contact information, insurance information and vehicle details. In fact, if you leave the scene of a minor accident without exchanging proper information in Wisconsin, it can be considered a hit-and-run. You should also ask for contact information from any witnesses. It is possible that witness testimony can be helpful during the claims process and in determining who is at fault.
The more proof you have for your claim, the better. It’s important to take photos of the damage done to both cars. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the other driver’s VIN number, license plate, the scene of the accident including any traffic signs, and which way the cars were headed at the time of the accident.
Make note of details
It’s important to write down any significant details of the accident, such as a timeline of events or a narrative of what happened. Be sure to make note of the accident’s time and location, weather conditions, the type of vehicle and the year it was made, and the responding police officer’s name.
Call the insurance company to file a claim
After filing a police report, the next step is to file a claim with your insurance. It is best to do this as soon as possible. Begin by telling them you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist and provide your policy number as well as all of the details you collected at the accident site, including the police report number.
Who is at fault?
In Wisconsin, insurance companies determine fault based on state law and details of the accident. So, it’s crucial to provide them with as many details as possible so they can accurately determine fault. Sometimes police reports will include the responding officer’s opinion on who is at fault, and this is why a police report is so crucial to the claims process.
What to do if the other driver leaves the Car Accident scene
Occasionally, the other driver involved in the accident leaves the scene without exchanging information. If that happens, do your best to capture the driver’s license plate or the make and model of the car along with any other identifying information. Next, call the police and still follow through with reporting the accident. It may be difficult but resist the urge to follow the other car as it disturbs the crime scene and could lead to a more dangerous situation or an altercation. You can still report the accident and it may be covered under uninsured motorist coverage.
Car Insurance for Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
It’s always best to be prepared. Not only does the state of Wisconsin require uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage but uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provides protection if you get in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage covers damages for personal injuries you may experience if you’re injured in an accident and the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance.
It’s best to be proactive and prepared in case the unexpected happens. If you have questions about your car insurance, contact your local agent to learn more.