After an Accident
A car accident, especially one involving an uninsured motorist, is always unexpected and unpleasant, but knowing what to do can make your physical and financial recovery easier.
Immediately following an auto accident, the first step is to check yourself and others for injuries and contact emergency services if necessary. If you have injuries that are not life-threatening, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Injuries from auto accidents are not always immediately apparent. Next, get the names and contact information for everyone involved and any witnesses. It is a good idea also to make notes of any statements made at the scene. You should also write down general information about the accident, such as vehicle direction and speed as well as road conditions. Taking photos and videos can be very helpful as well. If there were no police officers at the scene, you must file a written report of the accident with the local police within four days if there were injuries or property damage over $500.
While gathering contact information from the other parties, you may find that you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. First, you will want to contact your insurance company to inquire about the coverage your policy may offer in this situation. Suppose you do not have uninsured motorist coverage included in your policy. In that case, you will have to pay out of your own pocket for car repairs, medical bills and expenses, and possibly for alternate transportation while your car is in the shop for repairs.
To recover these out-of-pocket expenses, you will need to collect them directly from the uninsured motorist who was at fault in the accident. In cases where there are more than $1000 in damages or if there are injuries, you may report the uninsured motorist within 180 days to the Washington State Department of Licensing. If the uninsured motorist still does not compensate you, the Department of Licensing can suspend their license. If you have not received payment for what you are owed, you can pursue a civil lawsuit against the at-fault uninsured motorist.
It can be challenging to recover damages from an uninsured motorist after an accident. An experienced car accident attorney can maximize your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation about your uninsured motorist accident at [email protected] or (206) 309-5854.