Uninsured Motorists – Who Pays When an Accident Occurs?
When it comes to automobile insurance, things can get very confusing. More often than not, many drivers are underinsured or carry the minimum coverage allowed by law. Here in Rhode Island, the minimum coverage that individuals can carry as determined by Rhode Island State law is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident bodily injury coverage and $25,000 property damage coverage. Many automotive insurers offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, but this is not required legally.
What happens if you’ve been involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance? It is important to gather as much information as is possible – prior to leaving the scene of the accident if at all possible. If medical injuries prevent this from happening, then do what you can as soon as possible to collect detailed information for your records.
Take the following steps to insure that you have the information that you need to build your case against the other driver:
- Call the police. Contact the local police directly and be sure that they file a police report. Make sure that you get a copy of the report for your records.
- Access your medical situation. Seek medical attention if necessary. Call an ambulance or have a passenger call an ambulance. Retain all doctor’s reports and receipts for any expenses incurred.
- Talk to witnesses. If you are able, write down the statements of witnesses. Ask them for their contact information. They might be helpful if legal action is necessary or if fault needs to be confirmed or determined by your insurance company.
- Collect details. Write down everything you can remember about the accident. Record the car’s make, model, license plates and all identifying features. Also, try to remember what the driver looked like, what the weather was and also any unusual circumstances that might be important.
- Contact your insurance company. Let your insurance agent know you have been involved in an accident. They may provide you with coverage if your policy qualifies.
If you’ve been injured or your vehicle is damaged in an accident by an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s possible that you can recover some of your expenses through legal action. A Rhode Island personal injury lawyer may be able to help you collect compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Consult with a lawyer knowledgeable in Rhode Island Personal Injury law to determine your best course of action.