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What if you are in a crash caused by an uninsured motorist?

No one wants to be in a car crash, but it is best to be prepared in case the unexpected happens. If the other driver is at fault, you might assume you can file a claim with that driver’s insurance company, but what happens if they have no insurance?

Not everybody obeys the law

In every state except New Hampshire, drivers must carry automobile insurance. However, according to statistics compiled by the Insurance Research Council in 2011, one in seven motorists did not have any kind of vehicle insurance. Your minimum liability insurance should cover the other driver’s damages if you should cause a crash, and vice versa.

UM/UIM coverage

North Carolina is one of the states that does not require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. North Carolina is also a “tort” state, which means that if you do not have UM/UIM coverage, and an uninsured driver is at fault, you will either have to sue or pay for your damages out of pocket.

Gather whatever information you can

If there is a language barrier, or if the other party starts to drive off without providing any information, you need to do what you can to document the situation. Use your mobile phone to take pictures of the crash scene, the damage to your car and the other vehicle’s license plates, if possible. Write down details, such as the make, model and color of the other car, the location and time of the crash and any other details you can recall. If there are witnesses, ask if they will share their contact information with you.

Next steps

Call the police, even if the crash is a minor one, and get a copy of their report. If you have any pain or medical concerns, get medical attention right away: A doctor’s report will be important in terms of seeking insurance compensation. Your next call should be to a personal injury attorney who will take on the role of advocate in dealing with insurance matters, even if the driver who crashed into your car was among those who drive our highways without insurance of their own.

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