Now that winter has arrived, Colorado drivers are dealing with snow and ice on the roads. Dangerous driving conditions can lead to vehicle accidents. Even if you drive cautiously when the weather is bad, you may encounter other drivers that are not so careful.
Getting into an accident with an uninsured driver is more likely than you may think. According to the Insurance Research Council, about one in eight U.S. drivers do not have auto insurance. Here is what you need to know if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Do not take money from the driver
The other driver may offer to pay you money, so you do not report it to the police or your insurance company. Driving without insurance is illegal, so the other driver may want to avoid legal penalties. Do not accept his or her money because you do not know the extent of the damage to your car or your injuries. Any cash the driver has is likely not nearly enough to pay for these costs.
Contact the police
Whenever you are in a car accident, you should always contact the police. The police will make a report about the accident, and this can prove especially helpful when you file a claim with your insurance company.
Get the other driver’s information
Even though the other driver does not have insurance, you still want to get his or her contact information. You may also want to write down the driver’s license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle.
Take pictures of the scene
You should take pictures of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and pictures of the accident scene. If there are traffic signs posted, these could provide additional context to the accident. Get all the photos you can safely take.
Following the accident
After you leave the scene and get yourself checked out, you should contact your insurance company. You will need to give them the information you collected at the accident, like the driver’s contact information, information from the police and the photos you took.
You are not required to have uninsured motorist coverage in Colorado, so you may or may not have this coverage. If you do not have this coverage, Colorado law requires insurance coverage provide at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for injuries. The minimum coverage for property damage is $15,000.
Do not let insurance deny what you need
However, your insurance coverage may be reluctant to pay out for your accident. The insurance representative may claim you were partly at fault for the accident, or your injuries are not that severe. If your insurance company is not providing the compensation you need to recover, you may want to reach out to an experienced Colorado attorney. An attorney can hold the insurance company responsible and make sure you get what you need to heal and move on.