Although every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of insurance, there are still those who operate a vehicle while uninsured. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident (or another type of auto accident) and the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance, it can complicate things. However, you might still have options.
According to facts and statistics on uninsured motorists from the Insurance Information Institute (III), a 2017 study found about one in eight drivers did not have insurance in 2015. Statistics show that this number has been rising. That means there’s a decent chance that you could get into an accident with someone who isn’t carrying auto insurance.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, don’t panic. There are still some things you can do to seek compensation for your damages.
What to Do if the at-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance
If you speak with the other driver in an accident and discover that they don’t have insurance, you will still want to report the accident and gather information at the scene. Here’s a breakdown of what to do.
Call the Police
You should report anything that counts as an accident, which in Georgia means the collision of a vehicle that results in injuries and/or more than $500 in property damage (Georgia Code § 40-9-2). Call 911 to report the accident to the police.
If the other driver is uninsured, they know they will get in trouble for not carrying insurance. That might try to persuade you to handle the accident costs without reporting the accident or involving the police. Don’t do this.
Always call the police, even if the other driver doesn’t want to. When officers arrive at the scene, they will create an accident report with details of the accident. This is the first documentation of the accident that helps protect your rights.
Don’t Accept Money from the at-Fault Party
If the other driver tries to offer you money to help with your damages or encourage you to avoid contacting the police, don’t accept it. You will not know at the scene what your total damages are going to be, and accepting money could complicate your case. Don’t take any money or make any details with the at-fault party until you have talked to a lawyer.
Gather Information at the Scene
Get as much information at the scene as soon as you can after the accident. When a driver is uninsured, there is a greater chance they might try to flee to avoid consequences.
Use your phone to take pictures of:
- The at-fault party’s vehicle and license plate
- The entire accident scene, including the location of the vehicles
- Your injuries
- Your vehicle damage
Just in case the other driver decides to do something reckless, you’ll have documentation of their vehicle details and description. Taking pictures of the rest of the scene will document how it looks to help support your case.
Even though the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you’ll want to get information from them like:
- First and last name
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Phone number
- Physical address and email address
Some drivers will have some insurance but not enough to fulfill the minimum requirement. If they have any insurance at all, get the name of the company and their policy information.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After you’ve reported the accident and gathered information at the scene, call an experienced and trusted motorcycle accident lawyer. They can discuss the details of the accident with you and determine what you should do next.
Thankfully, most motorcycle accident lawyers do not charge a fee unless they win you money—so working with them is risk-free. This is who we operate at John Foy & Associates so you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs. Plus, we’ll give you a FREE consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to schedule yours today.
Utilize Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you live in a no-fault state, your auto insurance company will pay for some or all of your damages no matter who caused the accident. However, most states, including Georgia, are “at-fault states.” That means the at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible for damages.
Even if you live in a fault state, you may be able to seek some recovery from your own insurance. Unless you specifically opted out of it when purchasing your policy, you probably have uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is meant to help cover some of your costs if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
In 2008, a law was passed in Georgia that requires the offering of new uninsured motorist coverage that provides more protection. It may help pay for your damages as well as the at-fault party’s liability coverage limit.
Contact Your Insurance Company
To know for sure what your insurance specifically covers, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to report the accident. Say that you were hit by an uninsured driver and have the following information ready:
- Your insurance card containing your policy number
- The date, location, and time of the accident
- Details about how the accident happened
- The contact information you got from the at-fault driver
- The name and phone number of the police department to which you reported the accident
Although your own insurance company will be more on your side than another driver’s insurance company, you should still be cautious about what you tell them. That’s why it’s best to contact an experienced lawyer first so they can advise you on how to report the uninsured motorist accident.
Taking the Uninsured at-Fault Party to Court
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage and/or it doesn’t come close to covering all of your damages, you do have the option to sue the at-fault party. This is a decision to make carefully, as lawsuits can take a lot of time and money. Plus, drivers who don’t carry insurance often have limited assets to draw from even if you win in court.
You and your lawyer will need to weigh the pros and cons of taking the at-fault party to court. They’ll also help you explore other possible options for seeking the compensation you deserve. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, that will typically be the first step.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping injured motorcyclists and other accident victims win the financial recovery they deserve for more than 20 years. We know what it takes to win cases, and we’re not afraid to fight for your rights even if you were hit by an uninsured driver.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation with the best motorcycle accident lawyer for your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation.