Question: I got hit by a car whose driver had no license and no insurance. We exchanged information (what he did have) but didn’t get a police report. Now he doesn’t want to pay for my damages. I have witnesses who will attest to the fact the other driver was at fault, and I have full coverage insurance. So, how should I now handle this situation?
Answer: Since the at-fault driver is uninsured, you’ll have to go through your own auto insurance provider to make a claim, but first you should call to see if you can still make a police report about the incident, even if it’s been a few days or weeks.
Your insurance company is likely to ask you for a police report, though it normally isn’t mandated that you have one. Beyond that, you were hit by a motorist who was unlicensed and uninsured – someone who clearly shouldn’t be on the roadways and has already backed out of paying personally for the damages he caused.
If you are unable to file a police report, your state may still require you to file a crash report about the incident.
State mandates for the filing of accident reports vary greatly, but many states require you to file a state accident form if the accident resulted in injuries (no matter how minor), death, or property damage over a certain amount ($500 in Florida, $750 in California and $1,001 in New York) within a short period of time, commonly 10 days. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles about your state’s laws on this.
Most states do this to verify the insurance of the drivers involved in auto accidents, and in your case you’d want the other driver checked out and penalized if indeed he were driving without a license and without auto insurance.
Once the accident report is taken care of, you can file claims with your car insurance provider. What claims you can make will depend upon the damages you have sustained and types of auto insurance coverages you carry.
For damage to your vehicle, you need to carry collision or uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage.
A deductible will be due with if you use collision coverage. Depending upon what state you are in and the terms of your uninsured motorist property damage coverage, it may also come with a deductible. If you have both coverages, then in some states your UMPD coverage will cover your collision deductible.
If you were injured in the accident, then uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) will cover your medical expenses up to your limits. If you don’t carry UMBI, then injuries would still be covered if you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) as part of your car insurance policy.
Your insurance company will want you to hand over the information you have on the other driver as part of the claims process. This will allow them to check out the individual and confirm they are uninsured so that your uninsured motorist coverages may be used.
Your auto insurer will also want to subrogate with the other driver for the money that they pay out for your claims since the other driver was the at-fault party in the incident.
Your insurer may be able to recoup the deductibles you had to pay as part of their subrogation process. If they can't, then you may want to go after the other party in court for any money you are out.