The universe can have some funny timing. The one time you’re driving without insurance, and boom — you cause a car accident.
Maybe your insurance had just expired or you were between policies. And maybe the person slammed on their brakes right in front of you or you lost control on an icy patch of road. Either way, being at fault for a car accident when you’re uninsured can be a scary prospect, so what should you do next?
Don’t Admit Fault
Legal liability for a car accident can be determined later and proving fault for in a car crash is up to the other parties and the courts, if necessary. Instead, after a car accident, you should first be concerned with:
- Making sure everyone is OK.
- Exchanging contact and insurance information with all the parties involved.
- Documenting as much of the accident for yourself as possible, by taking notes and pictures.
You don’t need to say anything that could be construed as admitting fault, such as apologizing for the accident; and you don’t need to talk to other drivers’ insurance companies right away.
Take as many notes as you can about the accident. Take as many pictures of the scene as possible. And take care to track all of your costs and expenses related to the accident. Normally, an insurance company is tasked with investigating accidents and claims, but you may have to rely on your own evidence when it comes to determining fault and damages.
Do Call an Attorney
Again, this is normally something an insurance company would provide. But, being on your own, it’s up to you to protect yourself, legally and financially. You may still be able to sue if the accident was your fault, but not without a good lawyer.
An experienced car accident attorney will know the law and may be able to negotiate a more favorable settlement with the other parties. And a good lawyer can also help with the possible criminal ramifications of driving without insurance.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, regardless of fault or insurance, you may want to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney near you.
- Injured in a car accident? Get your claim reviewed by an attorney for free. (Consumer Injury)
- 5 Signs You May Need a Car Accident Lawyer (FindLaw’s Injured)
- Can You Settle a Car Accident With No Insurance? (FindLaw’s Injured)
- 5 Car Accident Myths (FindLaw’s Injured)