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What to Do if You’re Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

November 9, 2023

Getting into a car accident is already stressful enough, but discovering that the other driver is uninsured can elevate that stress to another level. In the UK, driving without insurance is illegal; however, some still flout the rules, leaving innocent parties at risk. If you find yourself in this situation, it's vital to know how to handle it effectively, without letting your emotions get the best of you. Let’s take a look at some important steps to take, and how to handle the incident from both a personal and legal point of view.

Immediate Steps to Take After the Accident

Prioritise Safety

Before anything else, ensure that you and any passengers are safe. If anyone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately. If the vehicles are obstructing the road, move them to a safer place, if possible, without compromising evidence.

Don’t Accept Offers

The uninsured driver might offer cash or a quick settlement to avoid legal consequences. While it might be tempting to accept, it’s advised to handle the situation officially to ensure you’re adequately compensated - especially if you’re going to be making an official not at fault insurance claim.

Stay Calm

Emotions can run high after an accident, especially when you find out the driver is uninsured. However, it’s important to remain composed. Avoid confrontations with the other driver, as this can complicate matters.

Report the Accident to the Police

After ensuring everyone’s safety, the next crucial step is to report the incident. In the case of a collision with an uninsured driver, it becomes even more vital:

Contact the Police

Even if it's a minor accident, inform the police that you've been hit by an uninsured driver. They can take the necessary actions against the driver and provide you with an official police report – an essential document when dealing with insurance claims.

Inform the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)

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The MIB is an organisation that compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers, and reporting the accident to them can be a beneficial step when it comes to seeking compensation.

Collecting Information from the Uninsured Driver

While they might be hesitant due to their lack of insurance, attempt to collect the following details:

  • Personal Details: This includes the driver's full name, address, and contact number.
  • Vehicle Details: Make a note of the car’s make, model, colour, and registration number.
  • Reason for No Insurance: While not mandatory, understanding why they're uninsured can sometimes aid your insurance claim or legal case.

Gathering Witness Information

While you might be overwhelmed, don’t forget the key role witnesses can play in insurance claims. If there are witnesses, kindly ask them for their details and a brief account of what they saw. Independent third-party accounts can bolster your claim, especially when dealing with the intricacies of an accident involving an uninsured driver.

Taking Photographs of the Scene

Just like with any other road accident, it's always a good idea to document the scene as thoroughly as possible:

  • Overall Scene: Capture wide shots that show the positioning of the vehicles, any skid marks, and traffic signs or signals.
  • Vehicle Damages: Take close-ups of the damage on both vehicles, ensuring clarity in the photos to exhibit the extent of the damage.
  • Injuries: If there are visible injuries, and it’s appropriate to do so, document them with photographs. However, always prioritise medical attention first.
  • Relevant Details: If the other vehicle has no insurance disc, or if there are other relevant details that stand out, capture them in photos.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

Report Promptly

As soon as it's feasible, contact your insurance provider to report the incident. While the other driver may be uninsured, your insurance might cover damages depending on your policy type.

Provide Detailed Information

Share all the details you’ve gathered, including the other driver's details, witness information, and photographs. The more information you provide, the better equipped your insurer will be to handle the claim.

Discuss Coverage

If you have a comprehensive insurance policy or coverage against uninsured motorists, your insurer may cover the repair costs. Always clarify the specifics of your policy in such situations.

Uninsured Driver Recovery Options

If you're concerned about how to recover costs following an accident with an uninsured driver, several avenues are available:

  • Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) Claims: As mentioned earlier, the MIB helps victims of uninsured drivers. If your insurance doesn't cover the damages or if you face out-of-pocket expenses, the MIB can assist. They may cover property damages, personal injuries, and other related costs.
  • Legal Action: If the uninsured driver refuses to compensate you, consider seeking legal advice. You might have the option to sue the driver for damages. However, be mindful that this process can be lengthy and there's no guarantee of recovering all costs, especially if the driver lacks the means to pay.

Key Takeaways

While no one wishes to be in an accident, especially with an uninsured driver, being prepared and informed can mitigate some of the challenges faced. Always prioritise safety, gather as much evidence as possible, and understand your rights and options in such situations.