Driving without insurance is against the law, but that doesn't stop people from doing it. According to the Insurance Information Institute, New Mexico is consistently in the top five when it comes to uninsured drivers. The data shows that about 22% of New Mexico drivers are uninsured. Arizona's uninsured driver percentage is a little over 11%. Those who get into car accidents with someone who lacks insurance may be wondering “what happens after an accident with an uninsured motorist?” In this article, we're going to discuss the potential legal options that these drivers may have.
If you've been hurt in an accident due to the fault of someone else, give our car accident lawyers a call at (602) 345-1818. We'll work hard to get you the legal compensation you deserve and need to recover after a car accident in New Mexico or Arizona. Alternatively, you may fill out our convenient and confidential online contact form, and we will reach out to you to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
Follow These Steps After a Car Accident
Regardless if the at-fault driver is uninsured, you should follow these steps after a car accident:
- Stay on the scene. Leaving the scene can cause you severe legal troubles.
- Assess the safety and health of yourself and others involved; call for medical assistance, if needed
- Ensure you call the authorities to draft an official report; this may be a crucial piece of evidence going forward
- Get information from the other driver(s), including their name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, and insurance information.
- Obtain information from potential witnesses of the accident
- Take pictures of the accident; remember to do so safely
- Do not post pictures of the accident on social media
- Never take blame or admit fault of any kind; this can be used against you later
- See a doctor; even if you “feel fine” following the accident, remember that potential injuries may not be evident until days after the accident has happened
If the other driver attempts to offer you cash in lieu of calling the police, don't take it. It could land you in legal trouble. Additionally, accepting damages too early may result in unaccounted-for losses with no way to pay for them. It's important to ensure that you have all losses accounted for so that you don't end up with greater financial implications down the road. A car accident lawyer can help you calculate the appropriate car accident settlement amount. To get an idea of the losses that may apply to your case, check out our online accident settlement calculator here.
The Typical Scenario After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, typically, you'll rely on your own insurance policy to help you recover. Most policies include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which helps you recover in the event you are in an accident with a person who has no insurance or in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver leaves the scene and remains unidentified.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not a requirement in Arizona or New Mexico, but we highly recommend that you purchase it. It can be a saving grace if you are ever in need of it.
Other Potential Options For Accident Victims
Some additional options to help you recover in the event you are in a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver include:
- File a personal injury claim against the at-fault party - Instead of filing an insurance claim against the at-fault party's insurer, you may be able to file an injury claim directly against the actual uninsured driver. However, this is not the most common scenario as the uninsured driver may not have sufficient money or assets to cover the damages.
- If the uninsured driver was borrowing the car - You may be able to file an insurance claim against the actual owner's insurance policy. The insurance policy typically follows the vehicle, not the driver.
- Other forms of insurance may help - Depending on your policy, you may have other forms of insurance that could help you recuperate losses after a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, such as Medical Payments Insurance.
Your car accident lawyer in New Mexico or Arizona can help you determine which route is best based on the specific facts of your case.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Even if you think your accident was simple enough to handle on your own, it's a good idea to consult an experienced car accident lawyer. Our initial consultations and case reviews at Impact Legal are completely free of charge. In fact, we don't get paid until we have secured a jury settlement or judgment. It costs nothing to get an expert opinion. If you don't need a lawyer, we will tell you so. If you do, you'll be glad you called us. Even if you are the at-fault driver you may still have legal grounds for financial recovery – don't give up and just let your insurance foot the bill. Get a legal opinion today by scheduling your free consultation. Call or text (602) 345-1818 or fill out our convenient and confidential online contact form, and we will reach out to you to schedule your consultation.
The information on our blog and website is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice about your unique situation, call or text our car accident lawyers today.
We are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.