What to Do if You’ve Been Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Montana
Being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver can be frustrating and challenging. Oftentimes, these accidents lead to serious injuries, property damage, and extensive medical bills, so it’s normal to feel worried if you find out the other driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver or if you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, take the following steps.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone requires immediate medical attention, call for an ambulance right away.
If an ambulance is called to the scene, it may be a good idea to be checked by the emergency team even if you do not believe you are injured. If you choose not to be checked at the scene, be sure to seek medical care soon after.
Move to Safety
If possible, move your car out of the roadway. Try to get to the shoulder of the road or into a nearby parking lot. This will reduce the risk of further harm.
Document the Incident
Collect as much information as possible about the accident. This includes taking photos of the scene, noting the time and location, and gathering contact information from any witnesses present.
If possible, write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you can. It can be easy to forget small details as time goes on, and these pieces of information may be useful when you are building your injury case.
Contact Law Enforcement
Report the accident to the police, even if there are no serious injuries. They will document the incident and create an official police report.
When you contact your car insurance company, have the police report number ready. Many providers will require a police report before any insurance claims are approved.
Obtain the necessary details from the uninsured driver, such as their name, contact information, and vehicle description. If they provide insurance information, even if it’s invalid or expired, make a note of it.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, provide the police with as much detail about the other driver as possible. Try to remember the make, model, and color of their car, as well as a physical description of the driver. They may be able to find the at-fault driver before they’ve gotten too far away.
Notify Your Own Auto Insurance Company
Contact your own insurance company to report the accident. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the uninsured driver and the incident. Your insurance agent will guide you on how to proceed. Ask about the following types of coverage that may be listed on your policy.
You may have MedPay coverage on your policy. This optional coverage will pay for some of your medical expenses up front, without having to wait for a settlement.
If you have lived in other states, you may know this coverage as “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP). Montana does not offer PIP as an option on car insurance policies, but MedPay functions in much the same way, with some small differences.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Check your car insurance policy to determine if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This type of coverage is designed to protect you in situations where the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance.
If you have UM/UIM coverage, your insurance company may help cover damages, medical expenses, and other losses up to the policy limits.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you do not believe you were seriously hurt, see a medical professional as soon as possible after your accident. You may have suffered bodily injuries that you are unaware of.
Tell your doctor that you were involved in an auto accident so that they know what hidden injuries to check for.
Keep track of all treatment you receive. These expenses can be added to your injury claim later on.
Paying Your Bills
Montana’s Ridley Law may help you get your medical bills paid up front. If liability in your accident is “reasonably clear,” you may not need to wait for your case to settle to get your bills paid. An attorney with The Advocates personal injury law firm can help you understand whether you are entitled to Ridley payments.
If Ridley payments aren’t an option for you and your car insurance coverage doesn’t cover all your medical expenses, you may need to rely on your health insurance to pick up the rest of the bill. Keep in mind that you may be expected to pay out-of-pocket until you have met your deductible.
If you are concerned about being able to pay your medical bills, your attorney can help you make a plan to keep them from going to collections.
Consider Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained significant injuries or are facing difficulties in recovering compensation, it may be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can provide guidance on your legal options and help protect your rights.
A personal injury lawyer with The Montana Advocates can help with your uninsured motorist claim. We have been helping accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for more than 30 years, and we are ready to take on your case.
Our car accident lawyers will help you build an injury claim to seek fair compensation for the damages you have suffered. In most cases, we can help you get a settlement before your case ever goes to court. However, if the at-fault party’s insurance provider refuses to make a fair offer, we will argue your case in front of a judge.
If you’ve suffered car accident injuries, you deserve an attorney who will fight for your recovery. You deserve an Advocate.