The 7 Steps to Follow if You Are Involved in a Car Accident with No Insurance
Most people realize that California law requires any driver to have at least minimum liability car insurance. However, that does not mean that everyone does. If you do not have car insurance and have been involved in a car accident, follow these seven steps.
- Stay at the Scene of the Accident
- Report the Accident
- Determine Who Was at Fault
- Get Quotes
- Discuss Settlement Options
- Document Everything
- Talk to an Attorney
It is common and understandable for a person who has been in an accident to panic in any situation. When that person does not have insurance, the urge can be great. Do not do it. Stay and give others involved your personal information. If you leave the scene without doing so, you could be facing felony criminal charges.
Yes, you should report the accident to the police. Ask for a copy of the report.
The fact that you do not have insurance has no bearing on who was at fault for the accident and it should not prevent you from collecting compensation for your damages. In most cases, your car insurance company would normally investigate on your behalf. If you do not have insurance then you will need to be extra diligent in taking photos, getting witnesses statements, and otherwise collecting evidence. Your personal injury attorney may also be able to assist you.
If the other party was at fault, then they may be responsible for paying your medical costs and for the damage to your property. Get several quotes for repairs or estimates for replacement vehicles if your vehicle has been totaled.
When fault has been determined, and costs have been estimated, it is time to talk settlement. You want an attorney for this. Remember that any settlement you sign is a legal contract. While it will ensure your right to the damages it outlines, remember that also prevents you from further compensation in the event your injuries are more serious than you know.
Ask for everything in writing. Do not make any assumptions. You want pictures, receipts, paper trails, and written settlement offers. It is nice for the other party to make offers but unless you have it in writing, you should not consider it a given.
You should never sign a settlement without first having an attorney go over it. If you are not sure if you have a case or if you should take what is being offered, we recommend at least getting a free consultation. You can contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now and we can go over the basics.