What To Do If You Are in An Auto Accident With An Uninsured Driver

October 15, 2016

A serious auto accident can really shake you up. Especially in the moments immediately following the accident, it can be difficult to sort things out and know what to do next. You may be in shock and confused by what has happened and what is going to happen. It helps to be aware of the guidelines established by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles:

  1. Stop your vehicle as safely as you can.
  2. If you are able to, provide assistance to anyone in urgent need.
  3. Contact the police and stay at the scene until they arrive.
  4. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers.

This is where things can become complicated if the other driver in the accident does not have auto insurance. While many people don’t know what to do after an accident, even fewer know what to do if the other driver doesn’t have insurance information to collect. At this point, you should contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney to ensure that you take the appropriate steps. It is also wise to collect the contact information of any witnesses who may be present.

What Is The Law Regarding Auto Insurance In South Carolina?

When it comes to laws regarding auto insurance in South Carolina, the most basic requirement is to have a certain level of coverage in each of three main categories of auto insurance as well as some form of coverage for uninsured motorists. Following are the legally required minimums for auto insurance in South Carolina:

  1. Bodily Injury  Coverage – $25,000
  2. Total Coverage Injury Per Accident – $50,000
  3. Property Liability Coverage – $25,000

Why Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

All drivers in South Carolina are required to carry some form of uninsured motorist coverage, and the reason is that not all drivers in South Carolina adhere to the insurance coverage laws. Thus, if you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, you have some coverage of your own to fall back on. In some cases, the amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you have on your insurance policy will be enough to cover all of your damages. However, in the majority of South Carolina auto accidents, a minimal amount of uninsured motorist coverage will not be enough. This is why it is generally wise to purchase additional uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy.

How Likely Are You To End Up In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?

One of the reasons that many people fail to purchase an adequate amount of uninsured motorist coverage is that they tend to think that it is unlikely to run into this scenario. For one thing, most people don’t think that a car accident will happen to them. For another, they certainly don’t think that uninsured motorists are a common risk. Just as it is a mistake to assume that you will never be in an auto accident, it is a mistake to assume that other drivers hold the legally required auto insurance. Having said that, South Carolina ranks fairly high in terms of states where drivers adhere to auto insurance requirements. Although more than 7% of drivers are operating their vehicles without insurance, this is still fairly low compared to many other states. Still, you don’t want to be left lacking if you happen to get into an accident with a driver who falls into the uninsured category. Keep in mind that those who are irresponsible in maintaining active auto insurance may also be irresponsible when it comes to adhering to the laws of the road. Thus, there is a reasonable enough likelihood of encountering an uninsured driver in an auto accident to ensure that you are well prepared with your own insurance.

Filing An Uninsured Motorist Claim In South Carolina

Another common misconception among South Carolina drivers is that your own insurance company will be more likely to work for your own best interests. Unfortunately, the majority of large insurance companies are looking out for their own best interests, even ahead of those of their own clients. Even if you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, you want to have an experienced South Carolina auto accident attorney on your side. Contact the Connell Law Firm today for a free consultation and advice on how to get the best results when filing your uninsured motorist claim.