All Oklahoma drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover others injured in an accident. Auto liability insurance covers the medical costs of anyone a motorist injures in a car accident. Unfortunately, a significant portion of Oklahoma drivers disregard the law and drive without required liability insurance. Others have only the bare minimum insurance coverage. The policies of underinsured drivers may not cover the full costs of the damage that they cause.
What happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver in Oklahoma depends of your own insurance coverage. Oklahoma is an at-fault state. This means that, when accidents occur, the person who caused the accident typically is responsible for paying for the damages. Usually, the responsible driver’s insurance policy would cover the expenses that result after an accident. But when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you can be left without a clear way to pay for the medical bills and vehicle repairs associated with a crash that was not your fault. It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options.
What to do after an accident with an uninsured driver
Call the police: It’s extremely important to call the police to the scene as soon as possible after an accident with an uninsured driver. The police will investigate the accident and fill out a report detailing what occurred. They may cite the driver for causing the accident. The police will verify the other driver’s insurance information or determine the driver is uninsured.
Sometimes drivers give false information or lie about not having insurance. If the police find that the driver is uninsured, they may cite the driver for violating Oklahoma law.
All of this information, including the police accident report, will be important for proving fault if you need to file an injury claim and seek compensation at a later date.
Contact your insurance company: The next step is to contact your insurance agent and inform him or her of the accident. Many companies only give you thirty days to notify them after a collision, so do not delay contacting your insurance company.
When you report the accident to your insurer, check to see if you have Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Coverage. UM/UIM coverage is offered with every auto insurance plan in the state of Oklahoma. Residents are not required to purchase it, but you should have it as part of your auto insurance policy unless you specifically declined it in writing. Your prospects for receiving compensation after being hit by an uninsured driver are much better if you have UM/UIM coverage.
In accidents involving an uninsured driver, UM coverage will pay for medical bills for you, members of your family who reside with you and passengers in your car. It also covers your injuries if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver. However, UM coverage does not pay for repairs to your vehicle. Repairs to your car would be covered by your collision coverage, if you have collision coverage. If you have only liability insurance, there would be no insurance available to pay for repairs to your car.
Even with uninsured motorist coverage, you may need to battle your insurer. This is where gathering evidence at the accident scene becomes vital. It can be difficult to get your insurance company to accept your uninsured motorist claim without evidence to prove the other driver was at fault. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Oklahoma, it is important to find an attorney who will stand up to the insurance company and fight for you.
What if the other driver has insurance, but it isn’t enough for my expenses?
Automobile owners often carry the minimum amount of insurance coverage possible to comply with the law and have lower premiums. That amount of coverage may not be enough to cover medical expenses in a car accident involving serious injuries. Your medical expenses may exceed the coverage limits of the other driver’s basic liability policy. If an underinsured driver is at fault in an accident, your UIM motorist policy should pay for your medical bills that are not covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance, up to the limits of your UIM policy.
As with uninsured motorist coverage, under insured motorist coverage does not pay for damage to your vehicle. You may have to fight with your insurance agent to get your compensation. Therefore, it is helpful in this case as well to get in touch with an attorney before filing your claim.
What if I am in a car crash in Oklahoma and the uninsured driver is not at fault?
Because Oklahoma is an at-fault state, you will be required to pay for the damage if the accident is your fault. If you have insurance, though, then things will mostly proceed as normal.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver in Oklahoma City or anywhere in Oklahoma, the injury attorneys at the Oklahoma City car accident lawyers of Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help. Our experienced attorneys can review the facts of your uninsured motorist accident and discuss whether pursuing a civil claim is an appropriate step based on the specific facts of your situation. We can help you gather evidence and deal with insurance companies. Some people try to reach a settlement with an insurance company on their own and end up getting taken advantage of because they are unfamiliar with the claims process.
Our attorneys understand the financial stress and strain that an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can cause. You are wondering how you are going to pay your medical bills. Our uninsured motorist lawyers at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not owe attorney fees unless we win compensation on your behalf. We have helped Oklahomans just like you recover compensation to rebuild their lives after serious accidents. We give our clients the individual attention they deserve and strive to provide the best possible customer service at all times. Contact us today at (800) 725-2222 to schedule your free initial consultation.