In An Accident But Didn’t Get Any Insurance Information. What’s Next?
If you get into a car accident that isn’t your fault, then the law is on your side. This is the purpose for car insurance and it should then follow that the driver that was to blame will pay for the damage and for any medical costs through their insurance. It is a legal requirement that drivers should have insurance and therefore you should be able to safely presume that the other party will have the available funds to pay for the damage and you should be able to get back onto the road and afford any medical costs without any personal financial loss.
But of course it doesn’t always work like that. For example, what happens if you are in a car accident and the other person drives away? What if you are the victim of a hit and run?
In these cases, you won’t be able to get the costs paid by anyone else and you’ll be left to deal with them. This can be a very frustrating and upsetting experience as you now not only have the shock and trauma of being in a car accident but also the stress and inconvenience of having to pay for damage that was not your fault and that may have been outside of your control.
So, what do you do?
Your Rights As A Driver
If you have been in a car accident and the other driver did not stop to exchange details, then that is technically classified as a ‘hit and run’. This is an infraction and means that the other driver will face charges if they are eventually caught.
A hit and run is any kind of accident in which one party intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information. If they haven’t stopped to ask if you are alright and to offer to exchange insurance details/contact information, then they have broken the law. Even if the accident was your fault!
The First Steps After Getting In An Accident
The first thing to do if you are the victim of a hit and run is to assess the local area and to see if there is any information that can help you to catch the culprit.
First, assess your own memory. Can you remember the make and model of the vehicle? Do you remember what the other driver looked like? Write down these details while they are fresh in your memory and it may improve your chances of tracking down the driver. Police may be able to narrow down potential culprits by looking at who is in the local area and drives that car. Of course, if you can get a number plate down on paper then that will be even better.
Another good idea is to get out the car (making sure it is safe to do so) and see if there were any witnesses who might be willing to give a statement. Ask if they saw the number plate and ask if they would be willing to give you their contact details to help you catch the culprit. If it ultimately comes down to your word against theirs in a court of law, then this could help sway the decision in your favor.
Likewise, try to look for any other evidence. Skid marks on the road and the nature of the damage to your car will help you to demonstrate what happened (even when you catch the driver, that doesn’t mean they will admit fault). Better yet, try going into local stores in the area and asking if they have security camera footage that they would be willing to let you use. These days there is almost always some form of security camera or CCTV in built-up areas and even motorways will often have recording devices in place.
One thing you must never do is to try and pursue the person who hit you. If you do this, then you risk causing further accident and you will lose the opportunity to follow the steps outlined.
Getting Compensation After The Hit-And-Run
Following this, you can then file a police report. The police will then be able to use the information you have given them and any other details in order to try and track down the guilty party. From here, you may be able to get compensation from the driver either through their insurance, or out of their own pocket (if they don’t have insurance). Even if they aren’t successful in apprehending the culprit, simply having a police report on file can help you legally in a number of ways.
In Virginia, your auto policy should include ‘uninsured motorist coverage’. This will cover hit and run accidents in many cases and that means you will only have to pay the agreed excess.
If you need auto insurance in the state of Virginia, please call 434 979 0814 in Charlottesville or 894 741 6305 anywhere in Central Virginia OR
If you are looking for the lowest prices, there are some guidelines worth following as you do your research. Here are 8 ways to get the cheapest auto insurance.
1. Don’t assume any one company is the cheapest
Some companies spend a lot of money on commercials, trying to convince you that they offer the lowest car insurance rates.
The truth is that prices individuals will pay for the same coverage at the same company vary widely, and no single company can claim to be the low-price leader. The insurance company that’s cheapest for one person in one place might be the most expensive option for another driver. Some insurance companies have also developed complex predictive models that may charge you higher rates if they show you are unlikely to switch providers. Your best bet is to get quotes from different companies, including independent agencies, and compare for the best.
2. Don’t ignore local and regional insurance companies
Just four companies control nearly half the nation’s car insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. But smaller, regional insurers, such as Able Insurance, often have higher customer satisfaction ratings than the big names and they deliver great lower rates, too.
3. Check for discounts
Insurers provide a variety of discounts, including price breaks for customers who:
Bundle car insurance with other policies, such as homeowners insurance
Insure multiple cars with one policy
Have a clean driving record
Pay their entire annual or six-month premium at once
Agree to receive documents online
Own a car with certain anti-theft or safety features
Are members of particular professional organizations or affiliate groups
4. Pay your bills on time — and not just your insurance bills
Your credit is a significant factor in the car insurance quotes you’ll receive. Insurance companies say that customers’ credit has been shown to correlate with their risk of filing a claim. Improve your credit — and lower your premiums — by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt. Track your progress by checking your credit reports at least once per year.
You probably already pay attention to factors such as fuel efficiency and repair costs when deciding which car to buy, but you should also consider insurance premiums, which can vary between popular models. On a review of rates for best-selling vehicles in 25 cities found that the Toyota Camry, for example, cost an average of $187 per year more to insure than the comparable Honda Accord. Similarly, a Toyota RAV4 cost an average of $201 more to insure than a Honda CR-V.
6. Skip collision and comprehensive coverage for your clunker
Collision coverage pays to repair damage your vehicle receives in an accident involving another car or an inanimate object. Comprehensive pays to repair vehicle damage caused by weather, animals or vandalism, or reimburses you for your car if its stolen. But both will only pay up to the value of your car. If yours older and has a low market value, it may not make sense to shell out for the two policies.
7. Consider raising your deductible
If you need to carry comprehensive and collision — because your car is a later model or your lender requires it — you can save a substantial amount of money by raising the deductibles. A NerdWallet study of rates in Florida and California found that customers who increased their deductibles from $500 to $1,000 saved about $200 per year on premiums, while those who increased them from $500 to $2,000 saved $362 per year. Keep in mind that this will mean you’ll pay more out of pocket if you do make a claim.
8. Consider usage-based plans, especially if you don’t drive much
If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t log very many miles, consider a usage-based insurance program. By signing up for these programs, you allow your insurer to track your driving electronically in exchange for possible discounts, based on how much you drive, when you drive and how well you drive.
Able Insurance is always here to help you make the best decisions based on your individual needs, current situation, and long-term goals. If you’re looking for affordable term coverage for temporary needs, or a permanent policy, we can help with solutions that meet your needs and budget. No matter where you are in life, one thing is certain: if someone depends on you financially, you need life insurance.
If you have gotten your license suspended or revolked, you may require an SR-22 filing in order to drive legally again. The state of Virginia uses the SR-22 form to help protect its citizens against problem drivers by monitoring their insurance. It requires the auto insurance company to file the SR-22 form as a proof of a problem driver’s financial responsibility, stating that his/her auto insurance liability is in effect. The state does not send notifications and it is the responsibility of the driver and the auto insurance company to submit the form as well as the renewals, to the state, if required.
What Is A SR-22 Form?
There are three different types of SR-22 forms:
The Operator’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility in the case the motorist does not own a vehicle.
The Owner’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility for vehicles owned by the motorist.
The Operators-Owners Certificate covers financial responsibility for all the vehicles that are owned or non-owned by the motorist.
When Is A SR-22 Required?
The SR-22 financial responsibility Insurance form is required in the following cases:
In case of a driver’s license suspension as a result of a conviction for a major offense such as manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, making a false affidavit during driver license application or vehicle registration, failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death or injury, or a second conviction for operating a passenger vehicle without a valid license.
If you have any unsatisfied judgment suspensions. For example, if a driver involved in an accident in the past has an unsatisfactory judgment entered against him then he or she needs to fill the SR-22.
In case of an uninsured motor vehicle suspension.
Certain convictions such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving with a suspended license will require filing of an FR-44. This is a more stringent version of the SR-22 under which the amount of minimum coverage is doubled.
Filing For The SR-22
Contact a state-authorized insurance agency to request for a SR-22 filing.
Pay the correct processing fee to the agency. The fee amount may vary between agencies. You can request an insurance quote from our Virginia auto insurance page and companies such as Esurance will allow you to request an SR-22 filing automatically.
As per the State laws of Virginia, the minimum amount of coverage should be $25,000 for one person killed or injured, $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured and $20,000 for property damage.
Upon receiving the request from the agent the central office then sends the SR-22 directly to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. SR-22 filing may be carried out electronically, in which case your records will be updated almost instantaneously.
The SR-22 has to be maintained for a minimum period of 36 months. If the motorist does not renew it at least 15 days before the expiration date the agency notifies the State. The State may then suspend the driving record of the motorist until the insurance is reinstated.
Owners of business vehicles may choose to go for self-insurance by furnishing a surety bond. For more information regarding self-insurance, contact your nearest DMV office.
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716 Rio Rd West Charlottesville, VA 22901 434 979 0814
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