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Accident with an uninsured motorist? Don't panic

The weather forecast called for perfection, so it was a perfect time to pack up the car and head for Zion National Park. A weekend of hiking and star-gazing was just what the doctor ordered.

You had barely made it out of Salt Lake City before your plans drastically changed. Instead of spending the weekend hiking, you were now spending it recovering from a car wreck.

Another driver had run a red light and t-boned your car. Your injuries weren't life threatening, but you did end up with a broken arm. Your car was most likely totaled. The worst part though, was that other driver doesn't have insurance.

How were you going to pay the hospital bill for setting your arm? What about the damage to your car? You were probably going to have to buy a new one, but the down payment could put a real dent in your savings account. Fortunately, you have options after being in a wreck with an uninsured driver.

After being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, the first step is not to panic.

1: Call the police

Any time you are involved in a car accident, you should call the police. This is even more important when the other driver does not have insurance. A police report is a very important piece of evidence when it comes to filing your claim.

2: Exchange contact information

Exchange information with the other driver. Get as much information as you can, including name, address, phone number, license plate number, and vehicle registration.

Also, get contact information from any witness along with a statement as to what they saw. The police will usually collect this information, but you should do so as well for your own records.

3: Call your insurance company

As soon as possible, contact your insurance company to report your claim. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you insurance should provide a significant amount of compensation to you. If you do not have this type of coverage, talk to your insurance agent about your options.

4: Seek medical attention

See to your injuries as soon as you can. Your health insurance may take care of the medical expenses, but you will still have to pay your deductible out of pocket. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance should also help with the medical expenses and any lost wages.

Step 5: See to your car

Talk to your insurance agent about what you need to do to get a new vehicle if it has been totaled. Uninsured motorist coverage should provide compensation for property damage. If you don't have sufficient coverage for the damage to your vehicle and your medical expenses, you may need to pursue compensation from the other driver through legal means.

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