If you are in a vehicle accident and the other party involved does not have vehicle insurance, then you need to take action to ensure you are protected. This is especially true if the other person might be at fault for the accident. These three steps might help you seek compensation for any damages you experienced in such an accident.

First, if you are physically able to following the accident, gather as much information as possible. We always tell people to exchange contact and insurance information with the other party in an accident, but when uninsured motorist issues are at play, data-gathering is critical. Write down the names of everyone involved, get phone numbers and addresses if possible and record both drivers’ license numbers and license plate numbers. Use a cellphone at the accident scene if it is safe to do so to record damage to your vehicle and damage to other vehicles. Take a picture of anything else you think might become relevant in an accident investigation.

Before you go about all this data gathering, make sure you call in the authorities. Calling the police ensures an accident report is filed, which can be important for matters of evidence later. Even if the other person is balking at involving authorities, you should do so.

Third, you should get your own insurance involved. When covered property has been damaged, you should always call your insurance company as soon as possible. This lets your representative begin any necessary claim processes and can quicken any applicable payments.

If you are having trouble getting your claims paid by your insurance company, then consider speaking with a lawyer. He or she can help you understand what your policy covers and what recovery options you have with your own insurance and with lawsuits against a third party.

Source: FindLaw, “What to Do If You Have Been Hit by an Uninsured Driver,” accessed July 15, 2016