What to Do After a Crash with an Uninsured Driver in California
While drivers in the state of California are required to carry car insurance, and are liable for damages that they cause to others in a motor vehicle accident, it doesn’t always work like this. To be sure, there are numerous uninsured drivers on the road today.
When an uninsured driver causes an accident, the victim of the crash may have questions about what to do and how they can recover compensation. If you have been in a car accident with no insurance in California, our car accident lawyers can help you take the next steps.
California Car Insurance Requirements
In order to register a vehicle in the state of California, motorists are required under law to carry $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
If a driver does not carry these insurance types, they are operating their vehicle illegally.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver?
While an at-fault driver who is uninsured may face penalties imposed by the state of California for their failure to obtain insurance, these penalties will not offer you—a driver or passenger harmed as a result of their negligence—any compensation for your injuries.
While you may maintain the right to file a lawsuit for damages directly against the driver, note that if a driver doesn’t have insurance, this is often an indication that they will not have the financial means to pay your claim. While this is one option of recovery, it may not be the best one available to you.
What to Do When Hit by Uninsured Driver California
If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you should proceed with the claims process as if you were hit by a driver with insurance. Steps to take—and to avoid—include:
- Do report the accident to the police. All accidents should be reported, even minor ones.
- Do inform your own insurance company of the accident.
- Do seek medical care. Even if you are worried about how to pay for care, it is still important that you seek it.
- Do seek vehicle repairs. While you may have questions about how to pay for your car if the other driver isn’t insured, you should still seek vehicle repairs, especially if doing so is necessary for your daily transportation.
- Do call a lawyer. A lawyer can guide you through what to do and not to do after an accident, and can start building your case immediately.
- Don’t admit fault. No matter what you do, never admit fault. This can be used against you.
- Don’t agree to reaching a settlement without a lawyer. Never accept an uninsured driver’s offer to merely pay for your damages out of pocket unless this offer is reviewed by an attorney.
- Don’t assume the worst - there may still be compensation available. When you meet with your attorney, they can guide you through other avenues of compensation.
How a Lawyer Can Help
While being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can certainly serve as a barrier to recovery, and may be frustrating and scary, the at-fault driver’s insurance (or lack thereof) may not be the only source of compensation available to you. Other sources of compensation might include:
- Your health insurance;
- Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage;
- Your medical payments (MedPay) coverage; or
- Your physical damage coverage (in the form of collision coverage).
Additionally, your attorney will investigate your case to determine whether or not another party, other than the other driver, contributed to your accident. For example, would the accident not have occurred but for faulty brakes or defective tires? Or a missing traffic sign or poor road surface conditions? If there is another party who’s to blame, then your attorney can also bring a claim against this party’s insurance, improving your chances of recovering the full settlement amount that you deserve. Our law firm hires experts to investigate your case and reconstruct the accident to determine exactly what happened.
Call Our Uninsured Accident Attorneys Today
Being hit by an uninsured driver can be a
shocking and nerve-wracking experience, especially if your injuries and losses
are severe. When you call our attorneys at the office of Starpoint LC, Attorney
at Law, we will provide you with a free case review and information about your
legal options. Don’t throw in the towel on recouping damages simply because the
other driver doesn’t have insurance; instead, call our law firm for the legal
guidance you can trust.