California law requires that all drivers carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Some people know this as the 15-30-5 rule – you must carry liability coverage for at least $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage to any vehicles involved in the crash.
In addition, California auto insurers must offer uninsured motorist coverage to their customers. This type of coverage protects you in case you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. You can opt out of this coverage if you prefer, but it’s a good idea to keep uninsured motorist coverage in your policy because not everyone follows the law.
California is an at-fault state, which means that whoever caused a car accident is responsible for paying for any damages that result from the crash. Damages could include medical bills, lost income from missed work, or property damage to vehicles. Whether that’s you or another driver, usually the insurance company of the person at fault steps in to cover these losses.
Insurance policies often have limits. The more severe your injuries, the more economic impact they’re likely to have on your life. A bare-bones insurance policy that only covers $30,000 in injuries may not be enough to cover your medical bills or lost income. If that’s the case, you could file a claim against the driver personally to pay for your losses.
What happens if one of the drivers involved in a crash doesn’t have car insurance? The situation gets a little more tricky, especially if the person without insurance is the one who is also at fault. The driver without insurance may also face additional penalties from the state, whether they’re at fault or not. You may need a car accident attorney to help with your case.
What Happens if You Get Hit by an Uninsured Driver?
Even if you do everything right, someone else’s bad choices can cost you.
You carry car insurance and you drive carefully, following traffic laws. Then one day a driver without insurance runs a red light, speeds, or texts while driving – and they can’t stop in time to avoid you. Even if you’ve done everything right in this scenario, you could get seriously hurt.
Injuries from car accidents often lead to medical bills and lost work time, not to mention the physical pain and emotional stress from living through the experience. An uninsured driver can create a major complication for your case – but that doesn’t mean your case is hopeless. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the situation to your best advantage.
If you get hit by an uninsured driver who is at fault in the crash:
- You could be covered by your own insurance coverage under your uninsured motorist coverage. If that’s not enough to cover all of your losses, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver personally to get the remainder of the compensation you’re owed.
After an accident with an uninsured driver, you may struggle to get your out-of-pocket expenses and medical costs covered. Your insurance company may start to give you the runaround now that they’re the ones on the hook for the bill. They may even try denying your claims.
Going up against a huge insurance company when you’re just a regular person is intimidating. Whether you need to settle an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company or file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who caused your accident, getting the help of an experienced lawyer can make or break your case.
- If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you could file a lawsuit in civil court directly against the person who caused your accident. If your case is successful, you could hold them responsible for paying for your expenses and costs related to the crash.
Paying for unexpected medical bills out of pocket can devastate your financial life. If someone is responsible for causing your injuries, they are also legally responsible for the consequences. That means “making you whole” under the law as much as possible – offsetting your losses enough through financial compensation that you can thrive even after an injury.
While no financial settlement can undo your car accident, this legal remedy can help get you the medical treatment you need and reduce the effect of your injuries on your life.
What Happens if the You Get Into a Car Accident Without Insurance but You’re Not at Fault?
Driving without insurance will cost you even if you weren’t at fault. You may be fined by the state, your license may be suspended, and your vehicle may be impounded.
California is a No-Pay No-Play state. That means if you weren’t at fault in a car accident, you can still sue the at-fault driver or their insurance company for your economic losses such as hospital bills and lost wages. However, you cannot sue to recover non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Your lawyer is the one person who is on your side at all times. A good attorney’s goal is to not only prove your claims but to also get you the maximum possible settlement for your case. Your damages should cover not just past and present losses but future losses too.
What Happens if You Cause a Car Accident Without Insurance?
Unfortunately, if you cause an accident and you don’t have car insurance coverage, you could be personally responsible for the damages to anyone who gets injured as a result.
In addition to state penalties, license suspension, and vehicle impoundment, you could get personally sued for thousands of dollars in damages. If you’re at fault and you have no insurance, you must personally pay all of the medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, vehicle damages, and even pain and suffering damages of anyone injured in the crash.
If you get sued successfully, your wages could be garnished to pay off the judgment against you. In some cases, you could be in danger of losing your house. In these situations, it’s absolutely critical to get experienced legal help from a lawyer.
If you’re facing an uninsured car accident situation, we can help. Contact us now to get started with your free consultation. We bill on a contingency fee basis so you don’t have to worry about paying us until we recover compensation for you.