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What if I am Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

There are three inevitable truths when it comes to California. First, our car culture is legendary. Second, our freeways are also legendary – with good reason. Third, we tend to have a lot of uninsured drivers. So what happens if you are involved in a collision with someone who doesn’t have insurance? Keep reading to find out.

It is illegal to drive without liability insurance in California

To register a vehicle in California, you must have “proof of financial responsibility.”  This must be in the form of  liability insurance, a self-insurance certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a $35,000 cash deposit with the DMV, or a surety bond in the amount of $35,000 from a company licensed to do business here. Of these three options, liability insurance is by far the most common. This type of coverage provides compensation for parties (other than the policyholder) who get hurt or sustain property damage in a motor vehicle accident. Legally, this coverage  for a private passenger vehicle must provide at least:
  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for damage to property
For those that can’t afford traditional car insurance, the state offers it through its Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program. In any case, all motorists must be able to present your proof of financial responsibility:
  • if a law enforcement officer requests it
  • for motor vehicle registration renewal
  • if you are involved in an accident while driving the vehicle
A motorist who cannot provide proof of insurance under ordinary circumstances faces fines ranging from $100 for a first offense (plus additional fees and assessments). Depending on the circumstances, this jumps  to several hundred dollars  or more for a second and/or subsequent offense within time periods specified by law. A motorist who can’t provide proof of insurance after an accident,  may face additional repercussions, including suspension of their license or  even confiscation of their car.

Your options for recourse after being hit by an uninsured motorist

That’s all well and good, but if you were the person hurt in a crash with an uninsured motorist, it doesn’t address your most pressing concern – obtaining compensation. Your options for financial recourse depend on your unique circumstances. For example, you may be able to get money from your own car insurance company if you have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. This is elective coverage that  kicks in when the other motorist caused the crash, but  has no insurance at all, or does not have to cover your injuries and other damages. If you have health insurance, it  may cover your medical costs, but that’s about it. It won’t cover other damages such as lost wages due to the inability to work, or non-economic damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering. Of course, you could always sue the other driver. But if he or she has little or no insurance, there may not be much of a point.

Contact Los Angeles uninsured car accident lawyers today

That being stated, the personal injury lawyers here at LawPLA have plenty of experience dealing with these types of cases. But we won’t know if we can help you with yours until you contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach us by completing the contact form on our website, or calling our office.  We’ll take it from there.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a representation, warranty, or guarantee of a future result or outcome. Every case is different just like every one of our clients.