Being involved in a car accident can cause a great deal of stress. What offers some comfort is knowing that your or the other driver's insurance will cover the cost of auto damage and medical treatment. But what if you or the other driver are not insured? There are approximately 13% of vehicles nationwide that are uninsured. That's nearly 32 million drivers on the road without auto insurance. So it's important to know what to expect when you're involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance.
In California, it is illegal to drive without car insurance, and the state maintains a “No Pay, No Play” rule. This means that the uninsured are limited in the amount they are able to recover in a crash. While you can seek economic damages from the other driver's liability policy, you cannot seek damages for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. In addition to that, the uninsured will face legal penalties for driving without insurance. The penalty varies depending on the state you live in.
Your Fault and Uninsured:
As mentioned earlier in this article, you will face penalties in the state of California and potentially a lawsuit from the other driver if you are at fault and uninsured. In the case that the other driver is uninsured, they still have the right to file a lawsuit directly against you for damages, which means that your personal assets could be at risk.
You Get Hit by Someone Uninsured:
California requires auto insurance companies to offer uninsured / under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. While it is not mandatory, it is a good idea to get it because it will cover all your auto damages and medical bills if you're involved in a crash with someone who is not insured. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit directly against the other driver but that depends if you meet California's requirements, and that's where it may get complicated. If you have questions or need consultation on your case such as this, contact us.