Being involved in a car accident is a stressful and often traumatic experience. In California, drivers are required to have insurance to cover potential damages and injuries.
However, not everyone follows these rules, and accidents involving uninsured motorists can happen. In fact, according to the Internet Research Council, approximately 16.6% of California drivers were uninsured in 2019.
So what happens if you get hit by someone without insurance in California?
If you get hit by an uninsured driver, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance or file a lawsuit. Here we’ll discuss what happens if you get hit by someone without insurance in California and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Are the Insurance Requirements in California?
California law requires that all drivers have at least 15/30/5 liability insurance coverage. These minimum liability insurance requirements include:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person;
- $30,000 for all persons injured in any one accident; and
- $5,000 for property damage.
If someone is caught driving without insurance, they can face fines and the suspension of their driver’s license.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
In California, uninsured motorist coverage is an optional insurance policy that you can add to your existing policy. Although this coverage is not required, it is a good idea to add it.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will step in to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, up to the limits of your policy.
What Are My Options After I Get Hit By Someone with No Insurance in California?
If you get hit by someone without insurance in California, you still have options to receive compensation for injury or damages. These options include filing an uninsured motorist claim or filing a lawsuit.
Uninsured Motorist Claim
If the person at fault in an accident has no insurance in California, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance provider. To file an uninsured motorist claim, you must have opted for this coverage with your insurance provider.
Through an uninsured motorist claim, you can receive bodily injury compensation. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from injuries sustained in the accident.
You can also receive property damage compensation, which pays for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and other property that was damaged in the accident.
It is important to note that the other driver must be at fault for uninsured motorist coverage to apply. If you are at fault for the accident, uninsured motorist coverage will not apply.
File a Lawsuit
If the uninsured driver is at fault for the accident, you have the option to file a lawsuit against them to recover your damages.
However, it’s important to consider that if someone doesn’t have insurance, they may not have the financial resources to cover your expenses. Even if you win a lawsuit, collecting the money can be challenging.
What Happens If the Person Not at Fault in an Accident Has No Insurance in California?
If you have no insurance but the other driver was at fault in California, you may still be able to receive some compensation for damages.
However, California’s “no-pay-no-play” law limits the amount of compensation uninsured drivers can receive. Uninsured drivers may not seek non-economic damages after a car accident. Non-economic damages include pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
But an uninsured driver who is not at fault can still file an insurance claim or lawsuit for economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
Contact an Attorney
Navigating the legal and insurance complexities after an accident involving an uninsured driver can be challenging.
Peerali Law is a boutique law firm based in Los Angeles that offers innovative and creative legal solutions. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience needed to guide you through your car accident case.
Contact us online or by phone today for a free case evaluation.