What Happens If The At-fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance In California?

You might be concerned if you have been in an accident with another driver and you don’t have insurance. It is possible to recover compensation for an accident involving an uninsured driver even if you are not at fault. You still have options for compensation if the driver does not have insurance.

Are There Insurance Requirements In California?

All California drivers must have insurance to cover all vehicles parked or operated in the state. Every driver must keep a copy of their insurance card in their car at all times. The California law requires that you have minimum liability insurance.

  • $15,000 to injure or kill one person
  • $30,000 to injure or kill more than one person
  • $5,000 for property damage

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will cancel the registration of any vehicle whose insurance is not provided. The car cannot be driven on California roads until insurance proof is presented.

Many people ignore this requirement and drive their car without insurance. An accident involving an uninsured driver can cause complicated insurance issues that require the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

What Are My Options After A Car Accident?

According to the Insurance Information Institute in 2019, 16.6% of California drivers were not insured. This makes California one of the most underinsured states in America. If you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist and were not at fault, there is hope. There are options.

Uninsured Motorist Claim

California doesn’t require motorists to have uninsured motorist coverage. It does require that insurers offer it so it’s possible you have it.

If you are involved in an accident with someone without California insurance, uninsured motorist coverage provides a safety net. Underinsured motorist insurance covers bodily injury costs if you are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have enough insurance. To receive coverage benefits, you must file a claim against the insurance company.

It is important to fully understand how your uninsured motorist coverage works when you file a claim against your insurance company. As you go through the claims process, your attorney can explain how much uninsured motorist coverage is available to you.

Maximum Uninsured Motorist Insurance

California allows you to only recover your maximum liability limits if you cause an accident with someone without insurance. Let’s take, for example, $80,000 in medical bills resulting from a car accident involving an uninsured driver.

Your uninsured motorist coverage covers $30,000 of coverage. California law permits you to recover only the $30,000 included in your uninsured motorist coverage–unfortunately leaving you with $50,000 in unaccounted for compensation.

Fault Determination

Uninsured motorist coverage will only be available if you are not responsible for the accident. You may not receive the compensation you deserve if you try to prove it on your own. An attorney will carefully collect and compile the evidence required to prove the fault of the uninsured motorist so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

Filing A Lawsuit

You might want to sue the driver who did not choose to have uninsured motorist coverage. Your personal injury attorney should discuss the potential outcomes of this option. Be aware, however, that not all situations will be ideal. You may win a case against an uninsured motorist, but the driver may not have enough assets or money to pay you.

This article was written by Alla Tenina. Alla is a top personal injury lawyer in Sherman Oaks CA, and the founder of Tenina law. She has experience in bankruptcies, real estate planning, and complex tax matters. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.