What If the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
In a typical auto accident scenario, the liable driver’s insurance provides compensation to the victim(s) for personal injury and property damage. The amount of compensation depends on the extent of the claimant’s damages as well as the limits of the insurance policy. In California, drivers of private passenger vehicles are legally required to carry liability insurance of at least:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person;
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person; and
- $5,000 for damage to property.
Despite this law, many people drive without insurance or another form of financial liability. And everyone suffers for it – at-fault parties and victims alike.
What Are My Options for Recourse?
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, do not panic. There are still ways you can get compensation for your losses:
- Collision Coverage – If your policy includes collision coverage, your insurance company will cover the cost of vehicle repairs. You may or may not be charged your deductible, depending on your insurance company’s policy regarding uninsured motorists.
- Med Pay – Do you carry Med Pay coverage on your policy? If so, your medical bills will be covered up to your policy limits and there is usually no deductible.
- Health Insurance – Your health insurance should pay for your medical expenses minus deductibles/co-payments. However, your health insurance won’t pay for lost wages or for pain and suffering.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage – While Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is not required in California, it is highly advised that you carry it. Unlike health insurance and Med Pay, UM coverage will compensate you for lost wages and pain and suffering on top of medical expenses – up to policy limits, of course.
- File a Lawsuit – If none of the above options are available to you, you may file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver who hit you. However, chances are the uninsured driver who hit you doesn’t have any money or assets; otherwise, he or she would have purchased insurance in the first place. Keep in mind that you cannot sue the uninsured driver AND get max compensation from your own carrier.
Contact Wilshire Law Firm for Answers
Since 2007, the experienced personal injury and accident lawyers of Wilshire Law Firm have helped thousands of people with their injury claims, including uninsured motorist claims, and have obtained more than $350 million on their behalf. We invite you to call us at (800) 522-7274 for your FREE consultation. Only by consulting our legal experts will you know where you stand and what you can do to secure a better future for you and your family.