To legally operate a motor vehicle in the State of California, drivers must carry active insurance policies with at least the minimum amounts of coverage. According to the California DMV, this minimum is currently $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.
Unfortunately, difficult economic times and careless drivers result in hundreds of people behind the wheel without proper car insurance. If you get into a vehicle accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, who will pay for your damages? At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, we can help you pursue financial recovery even if the at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage.
What do I do after a crash with an uninsured driver?
As soon as you learn that the at-fault driver in your collision does not have insurance, call the police to the scene. You do not want to risk the driver fleeing or giving you false information. Plus, it is your duty to report a driver who is illegally operating a vehicle with no insurance, expired insurance, or inadequate insurance, so that he or she doesn’t continue driving without coverage. Getting an official police report goes a long way toward a successful claims process.
Gather information about your crash, including photographs of vehicle damage and injuries if you have a camera or smartphone. Exchange information with the other driver and with anyone who witnessed the accident. When police clear you to leave the scene, go straight to the hospital for medical attention for injuries. Keep copies of your medical records and injury-related bills, x-rays, and documents. Once you can, contact your car insurer and report the accident. Explain that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
At this point, your insurer will tell you if your policy includes uninsured (UI) or underinsured motorist (UIM) protection. If so, your insurance company will cover the damages the other driver caused. However, it may not be enough to cover all of your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses. If you don’t have this coverage, you may have to pay your own deductibles out of pocket if you rely on health insurance to cover medical costs. With no health insurance and no UI/UIM coverage, consider pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim.
How can an accident lawyer help with an uninsured defendant?
It’s always a good idea to chat with a lawyer after an accident that causes you injuries or expensive property damage – especially if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. Estey & Bomberger, LLP helps people in Riverside who are wondering where to go for compensation in these types of accidents. If you don’t have the right insurance coverage or enough coverage to compensate you all of your losses, talk to us during a free consultation.
We will investigate your crash and determine its proximate cause. Most likely, the other driver’s negligence is to blame for the accident. There could be other defendants involved, such as the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part, the other driver’s employer (if on duty at the time), or the City of Riverside for a roadway defect or malfunctioning traffic light. If other parties share fault for the crash, you could bring claims against them in pursuit of full compensation.
Our team of Riverside accident lawyers can help you with the entire legal process, from start to finish. Call us today! (951) 543-9020