Everyone tells you to make sure you get the other driver’s insurance information when you’re involved in a car accident. What happens when the other driver doesn’t have insurance? More importantly, what if the other driver is at fault and you suffer significant property damage or injury to your person as a result? How will you get the compensation you deserve? In California, an estimated 15 percent of drivers are uninsured, meaning it entirely possible that you could be involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist. It is important for all California drivers to understand what their options are in this situation.
One of the best ways to prepare for this situation is to prepare for it before it happens. Most car insurance companies offer what is called “uninsured” or “underinsured” motorist coverage. This kind of insurance is intended to compensate you when you are involved in a vehicle collision with an uninsured motorist. A lot of times, people will decide to save a few bucks each month and decline to add this coverage to their policy. However, doing this can save you huge amounts of money in the long run if you are later hit by an uninsured motorist. Of course, insurance companies don’t make it easy for you to recover as much compensation as you are entitled to, and having one of our skilled attorneys by your side to help you navigate your insurance claim can make all the difference.
If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can still take several steps to help maximize the amount of compensation you can receive in the future. No matter how minor the accident may seem, always be sure to contact the police and get an official accident report. Be sure to exchange information with the other driver, and before the police leave make sure you compare the information you received with the information the other driver gave to the police. If you need it, seek medical attention even if you don’t think your symptoms are serious; oftentimes injuries can take time to manifest after car accidents, and medical reports will be an important part of determining your damages. Finally, make sure you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you build and bring your case.
In the event that the other driver cannot or will not pay, a skilled personal injury attorney can still help you seek justice in other ways. California’s Vehicle Code states that:
“A party can obtain a judgment against the uninsured defendant and file a certified copy with the DMV indicating that the judgment debtor has failed to satisfy the judgment for a period of thirty (30) days,” and
“The DMV will suspend the driver’s license of the judgment debtor and it will remain suspended until (1) the debtor gives proof of financial responsibility, and (2) the judgment is satisfied.”
Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
At J&Y Law, we have experience representing a variety of individuals who are victims of accidents caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists. If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver cannot or will not compensate you, you have options and we can help. Contact us today to learn more.