Personal Injury Law Blog

What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance in California?

car accident no insurance california

If you suffered injuries in a car accident where the other driver has no insurance, you might have concerns and questions about what to do next.

You may wonder whether you can recover compensation after a car accident with an uninsured driver when you were not at fault. The good news is that when a driver has no insurance, you still have options to recover compensation for your injuries.  

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers will explain.

Does California Have Requirements for Insurance?

California requires all drivers to obtain insurance for all vehicles operated or parked in the state. All drivers must carry a copy of their insurance card with them in their car at all times. Under California law, the minimum liability insurance requirements include the following:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person,
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, 
  • $5,000 for property damage.

If the California Department of Motor Vehicles fails to obtain proof of insurance for any vehicle, they will suspend the vehicle’s registration. At that point, the car may not be driven or parked on California roadways until proof of insurance is provided. 

Unfortunately, many people fail to uphold this requirement and continue to drive their vehicle without insurance. Being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver when you are not at fault creates complex insurance issues requiring the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

What Are My Options After a Car Accident When the Other Driver Has No Insurance?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2019, approximately 16.6% of California drivers were uninsured, making it one of the most uninsured states in the nation. But, if you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver and you were not at fault, don’t lose hope. You do have options. 

Uninsured Motorist Claim

California does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage. But it does require insurers to offer it, so there’s a good chance you have purchased it.

Uninsured motorist coverage acts as a safety net if you are in a car accident with a driver without insurance in California. There is also underinsured motorist insurance, which covers costs of bodily injury if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance. You must file a claim against your own insurance company to receive coverage benefits. 

When filing a claim against your own insurance company, it’s essential to understand your uninsured motorist coverage works. Your attorney can help to explain the extent of your uninsured motorist coverage as you proceed through the claim process. 

Maximum Uninsured Motorist Coverage 

After an accident with a driver without insurance where you are not at fault, California permits you to recover only up to your maximum liability coverage limits. For example, let’s say you suffer $80,000 in medical expenses after a car accident with an uninsured driver.

However, your uninsured motorist coverage provides for $30,000 in 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.

Determination of Fault

Uninsured motorist coverage is payable only if you were not at fault for your accident. Attempting to prove this on your own without the assistance of a personal injury attorney may fail to provide you the compensation you need.

An attorney works to carefully gather and collect the relevant evidence necessary to establish the uninsured driver’s fault so you can collect the compensation you need.

File a Lawsuit  

If you did not elect to obtain uninsured motorist coverage, you might wish to sue the uninsured driver directly. Discussing the possible outcomes of this option should be undertaken with your personal injury attorney.

But be aware that in many situations, the outcome may be less than ideal. For example, while you may win a lawsuit against an uninsured driver, the uninsured driver may not have any money or assets to pay you. 

Contact Us

After a car accident involving a driver without insurance and you were not at fault, California provides you with options. You may feel lost without knowing what to do next.

Joshua Glotzer and Daniel Leib of Glotzer and Leib, LLP help victims in Southern California move forward after a car accident. We know what happens if someone hits you and doesn’t have insurance in California. Don’t try to move forward without our assistance.

With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our legal team empowers clients to get better as we do all we can to secure the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation! 

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