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When Disaster Strikes: Handling Car Accidents With Uninsured Drivers Lawyer, La Habra CityThis article will help you understand:

  • The procedures to follow when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • California law regarding car insurance and uninsured drivers.
  • What protections and options exist for dealing with uninsured drivers and accidents.

What Should I Do If I Am Involved In A Car Accident With An Uninsured Driver?

If ever you have the misfortune to be in a car accident, you can at least hope that the other driver also has insurance coverage. Especially if the accident is their fault. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even before you find out the other driver’s insurance situation, there are two things you should do immediately:

  1. Get The Medical Help You Need

The very first and most important thing to do is to make sure you get the medical attention you need if you are injured. Once your immediate medical needs or emergencies are tended to, you can start worrying about insurance and payments.

  1. Reach Out To An Attorney

The next thing you should always do when involved in any accident, is to quickly call a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to walk you through the procedures and steps to follow both at the scene and afterward. In fact, you should reach out to a lawyer even before you call any insurance company, even your own insurance. The insurance company’s goal, after all, is ultimately to pay as little money out as possible.

With the help of your personal injury and car accident attorney, you will be able to start looking into the insurance situation. If the other person involved does not have any or sufficient insurance, you can check your own insurance policy to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage, which would cover your bodily injury claim.

This kind of coverage means that if you get hit by somebody without insurance, your insurance then steps in as if the other person had insurance.

This presents just one more reason to communicate as much as possible through your attorney: you do not want to say something to your insurance company (or any insurance company) that they are going to be able to use against you later.

Does California Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

California, for better or worse, does not require uninsured motorist coverage. What the state requires is that your insurance company offer you uninsured motorist coverage. However, you, as the consumer, are able to sign a waiver saying you don’t want uninsured motorist coverage.

However, as uninsured motorist coverage is in many ways every bit as important as liability coverage, it is strongly worth considering.

Liability coverage will certainly cover a great deal. It will protect you if you are at fault and it will pay the other party for any injuries you cause. Uninsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, will protect you and your family if you are hit by someone who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family should you be in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. And it is important to remember, once you are in that position, it is already too late.

Underinsured motorist coverage also covers you in other situations. For example, if you are riding your bike and get hit by a car or you are hit by a truck while walking, your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage would kick in if needed.

This is especially important when you consider that in those instances specifically, where you get hit by a car as a pedestrian, you are going to be injured pretty severely. The amount of damage a car can do to you is infinitely higher when you do not have the chassis, roll cage, impact absorption, airbag, and seat belt to protect you.

Can I Still Sue An Uninsured Driver For Damages If They Caused The Car Accident?

You are indeed able to sue an uninsured driver for damages that they have caused in an auto accident. However, chances are that if someone does not have insurance, they probably do not have any significant assets to go after.

That means that while you can sue them, there is probably not going to be anything to recover, so there is no point in doing so. That is one of the main reasons it is so important to have uninsured motorist coverage, especially in California, where one out of every eight drivers (13% of all cars on the road) do not have insurance.

What Should I Do If I Am Hit By An Uninsured Driver But Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage and have the misfortune to be hit by somebody who does not have coverage, your only hope is that you can get a settlement with them directly or try to sue them directly.

Unfortunately, your chances of recovering anything, much less the full value of the accident and personal injury damages, are probably very slim, though the help of an expert personal injury attorney might help improve your odds.

How Can I Protect Myself From Financial Losses If I Am In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?

The best way to protect yourself and your family is, without a doubt, to have uninsured motorist coverage. Your protection is even better if your uninsured motorist coverage is at least equal to your liability limits.

Every lawyer wishes, and recommends, that no one have liability limits under $50,000/$100,000 (that can be read as fifty thousand per person, maximum one hundred thousand per accident). However, that is just not realistic.

The minimum in California at the moment is $15,000/$30,000. Unfortunately, you need to have more than that to protect yourself these days. As a result, in 2025, California will be changing to $30,000/$60,000 as a minimum for liability insurance.

What Happens If An Uninsured Driver Hits A Pedestrian Or A Bicyclist In California?

As long as the person who is hit has uninsured motorist coverage, which includes underinsured motorist coverage, on their car insurance policy, they will be able to use that to step in as if the person that hit them had insurance.

Fortunately, this coverage is accessible for most, being at least a third or less of the cost of liability insurance for uninsured motorist insurance coverage of the same amount.

Before making any decision about your insurance, or if you are unsure if you are protected against an accident with an uninsured driver, you should not hesitate to contact a personal injury and car accident attorney for advice.

For more information on Dealing With Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 600-0807 today.

Holland & Holland Law Offices

Call For A Free Consultation
(562) 600-0807