Did you know California has the highest number of uninsured motorists out of any state? Driving while uninsured can put you in a precarious financial position if you get into an accident because you cannot file a claim as an uninsured driver. You could be responsible for paying for your own and others’ medical and repair bills out of pocket.
Why is it important to have insurance?
Liability insurance is what pays for others’ injuries should you cause an accident. Other forms of insurance, including collision coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, pay for your own treatment after an accident.
Having insurance is important for two main reasons. First, if you injure someone else, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Second, if you are injured and do not have insurance, there may be no way to financially or physically recover from your injuries. However, this doesn’t mean that recovering compensation is impossible.
Driving While Uninsured Is Illegal in California
Driving in California if you are uninsured is a huge problem for two reasons. First, it is illegal to drive in California while uninsured. Second, if you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, there are severe limitations on what you are able to recover as an uninsured driver.
California’s rule prevents uninsured drivers from seeking damages for non-economic losses. This means that if you are in an accident while uninsured and another driver is determined to be at fault, you can only sue for economic damages, such as medical bills. You will not be able to sue for mental anguish and pain and suffering.
In addition to limitations on recoverable damages, uninsured drivers could be subject to hefty fines and other penalties. Depending on the nature of the accident, they could have their license suspended and face civil liability.
What happens if you are at fault and don’t have insurance?
If you are determined to be responsible for the accident, you will not be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the accident. If you have suffered severe injuries, injured another person, or caused property damage, you could find yourself liable for more than just medical bills.
Some people assume they’ll be covered if the other driver has uninsured motorist coverage. This is a dangerous misunderstanding that could put someone in a precarious situation. Not only will your expenses not be covered under the other driver’s policy, but they can file a lawsuit against you for their damages.
If a lawsuit is filed directly against your person, it could put any assets or property you own at risk. If you are currently in a similar situation, consider contacting a qualified personal injury attorney.
Are you really uninsured?
Some drivers assume they are uninsured because they do not carry a personal insurance policy. However, if you are driving someone else’s car, and that person has insurance, you are covered by their insurance as long as they specifically allowed you to drive the car.
For example, if you borrow an insured friend’s car and get into an accident, their insurance will follow the car and pay for any damages resulting from the crash.
Need to file a claim? Contact Saeedian Law Group
If you or a loved one are looking for a qualified Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help with your personal injury claim, contact Saeedian Law Group today for a free consultation. Our working knowledge of personal injury laws and related litigation means we can vigorously advocate for your interests and work to maximize your claim.