Suffering a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver in California
Although it is illegal to drive without insurance in California, some drivers do so regardless of the laws. If you have been involved in a car accident with an at-fault, uninsured motorist, you may be wondering how you can seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle and for any injuries you incurred. You might also be out a significant amount of money if you are unable to work for a period of time.
Unfortunately, it may not be beneficial to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in this situation. Most uninsured drivers do not carry insurance because they cannot afford it, so you likely will not be able to receive damages from an uninsured driver in a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, you will want to see if your own insurance company can provide compensation through an insurance claim.
Insurance Requirements in California
In California, there are a few requirements you must abide by when purchasing car insurance. You must carry $5,000 in property damage liability coverage, $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, and $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident. Of note, these coverages only apply if you are the at-fault driver, and those coverages provide compensation for the victim of the accident.
Optional Insurance Requirements That May Save You
Unfortunately, the basic insurance requirements will probably not be enough to cover all of your expenses and lost wages if you are in an accident with an at-fault, uninsured motorist. You may believe that the costs may be manageable, but they can quickly pile up. In 2013, the average cost of a car accident claim in the United States was over $15,000, including medical costs, missed work, and property damage. Your insurance may not be able to cover your entire accident if you only purchase basic insurance.
Residents of California have options to ensure that they receive sufficient compensation when they are in an accident with an uninsured driver. One such option is medical payments coverage (MedPay), which is an add-on to automobile insurance that covers medical expenses for an individual involved in a car accident. Compensation varies based on the limit you choose.
Another option is to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage will provide you with compensation up to your policy limit based on the injuries and property damage incurred from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. In many states, this type of insurance is required, though this is not the case in California. Still, it is an excellent add-on option to ensure you are covered if you are in an accident.
A Lawyer Will Be Able to Help
Just because you purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage does not mean you will be properly compensated. Typically, insurance companies want to pay the least amount of money possible to their insured party. Hiring a lawyer to negotiate your claim can ensure that you receive the necessary compensation you need in order to cover expenses that have piled up.
If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is imperative that you seek compensation as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney for a consultation on your claim today.