If you got hit by a driver who did not have automobile liability insurance coverage, you might be stressing about how your damages will get paid. We understand your concern. There are several options that might be available to you, depending on your circumstances.
This blog will respond to the question, do I have options if I was hit by an uninsured driver? Your first call should be to a Los Angeles car accident attorney, who could help you seek the compensation you deserve, navigate the insurance claim process, and help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses.
Don’t All California Drivers Have to Carry Car Insurance?
Yes, they are supposed to. Everyone who operates a motor on California roads is supposed to maintain at least the minimum coverage at all times. Minimum coverage is $15,000 for bodily injury to one person and a total of $30,000 if more than one person gets hurt. Drivers must also have at least $5,000 in coverage to pay for property damage.
These liability coverage amounts do not pay for the at-fault driver’s own losses in a collision. Liability coverage pays the losses of people who get injured in a crash that they did not cause.
Unfortunately, a high number of California drivers risk the consequences and drive without carrying even the minimum liability insurance. This blog addresses that situation.
Your best protection in this scenario is to add uninsured/underinsured coverage to your automobile insurance policy. California does not force you to carry uninsured/underinsured coverage, but you might find that this protection is worth every penny, particularly if you get in a wreck caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
An underinsured driver is one whose policy limits do not pay for all of your losses. Let’s say that you have $50,000 in damages like medical bills and lost wages. The at-fault driver only has the minimum required coverage of $15,000 for one individual’s personal injuries. After the at-fault driver’s policy pays $15,000, you could turn to your own uninsured/underinsured coverage to pay some or all of the remaining losses, depending on the amount of your coverage.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage can also pay your losses if you collide with a hit-and-run driver. Car insurance treats hit-and-run drivers the same as uninsured drivers, which makes sense, because you do not have the insurance policy of the hit-and-run driver unless they eventually get caught or turn themselves into authorities.
The At-Fault Driver’s Personal Assets or Other Insurance Policies
If you do not have the optional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, do not worry. There might be other options for getting your losses paid. The negligent driver might have other insurance coverage, like an “umbrella” liability rider on their homeowner’s policy. This coverage might pay some or all of your damages.
Also, if you go to court and get a judgment against the uninsured driver, you might be able to execute the judgment against the at-fault driver’s personal assets, like their car, house, boat, or other assets. With a judgment, you might be able to garnish the negligent driver’s wages, bank account, or both.
You do not have to go through this challenging process by yourself. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney could be there with you every step of the way. You can reach out to us today for a free consultation.