You’ve been involved in an auto accident in Manhattan Beach that wasn’t your fault. The serious injuries you suffered as a result of the accident will require extensive and expensive medical treatment. The doctors say you won’t be able to return to work for a while. Your bills are piling up. And because the driver who caused the accident wasn’t insured, there isn’t the possibility of getting a settlement from an insurance company.
What do you do if you’re injured in an accident with an uninsured driver in California?
Unfortunately, this happens all too often. Uninsured drivers are a big problem in California. According to estimates from the California Department of Transportation, one in seven California drivers is uninsured.
Financial Responsibility for a Vehicle in California
California state law requires all drivers and all owners of motor vehicles to take financial responsibility – usually through a liability insurance policy — for any personal injuries or property damage caused by their vehicle. They must also be able to show proof of this financial responsibility when:
- Requested by law enforcement.
- Renewing vehicle registration.
- The vehicle is involved in a traffic collision.
The minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles in California is:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
In addition to liability insurance, other forms of financial responsibility accepted by the California Department of Transportation include:
- Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV
- DMV-issued self-insurance certificate
- Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California
It is most important to determine whether you are covered by “uninsured/underinsured” insurance under your own automobile insurance policy. This type of coverage will cover you for personal injury damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses and other similar losses, when the driver of the other vehicle does not have insurance and negligently caused the accident. Although there is an extra charge to obtain such insurance, your California automobile insurance carrier is required to offer it. We strongly recommend you obtain such coverage and get the highest limits you can afford.
What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver in California
If you’ve been involved in an accident in California with an uninsured driver, you’ll want to do everything you would normally do after an accident:
- Make sure everyone is okay
- Exchange information (phone, driver license numbers, etc.) with the other drivers involved
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Gather evidence — such as pictures of the crash scene — if possible
- Contact the police, file a police report
- Seek immediate medical treatment if you’ve been injured
You’ll also want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Just because the other driver didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for the damages caused by the accident.
The fact that the other driver wasn’t insured at the time of the accident usually makes it more difficult to recover compensation for any personal injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. Without an insurance company to settle with, you may have no choice but to take the other driver to court.
If you carry full coverage insurance, you may encounter difficulties getting your own insurance company to pay off your claim. In addition there may be other parties that share liability for the accident who can also be held accountable for your injuries. Good legal representation in a situation like this could mean the difference between obtaining the compensation you are entitled to or being stuck with medical bills and other expenses you can’t afford to pay.
Manhattan Beach Auto Accident Injury Attorneys Want You to Get the Justice You Deserve
Just because you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver doesn’t mean you don’t have rights and aren’t entitled to compensation for your damages.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver in Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Hermosa Beach or other South Bay California community, it’s important for you to protect your rights. The Manhattan Beach personal injury attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann may be able to help you recover compensation for the losses you suffered as a result of an accident with an uninsured California driver.
Contact the law offices of Dinsmore & Sandelmann to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our leading Manhattan Beach auto accident injury attorneys. We will review your case, answer any questions and discuss your legal options for moving forward with your case.