When two cars are involved in a crash, it’s common for the insurance company of the responsible driver to pay for damages, including property, medical expenses and more.
But with more than 15 out of every 100 drivers in California uninsured, where does that leave you in the event that you’re in a collision? Who pays for damages when the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
The good news? You’re not out of options just yet.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Car insurance companies commonly offer uninsured or underinsured driver coverage in their plans, but unfortunately a large number of drivers opt out of this type of coverage to save a few dollars per year.
This is a big mistake.
In California, you’re rolling the dice every time you get behind the wheel. With a 15% chance of being in a collision with an uninsured driver, having the right coverage on your own plan could make getting compensation as easy as filing a claim with your own insurance company.
Of course, it’s never quite that easy. Even your own insurer might try to play hardball and deny you the full amount you deserve, and that’s where a good personal injury lawyer can help a lot.
What if You Don’t Have the Right Coverage?
When you opt out of uninsured motorist coverage, things get more difficult—but it isn’t hopeless.
For the most successful outcome, be sure to do the following four thing after a crash:
Call the police—even if the accident was a minor fender bender—and make sure an official report is written up
Swap information with the other driver and compare your notes to the police report
Even if you feel fine, be sure to seek medical attention—some injuries may not manifest immediately, and you’ll need the opinion of a medical professional
Get an assessment for vehicle repairs
Of course, our lawyers can help you take care of everything listed above.
When the Defendant Can’t or Won’t Pay
If the liable driver doesn’t have assets or refuses to cooperate, it’s important to remember that the DMV can suspend the license of any debtor in a personal injury case such as your car crash. Most people are unwilling to go without a license (or face the heavy penalties of driving without one), making it unlikely they’ll remain uncooperative for long.
In cases where the defendant truly cannot pay for your damages, it’s sometimes possible to find alternative defendants—but this is where it really pays off to pick the right lawyer. We’ve had successful cases before with uninsured drivers where finding an alternative defendant was our client’s only way to recover the damages they needed.
Find the Right Inland Empire Car Accident Lawyer
The common theme here is that working with a car accident attorney makes this whole process go a lot smoother. If the other driver is uninsured, there’s no point making it harder on yourself. Picking an experienced lawyer gives you the highest chance at success, period.
If you’ve been in a crash in the Inland Empire area, we want to talk. Get in touch with us ASAP so we can discuss your case and figure out the best path to recover the damages you deserve. If you are curious which parts of the Inland Empire we serve, check out all our locations near you!