Motor vehicle accidents can occur even when you practice safe driving habits. While you may be a cautious driver, it’s possible to be harmed in an accident someone else caused.
In California, which is an at-fault or “tort” state, when this happens, you can typically file a claim with the insurance of the driver who caused your accident to seek financial compensation for your losses. The negligent driver’s insurance may be responsible for providing compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other such economic losses resulting from the collision. Depending on the circumstances, they may even provide compensation for certain non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
However, perhaps the driver who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance. Although California law requires all motorists to purchase insurance, some people may illegally drive without it.
You have various options to consider when seeking financial compensation in this scenario. They include the following:
When you purchase insurance in California, you have the option to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage from your own policy that kicks in if you’re involved in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to compensate you.
Your own insurance may provide compensation after an accident with an uninsured motorist if you’ve purchased this type of coverage. If you haven’t, you may want to buy a new policy accordingly. While new uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage won’t compensate you for losses resulting from past accidents, it may be helpful in the future.
You might not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Nevertheless, you may have other forms of insurance coverage that could help you minimize the various expenses you might otherwise face in the aftermath of an accident an uninsured motorist caused.
Perhaps you have collision coverage. Although this form of coverage won’t help with your medical bills, it could cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Your own health insurance might also reduce the cost of your medical expenses.
The fact that the motorist who caused your accident doesn’t have insurance doesn’t mean they don’t have the means to compensate you at all. If you have reason to believe they have substantial assets, you could potentially seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver and pursuing damages in court.
It’s very wise to enlist the help of an attorney when doing so. To demonstrate that you are owed compensation, you will need to gather strong evidence indicating your accident resulted from the other driver’s actions or carelessness. A lawyer could investigate your accident and gather this evidence on your behalf.
In general, meeting with an attorney tends to be a smart decision after being harmed in a California motor vehicle collision. At Allegiance Law, a San Francisco car accident and uninsured motorist lawyer will review your case and explain your potential legal options. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 415-405-6395 today.