What to Do When Hit by an Uninsured Driver
Every driver in the state of California is required by law to carry auto insurance on their vehicles. Unfortunately, not every driver adheres to the law, and when you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist, you may be unsure how you’ll go about collecting the compensation you’ll need to cover your damages.
There are generally two ways you can obtain the repayment you’re entitled to: you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have coverage that extends to uninsured drivers, and you can file a civil lawsuit against the driver, which will compel them to compensate you accordingly. Read on to learn more about both of these options.
Check Your Auto Insurance Policy
Though you are not required to carry uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage on your auto insurance policy in California, having it can be helpful in the event of a crash with an under- or uninsured driver. If you are fortunate enough to have purchased UM/UIM coverage on your policy, you’ll be able to file a claim with your own insurance provider to recover a portion of your medical expenses and property damages up to the limits of your auto insurance policy.
However, it’s important to note that you could experience some pushback from the insurance company, even if you have UM/UIM coverage. Insurance adjusters are known for doing whatever they can to reduce the amount they’re obligated to pay you.
Since California uses comparative negligence laws to determine fault, the insurer may try to make it appear as though you hold more culpability than the uninsured driver so that they can pay you less than you are entitled to. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so that you have the ability to achieve full compensation for your losses.
Prepare to Go to Court
Unless the uninsured driver is prepared to cover all of your property damages, medical expenses, and other losses out of their pocket right away, you will more than likely need to bring them to court so that you get maximum repayment.
Your car accident attorney will be able to quantify your damages in their entirety; this way, all of your current damages as well as those that may arise in the future are accounted for in your claim. Bringing the uninsured driver to court is oftentimes the only way that you’ll be able to get them to cover your costs, as the judge should order them to repay you for the harm they inflicted.
Work with a California Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been struck by an uninsured driver and you need assistance dealing with the insurance company or bringing the liable party to court, speak with an experienced California car accident lawyer at Kohan & Bablove, LLP as soon as possible.
You can schedule your complimentary case review by filling out the quick contact form we’ve provided below or by calling our office at 1-844-404-2400.