In California, anyone who registers a motor vehicle is required to carry auto insurance in the event of a car accident. Despite the state law, many people continue to operate vehicles without any insurance or the bare minimum.
If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, you may be wondering how you will obtain compensation for the damages the other party has caused—since it is the at-fault’s insurance company who will pay for any damages including property damage and injuries. Fortunately, having the right amount of insurance coverage can provide substantial relief.
The following are several options to recover compensation after a crash with an uninsured motorist:
- Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) – This type of coverage specifically pertains to accidents involving uninsured motorists. UM will pay for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and any other economic or noneconomic damages you suffered. In other words, this coverage will substitute the liability coverage the uninsured driver was supposed to have. However, UM is not required in California, but many people carry it to prepare for the unexpected. Contact your car insurance company to determine if you have UM and your liability limits.
- Collision coverage – Having collision coverage on your insurance policy means your insurance company can pay for any repairs. While some insurers will charge you a deductible, others won’t since the other party didn’t have insurance. Call your insurance company to determine if you need to pay a deductible or not.
- Medical payment coverage – There is no deductible for medical payments coverage. All medical expenses will be paid up to your policy limit.
- Health insurance – Depending on your health insurance through your employer or personally, it can cover your medical bills. Your insurer will attempt to pursue the other party’s health provider to pay for your medical expenses. However, if the uninsured driver doesn’t have insurance, your insurer will request reimbursement from your auto insurance policy.
- Sue the other driver – If you do not have UM coverage and all your other insurance coverages are tapped out, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, you may not recover much since he doesn’t have enough money or assets to own auto insurance.
Before this situation happens to you, ensure you have the proper coverage in place, including UM coverage.