What should I do after a car accident with an uninsured motorist?
Northern and Central California Auto Accident Bilingual Spanish Attorney
I am the founder, owner and the attorney at Gardner Law.
Practically any traffic crash is stressful enough. Then, if you find out that the person who caused it was driving without insurance, it can feel even worse. Now, instead of the wrongdoer's insurance paying you, you are forced to figure out how to cover this accident from your own pocket.
If you get hit by a driver who is uninsured, unless you have the proper insurance, you may be left without any insurance to pay your claim.
How many California drivers are uninsured?
A 2017 Insurance Research Council news release said that around 1 in 8 drivers in the US are uninsured.
It went on to explain that in 2015, the number of drivers in the United States without any car insurance varied widely:
- Maine: 4.5% of motorists were uninsured
- Florida: 26.7% of motorists were uninsured
In California, 15.2% of motorists were uninsured.
What are California uninsured motorists?
Here are five types of California uninsured motorists:
- Vehicles that had no auto insurance in place on the date of the accident
- Vehicles driven by someone who was excluded from the police on the date of the accident
- Vehicles driven by hit and run drivers who when the identity of the driver is unknown
- Vehicles that were already reported as having been stolen on or before the date of the accident
- Vehicles driven by someone who did not have permission of the owner to drive it
What can you do to protect yourself against getting hit by someone without insurance?
Before anything happens, you need to buy insurance that is called “uninsured motorist”.
There are two types of uninsured motorist coverages that are essential if you are going to drive anywhere.
One covers your injuries and one covers your car.
The one that covers your injuries is called “uninsured motorist bodily injury”, or UMBI for short.
The one that covers your car is called “uninsured motorist property damage” or UMPD for short.
It really is money well spent to invest in these UM coverages because they “step into the shoes” of the person without insurance, as if they had insurance.
Does uninsured motorist insurance cover anyone except the driver of the car that got hit by an uninsured driver?
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage covers you, the driver who got hit by an uninsured motorist.
UM also covers all the passengers in your car, and people who drive your car with your permission.
Even better, did you know that you don't even have to have been the driver of your car in order to have your uninsured motorist coverage kick in?
Uninsured motorist coverage makes you eligible for benefits if your accident was one of the following types:
Will my California car insurance go up if I file an uninsured motorist claim?
Using your uninsured motorist coverage will not in and of itself automatically increase your insurance. But, it is one of many factors used by your own insurance company when they evaluate whether or not your insurance rate will increase. Other factors include things like your credit rating, where you live, how long you have been licensed, your DMV record, what kind of car you drive, and more.
Do insurance companies go after the uninsured driver?
Your insurance will go after the uninsured person, and the registered owner of the uninsured car, and demand that they repay the insurance company for any payments your own insurance made to you.
If you are reading this page because you got hit by someone who did not have insurance, I can work for you and fight your claim. Sometimes, people say they don't have insurance, or the officer did not include it in the police report, but when the right attorney contacts that person and insists that they provide their insurance information, it turns out that they actually have insurance but were just hoping that the injured person would just go away.
Call today to obtain payment or reimbursement for expenses resulting from an accident for which you were not responsible.
If already got hit by a person who was not insured, remember to do these things:
Making a police report is important because it contains essential details of the car accident. Make sure to get a card from the police person - it will have their name, badge number, date of the report, time, and a report number. Take a cell phone picture of it and save the original card.
Seek medical attention
By seeing a doctor right away, they will make a record of how you look, what you say, what they think and notice, and whether you're injured.
No one else except for a doctor can do this for you.
When you seek medical attention right away, the medical record created by the doctor connects your injuries to the car accident you just had.
A thorough medical exam, blood work and other tests will all be written down in your permanent medical record.
That record can be used down the road to prove to the insurance company that you really got hurt in the accident like you say you did.
Don't talk to any insurance companies
Instead, right away, call a good attorney and get a no-cost consultation.
There is no insurance company that wants to protect your bottom line - - dollars and cents, they are looking out for the insurance company.
By hiring an attorney, you won't have to worry about filing your own claim, your rights will be protected and you won't fall for the insurance company tricks.
If you are hurt, reach out to me, Attorney Renee Yvonne Gardner, at (408) 214-5555 or here: