15.2% of all drivers on the road in California are uninsured according to the 2017 IRC Report.
If an uninsured motorist ever hit you, then you need to know how to deal with the situation.
First, drivers need to file a claim with their insurance company. That action could hurt your insurance record and add to your premium payments. However, it is better than owing for the property and casualty liabilities in many cases.
Second, if you are a pedestrian or biker, check your vehicle insurance policies. Even if you were not in your car or bike, your insurance should cover the accident.
Third, if you do not drive or have any property and casualty insurance then you struggle to make a claim.
Most people do not have insurance because they cannot afford it. If they cannot afford insurance, then more than likely they would not be able to pay out of pocket for your expenses.
It is horrible, but sometimes a fact of life when dealing with uninsured drivers.
Below, we want to review the process for those with insurance, so you know what steps to take moving forward.
What is California’s insurance requirements?
California requires drivers have at least 15/30/5. That means they need at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injuries. Then another $5,000 to cover property damages.
Additionally, California is one of 32 states where you can get a self-insurance certificate from the DMV. You have to post a $35,000 cash deposit as collateral against any accidents.
If the party at-fault does not have insurance, they are personally liable for all damages, medical costs, damage to public property, and other third-party costs.
The challenge as we mentioned earlier is many uninsured drivers do not have the funds to pay for the damages.
At this point, reach out to your insurance company to cover the costs. Let the insurance company then go after the responsible driver to recoup the funds.
Additionally, drivers who get into an accident without insurance could spend the next four years with a suspended license. Note: Even if you were the victim, you could still face a suspension of your license if you do not have insurance.
What should you do if an uninsured driver hits you?
#1. Call a professional
Due to the complexity of uninsured driver cases, you need a solid strategy to get the most out of the accident. Without the right plan, your case could go nowhere. Avoid this by hiring an attorney to help you get the settlement you deserve.
When you work with Levinson Law, you also do not pay anything unless we win! Contact us today to learn more!
#2. Avoid the other party
You might be mad at the other party for driving without insurance and feel the need to tell them off. Resist the temptation.
Talking to the other party of the accident after you leave the scene can put your case in jeopardy and result in criminal charges pressed against you. The reason you want an attorney is, so they can calmly handle the situation.
#3. Be patient
Insurance companies are famous for their frustrating stall tactics. The primary ways they impede a settlement is through the three D’s: delay, deny, and defend.
Delay- The first thing an insurance company does when working on your case delays the payment as long as possible. Your insurance company does not want to settle even if you were innocent of the crimes.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for them to reassign your case to different people, not return phone calls, and delay the settlement payment.
Deny- When delay tactics fail they might resort to simple denials. It is important that after the car accident you start collecting documents like the following to defend these denials:
The insurance company might require you to plead your case to them as well as the courts. Therefore, it is essential your prepare yourself with the above documents.
Defend- When the other tactics fail, the insurance company might try to offer you a lowball settlement. They do this to end the case with the least amount of liabilities.
However, often these settlements are too low to cover your expenses. You do not need to settle just because the insurance company offered you some crumbs.
Dealing with an uninsured driver in a car crash can be a nightmare without the right team behind you. That is why understanding the process helps you to move forward with your best strategy.