Being in a car accident of any kind can have a long-lasting impact on a person, from physical injuries to emotional trauma. Some people opt to settle for damages and accept a payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, so they can heal from their injuries and move on with their life.
But what happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver in California? If you do not carry uninsured motorist coverage of your own, being injured in an accident with an uninsured driver can be stressful and costly. This is especially true when you are faced with having to pay for damages to your vehicle, your property, and your life without being able to make a claim to the other driver’s insurance company.
This is where a San Jose uninsured car accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you understand your legal rights and find a way to recover damages from the other driver. Call our team today at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation.
Driving Without Insurance in California
Unfortunately, driving without insurance in California is common, as the rates are too high for some people to pay their monthly premiums. Many drivers simply cannot afford to purchase full bodily injury, liability, and collision coverage in California.
This is a trend seen nationwide as well. According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 12% of U.S. drivers are uninsured. In California, approximately 15% of the state’s drivers are uninsured.
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving San Jose, call (800) 598-7557
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Perhaps you sustained injuries in an accident caused by another driver. But when you speak to the driver, you learn that they do not have liability insurance, even though it is usually required by law in most states. Now what should you do?
If you have uninsured medical coverage on your own, this may help you claim damages from an accident with an uninsured driver. This type of coverage usually pays for most medical expenses, the cost of vehicle repairs, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
An alternative exists for underinsured drivers in California. The state must offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to drivers who are unwilling or unable to pay for higher rates of coverage. According to Forbes, the minimum amount of coverage for uninsured motorists is $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person and $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident.
There are several types of coverage available for your protection when you are hit by an uninsured driver. These should cover damage to your vehicle if you are hit by a driver without insurance. There are other coverages that cover the liability portion as well.
In general, the suggested coverages are:
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD), which covers any damage to your car when an uninsured driver hits your car.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM or UMBI), which covers your bodily injuries when an uninsured driver hits your car.
If you do not have these additional coverages for your protection and you are hit by an uninsured driver, a San Jose uninsured car accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help. Dealing with at-fault liability and uninsured driver complexities can be a challenging endeavor on your own. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to explore your legal options.
San Jose Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
At-Fault State for Compensation
The California Department of Insurance confirms that California is an at-fault state, meaning that fault can be shared in all circumstances. For car accidents, this means that a driver who has been injured and/or has property damage and seeks compensation for these losses must be able to show that the accident was the fault of the other driver to try to achieve a successful claim.
California is also a pure comparative negligence state, which means that any driver who shares fault in an accident will see their portion of any future settlement reduced by the “comparative” amount of fault they are responsible for. So even if you are partially at fault, you may still be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries or property loss. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, you can receive 70% of the settlement amount.
A person who is hit by an uninsured driver can sue them for damages. But if the situation is reversed, uninsured drivers do not get the same protection. California Civil Code Section 3333.4 states that uninsured drivers cannot get compensation for non-economic damages from an at-fault driver. Most of the significant damages in a car accident arise from non-economic losses such as physical impairment, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life—meaning that uninsured drivers miss out on the opportunity to collect these damages, regardless of fault.
A San Jose Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
An accident with an uninsured driver can have negative effects on your physical health, your mental state, and even your livelihood. You may be dealing with facial cuts, severe bruising, broken bones, loss of limbs, whiplash, and other similar car crash injuries.
Because of the uninsured status of the at-fault driver, a personal injury lawsuit can be your lifeline to compensation. This may include:
- All medical and hospital-related costs, including doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation
- Loss of income
- Mental and emotional trauma, including pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault driver exhibited reckless and egregious behavior
You should not have to pay for an accident that was not your fault, even if the at-fault driver was uninsured. A San Jose uninsured car accident lawyer can review the details of your accident, build your case, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation.