What Happens If the Driver Who Hits Me Has No Insurance?
Imagine another vehicle accidentally hits your car and causes damage and injuries. Knowing that the at-fault driver has car insurance could be a relief as they could pay compensation for the damages sustained.
Now, what if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured?
What should you do to cover your property damage and injury expenses, and how can the other driver pay you?
You should thus know the best options if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits your car.
California Law Requirements on Car Insurance
California law requires drivers to carry car insurance policies to cover accident-related expenses like medical costs and legal liabilities to other parties. And each driver should have the following minimum auto insurance coverage amount:
- $15,000 coverage for bodily injury liabilities per person
- $30,000 worth of physical injury liabilities for each accident
- $5,000 coverage for property damage liabilities
A driver is uninsured if they don’t carry any car insurance policy and is underinsured if their policy has insufficient coverage.
Now, an uninsured or underinsured driver can cause significant financial problems to you if they hit your car. It could be challenging for them to pay the legal liabilities to cover the injury and property damage they have caused. So, you must consider other options that could financially help you.
Consulting a Burbank auto accident attorney also helps you handle a car crash case involving an uninsured driver.
How to Pay Accident-Related Expenses if the Defendant is Uninsured or Underinsured
1. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Aside from the minimum car insurance requirement, drivers should also carry Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.
UM can pay the medical treatment and car repair expenses you incur from an accident caused by a driver without insurance. It covers all the costs until the limit of your coverage.
On the other hand, UIM can help if the defendant has insufficient liability coverage. They should pay your expenses with their available insurance, and your UIM coverage will pay the remaining amount.
On a side note, always check your insurance policy to know the limits of your UM and UIM coverage. You may need to pay using out-of-pocket cash if you reach the limit in an accident case.
2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection is an optional coverage in a car insurance policy that can pay your medical care expenses. It may also cover a portion of your lost income until you reach the coverage limit.
PIP is a no-fault policy, which means you may claim financial help whether you caused the accident or not.
3. Claiming Compensation from the At-Fault Driver
You may still claim injury benefits from the at-fault driver even if they were uninsured or underinsured. However, they have to pay using out-of-pocket money, which means you may encounter difficulties during the settlement.
For example, you may have to consider garnishment, in which the at-fault driver pays you using their wage. The defendant’s employer will send the cash to you on each paycheck until they fully cover your compensation.
Hiring a Burbank auto accident attorney helps you prepare for this complicated case.
Consult an Auto Accident Lawyer in Burbank When Dealing with an Uninsured Driver
You deserve compensation if you sustain injuries from a car accident. However, dealing with an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver could be challenging if they can’t pay your benefits.
It’s thus crucial to know the best options to handle different financial problems the accident may have caused. And hiring a Burbank auto accident attorney will help you determine the best step in your unique situation.