In an Accident But Do Not Have Insurance?
There is never a good time for a traffic accident, but something that can make any accident even worse is being on the road with no insurance. Nonetheless, it happens all the time. So, what should you do if you are involved in an accident under these circumstances? What are the potential repercussions of driving without insurance? Unfortunately, even if the accident was not your fault, there will likely be penalties for you.
At a minimum, California drivers are required to carry insurance covering:
- $5,000 in property damage;
- $30,000 in liability coverage (per accident);
- $15,000 in liability coverage (per person).
If you are pulled over without insurance, you could be ticketed and fined and could possibly lose your license. In the event you are involved in an accident, it is likely that you will get a ticket, even if you are not at fault.
What Should You Do if You are in an Accident
Knowing that you are going to be getting a ticket for non-insurance may tempt you to leave the scene of an accident, but whatever you do, stay put! Leaving the accident could really put you in jeopardy and even result in jail time. Beyond that, when one or both parties leave the scene, it makes it more challenging for law enforcement to determine who was at fault. Particularly if there are injuries, it is essential to stay and provide initial care until emergency services arrive. When the police get there, refrain from admitting fault; leave that determination to the officers and the insurance company.
If you suffer injuries and the other party's at fault, you are entitled to file a claim for damages with their insurance company. Keep in mind, though, that California is known as a No Pay, No Play state. That means the insurance company may put limits on what they agree to pay out because you were uninsured. At a maximum, you will only be able to recover economic damages—those costs specific to the incident, such as property damage or medical costs. You will not be entitled to non-economic damages like pain and suffering or lost earnings. If your injuries are extensive and you anticipate lifelong impacts, you may wind up choosing to file a personal injury lawsuit with an experienced local attorney.
If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in serious property damage and injuries, things are significantly more complex if you did not have insurance at the time of the accident. Even if you were not found to be at fault, there will be legal, and oftentimes financial consequences. At Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP, our dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys will doggedly pursue the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our offices today.