The guy who hit me has no insurance. What do I do?
Even though it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance in California, many people still elect to drive while they’re uninsured. If you’ve been in an accident with someone who have valid auto insurance you may still be able to get compensated from the at fault party. Usually this depends on if the other party has assets which you can go after. Even if the other party does have assets, it may be better to get compensated by your own carrier, especially if the other party has limited assets. Here are several options you can take:
You can reach out to the other party directly and see if you can come to a resolution on your own (generally not suggested).
You can file a lawsuit against the other party who hit you and see if you can recover anything from him personally (may be suggested).
You may also be open a claim with your own insurance carrier and get compensated through them. If you carry the proper coverage, your insurance will pay for the damage to your car, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. More specifically, if you carry collision coverage your car insurance carrier will pay (minus your deductible in most cases) for the repairs to your vehicle or the value of the car if the cost of repairs exceed the value of your car. If you have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist, your auto insurance carrier will cover you for your bodily injury claim (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.). If you have medical payments coverage, your car insurance carrier will pay for the medical treatment you received up to the medical payments policy limits.
It should also be noted that using these coverages should not raise the price of your auto insurance in California. The state of California has passed various laws to protect people from insurance companies raising rates for using the above mentioned coverages.
Because many California drivers are driving without a valid policy in effect, it is important for all California drivers to carry UM coverage.
The above-mentioned is not to be construed as legal advice.