Every driver in California is required to have liability insurance coverage. The state actually has relatively low requirements for insurance, and yet quite a few people don’t maintain liability policies as required by state law.
As of 2019, the most recent year with an analysis available from the Insurance Information Institute, California had the tenth-highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country. An estimated 16.6% of California motorists drive without insurance. What happens to those who get hurt in a crash caused by one of those uninsured drivers?
A civil lawsuit may be necessary
If the person to blame for a crash does not have insurance coverage to offset their liability for the wreck, then the best, possibly only recourse available to the people affected by the collision will be a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit if someone died in the crash.
Insurance coverage is technically personal protection against such lawsuits, and those who fail to follow the law and maintain a policy may end up compensating others either with their current assets or their future income. California law allows for litigation in scenarios where one party can show that the negligence or wrongful actions of another driver directly caused a wreck. Unlike insurance claims that may only offer small amounts of compensation, a personal injury lawsuit in California could provide full compensation for all of the verifiable expenses related to the collision, including lost wages, vehicle repair costs and hospital bills.
An uninsured motorist claim could cost a lot of money
Some drivers who are aware of how many California motorists don’t maintain insurance will carry special coverage on their policies. Uninsured motorist coverage added to someone’s liability policy could help cover crash costs. However, any sizable claim against an insurance policy, even if the person making the claim was not to blame for the wreck, will likely increase their premiums in the future. Therefore, such insurance is often only a last resort, as personal injury claims help compensate people without passing some of the expense to those who did not cause the crash.
Seeking legal guidance to learn more about the options available to someone after a crash caused by a driver without insurance may help that person defray the financial losses caused by the collision.