Not only is being in a car accident physically taxing, but it can also be emotionally exhausting as well. This is especially the case when the other people involved either don’t have insurance or refuse to cooperate. It’s common for drivers to be reluctant to exchange insurance information out of fear of being blamed, particularly if they don’t have car insurance coverage at all. However, it’s essential to gather the other party’s personal and insurance details to file an accident claim.
If they refuse to provide this information after a collision, there’s no need to panic. There are alternative ways to obtain this information when the other driver is uncooperative following a car accident in California.
Experienced Legal Guidance After Car Accidents in California
If you or someone you care about got hurt in a car accident, and the person who caused it won’t give you their insurance information, Maison Law can help. Our team of experienced California personal injury lawyers has years of experience in handling accident claims, helping our clients on their road to recovery. We can give you the advice and legal support you need when you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, even if they’re uninsured or won’t give you the necessary information.
To set up a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your options, contact us today.
What Causes Car Accidents in California?
With so many people in California needing to get from here to there, it stands to reason that there are a number of people you’ll encounter on the road throughout the state. 2020 data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) showed that there were over 30 million registered vehicles in California alone.
When a car accident happens, it can cause significant problems for both the injured person and the driver responsible for the accident. In most cases where the other driver either doesn’t have insurance, it involves the deliberate act of fleeing the scene by the person who caused the accident. Known as a “hit and run”, this is frustrating for the injured person. However, it’s important to understand some other common reasons that cause the other driver to flee the scene:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Falling asleep while driving
- Not having a valid driver’s license
- Being on probation
- Involving a pedestrian in the accident
- Having a suspended driver’s license
- Having outstanding arrest warrants
Regardless of the reason behind the driver’s decision to flee, fleeing the scene of a car accident is illegal in California. This means that not only are there legal consequences, but the responsible person is still responsible for any injuries or damages caused.
However, the main challenge with hit-and-run accidents is finding the driver. Immediately after the accident, your first priority should be to ensure your safety. Once you’re safe, there are steps you can take to seek compensation for your losses.
Are You Required To Have Car Insurance in California?
In California, every driver is legally required to carry minimum insurance coverage. Specifically, these policies must cover:
- Uninsured motorists (UM) – California drivers must have at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 for multiple people, and a minimum of $5,000 per accident in UM property damage coverage. In a hit-and-run accident, the unknown driver is considered uninsured, so you can rely on your UM insurance policy for compensation.
- Collisions – This coverage pays for accidental damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault. Collision coverage is generally more expensive, but it can cover any damage to your vehicle.
- Medical payments (MedPay) – This coverage helps with immediate medical expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of fault. The minimum limit is $1,000 per injured person, but higher limits are available.
When the other driver in the accident doesn’t have auto insurance coverage, you may need to rely on your own insurance to cover your injuries and damages. However, keep in mind that policies like health insurance won’t cover vehicle damages. Although it’s not an ideal situation, working with our experienced California car accident lawyers can help ensure you receive the maximum available compensation, either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident Where the Other Driver is Uninsured?
No matter what the circumstances are, there are certain things you need to in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. When the other driver doesn’t have insurance or flees the scene, it may seem impossible to file an insurance claim against them. However, your immediate priority should be ensuring safety and checking for injuries. Once you’ve taken those steps, here’s what you can do after a car accident:
- Get to safety – Move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the side of the road or away from traffic.
- Check for injuries – Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call for an ambulance to receive necessary medical attention.
- Call the police – Report the car accident to the police. They will investigate the incident and create an official report. Make sure to inform them that the other driver left the scene.
- Remember details – Try to remember as much information as possible about the other driver and their vehicle. Note down details like the color, make, model, and if possible, take a photo of their license plate. These details can be crucial in identifying the responsible party.
- Document evidence – Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and inquire if they have any additional evidence, such as photos or videos. This evidence will support your case and help your lawyer understand the circumstances better.
Remember, it’s important to act promptly after a car accident. Seeking legal support can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the necessary compensation for your losses.
Should You Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
It’s not a legal requirement in California to hire a lawyer after a car accident. With that said, having experienced California car accident lawyers on your side can make the process much smoother. This will allow you to focus on your physical recovery, and in cases where the other driver doesn’t have insurance or has fled the scene, it will make the process of getting fair treatment and benefits much simpler.
In situations where the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage or they’ve left the scene and you have no information on them, the police may be able to locate them. However, if the driver remains unidentified, it can leave you without a liable party to pursue for compensation.
This is where experienced legal support becomes crucial. Regardless of a lack of coverage or any other identifying information, our team can help guide you through the legal process of recovering damages, either from your own insurance coverage or through finding the other driver. In general, we can help you recover the following in a claim:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Past and future lost wages.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Reduced quality of life.
- Funeral and burial costs in the case of wrongful death, along with other significant damages.
Uninsured motorist insurance provides you with a safety net in the event of a car accident with an uninsured driver. However, the only sure way to get the benefits and support available to you under the law is to work with our team at Maison Law. We are proud to provide free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there’s no upfront cost to you if you decide to hire us.
California Car Accident Victims Can Trust Maison Law
If you’ve been injured in a car accident where the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may feel like you have no options to seek compensation for your damages. However, there is still hope. At Maison Law, our team of experienced California car accident lawyers knows how to approach uninsured motorist claims and lawsuits.
Once we understand the details of your situation, we’ll address your concerns and provide guidance on your legal options. You can put your trust in our team. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.