Did You Get Hit By An Uninsured Motorist In California?
When you get into a car accident, you typically exchange insurance information with the other driver, make a claim, the insurance company of the at-fault party issues a check to the victim, and the matter is done. However, when the at-fault driver is uninsured and has no coverage at all or is underinsured and has too little coverage to pay for your expenses, things can get a lot more complex.
Dealing with an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be overwhelming. Here’s what you can do and how to get the help you need.
Contact the Police
The first thing you should do in an accident, regardless of what type of insurance coverage the other driver has, is getting help. Call the police if the accident was minor, or call 911 if anyone involved in the accident was injured. It’s important to have a police report of the accident on file.
Do Not Admit Fault
Never admit fault to the other driver, because this could compromise your ability to bring forward an injury claim against them later on. Avoid saying seemingly harmless things like “I’m sorry,” or “I just didn’t see you.” Instead, just ask if everyone is okay and exchange information.
Do Not Agree to Receive Money
If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, they may attempt to convince you to settle things privately instead of getting insurance companies involved. In California, having no insurance is a crime that the other driver can be held responsible for. In some cases, you may be able to pursue the other driver civilly for damages that extend beyond what their insurance and yours will pay for. Never agree to receive money from the other driver.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company soon after the accident to discuss your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is specialty insurance that only applies in cases where you are the victim of an accident caused by someone who either doesn’t have any insurance at all or who does not have enough insurance to cover the total cost of your damages.
Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need legal help. A seasoned California motor vehicle accident attorney can help you pursue damages for medical bills, lost wages, proper damage, and more. Call Zink & Lenzi Injury Lawyers today at (530) 895-1234.