Even though it's illegal to drive without car insurance in California (punishable by fines and license suspension up to four years), many people still get behind the wheel while they're uninsured. If you've been hit by someone who doesn't carry auto insurance you still may be able to get compensated from the at fault party, but it may be better to get compensated by your own carrier, especially if the other party is insolvent. Here are several options you can take:
You can contact the other party directly and see if you can come to a resolution on your own (generally not suggested).
You can have a lawsuit filed against the person who hit you and see if you can recover anything from him personally (may be suggested).
You may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance carrier and get compensated through them. If you have the proper coverage, your insurance carrier will pay for the damage to your car, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc. More specifically, if you have collision coverage your car insurance carrier will pay (minus your deductible in most cases) for the repairs to your car 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 own car 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.
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.
By West Covina Personal Injury Lawyer, Lem Garcia