Every driver in California has to pass educational courses to get their driver’s license and then has to ensure their vehicle to legally drive. Maintaining your vehicle’s registration and insurance is as important to your legal right to drive as maintaining your driver’s license through testing and state fees.
Unfortunately, while insurance is mandatory for all drivers, some people fail to maintain their policies. Drivers on restrictive budgets may fail to pay their premiums, resulting in their policies’ lapsing. Some drivers even intentionally cancel their insurance coverage after renewing the registration for their vehicles. Whether intentional or unintentional, uninsured drivers put everyone else in California at risk.
How many uninsured drivers are out there?
Most people try to be responsible and to follow the rules of the road, but enough people don’t to make it a noteworthy risk. California has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country. In 2019, about 16.6% of drivers didn’t have active coverage on their vehicles, making it tenth in the country for the prevalence of uninsured drivers.
If you get into a crash caused by one of those drivers, there won’t be any liability insurance coverage to reimburse you for your injuries in property damage losses. What are your options then?
Your own insurance might help in some cases
California only requires liability coverage for bodily injuries and property damage, but you can pay for better coverage. If you carry a more comprehensive insurance policy with more than the minimum required coverage, you may have uninsured driver coverage. This addition to your policy covers you for the losses that the other driver’s insurance should have covered.
Many drivers don’t carry uninsured motorist coverage because state law does not require it. Even those who have the coverage may not want to use it because of how it may affect their future insurance rates. Anyone with property damage or bodily injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the wreck.
Understanding your rights after a car crash caused by an uninsured driver can help you get compensation for the injuries and damages you incur because of the wreck.