Driving without auto insurance and getting into an accident can lead to financial and legal issues. Learn more about driving without insurance and California or contact a Bay Area car accident lawyer today.
California Car Accident Liability Laws
California is an at-fault state meaning they follow at-fault negligence laws. When it comes to car accidents, this means that to receive compensation, a car accident victim must prove another party is at fault. If you suffered injury from a car accident and prove the other driver is at fault, you can:
- File a claim under your own insurance company policy
- Pursue a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage
- File a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver
Pure Comparative Negligence
In California, at least one person must be labeled as responsible for a car accident. However, pure comparative negligence laws allow multiple people to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident.
While it is possible that one person might be 100% at fault for an auto accident, it’s also possible for two people to be equally at fault or partially at fault. At-fault drivers may still be able to collect damages as a result of the crash, however, the higher the percentage of fault, the smaller their recovery amount.
What are the Minimum Liability Car Insurance Requirements in CA?
In California, drivers can choose how much coverage or protection they would like and the state law determines the minimum coverage required. Liability insurance is used to compensate the injured parties of a car accident you are at-fault for.
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
While these are the minimum coverage amounts, you should explore other coverage options. Once your car insurance policy limits are exhausted, you are financially responsible for the remaining amount.
What if I cause a car accident and don’t have car insurance in CA?
If you don’t have liability insurance and cause an auto accident in California, the other driver can sue you for medical costs and repairs. If you are at-fault for a crash and are sued, it could result in garnished wages or even a lien on your home.
What happens if I’m injured in a car accident don’t have car insurance?
California is a pay-for-play state meaning if you didn’t have auto insurance at the time of an accident, the compensation you can recover is limited. In most cases, you will be able to get reimbursed for medical bills, however not eligible for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
In California, a driver without auto insurance injured in a car crash may be able to recover non-economic damages if the other driver was under the influence.
What if I’m in a car accident without insurance and I am not at-fault?
If you were driving uninsured in a car wreck, even if it wasn’t your fault, the courts may require you to carry an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility certificate to guarantee you have coverage. Failure to file an SR-22 when required can result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
What are the penalties for driving in California without car insurance?
When you are pulled over, a police officer will ask for your proof of insurance, driver’s license, and registration. If you are caught driving without insurance in California, there are consequences to face:
- For a first offense, you may be fined $100 – $200 plus penalty fees and the courts may impound your vehicle.
- For a second offense, your fines increase to $200 – $500 plus penalty fees and the court may also impound your vehicle.
You will have to get auto insurance and pay all towing and storage fees to get your car back if it’s impounded
What happens if I get in a car accident with an uninsured driver?
If you get in a car accident with an uninsured driver in CA, you may sue them for medical expenses and car repairs. You can also pursue a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage, if you have that type of insurance coverage, to help pay for expenses in case a driver doesn’t have enough insurance or coverage.
Injured in a Car Accident near Pleasanton or Oakland? Call Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm, for a free initial consultation. Our personal injury law firm has offices located in Pleasanton, Fremont, and Oakland, California.