Uninsured Accidents

THE ACCIDENT WASN’T MY FAULT BUT MY INSURANCE WAS LAPSED!

IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.

So, you’re driving down the road. You come to a stop at a red light. Out of nowhere, a little old lady slams into the back of you. You get out to make sure the old lady is okay. She seems to be fine, but you notice pain in your neck. You call your insurance company to inform them of the accident. The voice on the other end is cold. They tell you that your policy is not in effect because you missed a payment. You are uninsured.

You may think that it doesn’t matter that you are uninsured because the accident is the little old lady’s fault. Well, that’s sort of true. You don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for the damage to the little old lady’s car, nor do you have to worry about footing her medical bills.

However, there is one very big worry that you should have. It’s called Proposition 213, and the legislation could have some nasty effects on you. In 1996, California voters passed a law that limits certain classes of drivers’ right to recover for accidents that weren’t their fault. Intoxicated drivers, and people driving without insurance, are unable to recover for their pain and suffering in accidents that aren’t their fault. There is one exception: if you are driving without insurance, and an intoxicated driver slams into you, you still get to collect pain and suffering.

So what does it mean to be unable to recover pain and suffering damages? Well it means that the value of your case is severely limited. Your pain and suffering is very valuable. When a statute limits your ability to recover for it, it gives the insurance company a great negotiating advantage. They know that most attorneys would be reluctant to take your case because the attorney can only recover the hard costs like medical bills. They also know that attorneys who do take your case might be reluctant to file a lawsuit solely for the medical bills.

There is one other notable effect of getting into an accident without insurance, even if the accident is not your fault. The DMV can suspend your license for one year following an accident where you weren’t insured.

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to call an attorney immediately. There are ways to mitigate the harmful effects of getting into an accident that wasn’t your fault, while uninsured. If you’d like more details on how to reduce those effects, give us a call. There are certain measures that you should take, and certain things that you should not do. We’ve already said too much.

Whatever you do, don’t tell the other insurance company that your policy lapsed. In fact, don’t tell anybody anything about the accident. Call Cefali & Cefali. We’ll hook you up.

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