Can I File Suit if the Driver that Hit Me Has no Insurance?
Every state requires its drivers to carry auto insurance. That doesn’t mean that everyone does it. Surprisingly, a lot of drivers have no insurance at all. They either don’t care or can’t afford insurance. They don’t realize the risk they’re creating for both themselves and other drivers.
If you get into a car crash, the first place your San Diego car accident lawyer will turn is to the defendant’s insurance company. Normally, if you get injured in a car accident, someone’s insurance will cover your injuries. This could be either your insurance (if you’re at fault) or the other driver’s.
So, what happens when the person who hits you has no insurance? Where do you turn?
The first thing your car accident attorney in San Diego will do is check to see that you have uninsured motorist’s coverage. Almost all drivers have this coverage as part of their own insurance policy. Uninsured motorist’s coverage is there to help cover your medical expenses when the person who hits you has no insurance.
The problem is, most of these policies have rather low limits. Your policy may cover anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. Of course, every policy is different. Your coverage may be as high as $50,000. Your lawyer will review your policy when you go to your initial consultation.
For most car accident victims, their hospital bills will eat up all of this money. In fact, your uninsured motorist’s coverage probably won’t even cover the entire bill. Even if you’re only in the hospital for a couple of days, your bill could be as high as $50,000.
This doesn’t even account for out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
The good news is, your San Diego car accident attorney can still help you pursue the other driver. You can file a personal injury suit against him directly. As promising as this may sound, there are a lot of issues you’re going to face with a personal lawsuit.
What Kind of Driver Doesn’t Carry Insurance?
If you’re filing a personal lawsuit against a driver, you will only be able to recover against his personal assets. This means, even if you win your case, your lawyer will still have to follow up and collect on your judgment or settlement.
When you think about it, the kind of people who don’t carry auto insurance probably doesn’t have a lot of assets. Most people who have property don’t want to risk losing that property. They’re not going to drive without insurance.
People who don’t have car insurance usually fall into one of the following categories:
- they can’t afford insurance in the first place
- They don’t have a legal driver’s license
- Also, they let their policy lapse for non-payment because they couldn’t afford the premium
- They have no assets and don’t care if they’re sued
- They are in the commission of a crime and the last thing they care about is insurance
Common sense tells you that these categories of people probably don’t have homes, investment funds, or cash in the bank.
Why Bother Suing Then?
You may ask yourself why you should bother suing if the defendant has no assets. This is a good question. Why bother hiring a lawyer if it’s a waste of time? And, better yet, why would a lawyer take a case like this?
First, you may be right. Many lawyers may not want to take a case like this. The chances of them recovering is so slim it may not be worth it. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a lawyer. There are many experienced car accident attorneys in San Diego who will represent you.
The other thing to remember is that people change. Just because someone has no assets today doesn’t mean they won’t have assets years from now. A judgment is good for twenty (20) years. That means that any assets the defendant obtains in the next 20 years will be subject to your judgment.
Contact a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hit by a driver with no car insurance, you need to call a San Diego car accident lawyer. You probably won’t even know the driver had no insurance at first. You’ll have to do some research to see if he has coverage or not.
You also need help filing your lawsuit. No matter how insolvent a defendant may be, you still want to protect your claim. The statute of limitations for a personal injury in California is only two (2) years. If you don’t sue within that time, your claim will be forever barred. Get your suit filed now even if it takes years to collect on your judgment.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Let an experienced car accident lawyer protect your rights.