It is a responsible driver’s worst nightmare – a serious car accident, and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. Despite California laws making vehicle insurance mandatory, hundreds of negligent drivers go without coverage. Luckily, in many cases, an uninsured driver is another hurdle your lawyer can jump over in pursuit of accident compensation. At Henshaw & Henry, PC we know how frustrating it is to be the victim of someone else’s mistakes. We don’t believe you should have to pay out of pocket because another driver broke the law. Let us help you recover damages from an uninsured driver in San Jose.
After any car accident, your first priority should be to check yourself for injuries. If you think you have an injury, call 911 and request an ambulance. If there are any injuries, deaths, or property damage equaling more than $1,000, California law makes it mandatory to report your accident. If the driver says he or she does not have insurance, call the police and report the crash no matter what. Reporting the crash will safeguard you from the driver giving you fake information.
Failing to notify the police can result in the uninsured driver fleeing without giving you his or her information. It also allows the driver to continue driving without insurance. The police can create an official record of the crash, and punish the negligent driver for not having insurance. Once the police arrive, give your side of the story in detail. The police should record information such as the other driver’s name and plate number, but it is wise to collect this information yourself as well. Take photos of the accident. if you can.
Call your insurance company and report the crash as soon as you can. Let your insurance agent know that the other driver does not have insurance. You may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy that will cover your damages. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage will pay for your injuries, while uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) will pay for your vehicle’s damages, with a $3,500 limit. UMPD will only kick in if you identify the uninsured driver. If you have collision coverage, this may cover your damages as well.
If your insurance company gives you a fair settlement for your damages after a collision with an uninsured motorist, you may not need an attorney’s help. However, these cases can easily take an unexpected turn. You might not have uninsured motorist coverage, or your insurance company may deny your claim. The at-fault driver may lie about his or her name or contact information. You may have suffered serious injuries that your insurance company won’t cover. Any number of things can make you feel like no one is serving justice. If this is the case, call an attorney right away.
The lawyers at Henshaw & Henry, PC will talk with you about your San Jose car accident during a complimentary, confidential consultation. We can help you understand your legal opportunities. There may be another party partially at fault for your collision that does have insurance, such as a product manufacturer or the City of San Jose for an unsafe roadway. If there is a way to recover for your accident, we will find it. Call (408) 533-1075 or drop us a line to schedule your free case evaluation.