No Insurance & Injury
Not possessing auto insurance and not being able to prove that you have the insurance with you are violations that can carry heavy penalties in the state of California.
Although state law mandates all drivers to have insurance, some simply cannot afford it. However, it is against the law in California to drive without insurance. You must carry proof of financial responsibility in your vehicle.
California Vehicle Code Section 16029 sets forth the statutory penalties for driving without insurance. Whether you are a resident or merely driving in California, drivers operating a motor vehicle without valid insurance or other acceptable proof of financial responsibility will be fined from $100 to $200 for a first offense and $200 and $500 for a second offense plus penalties and assessments, which can be over 10x the fine amount.
Financial Responsibility Law
The California law requiring all drivers to carry insurance is known as the “financial responsibility law.”
- $15,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for the injury or death of multiple people
- $5,000 for property damage
If you are involved in vehicle accident and you don’t have car insurance, you are facing an uphill battle when it comes to recovering compensation for any injuries and damages you have suffered. However, recovering compensation isn’t always impossible, and there may be other possibilities for seeking damages as a result from the accident.
California Recovery Law for Uninsured not at Fault
If the other person is at fault for the accident, your damages that you can recover are severely limited due to the fact that you’re uninsured and as a result of state law.
Proposition 213 prevents drivers injured in a car accident from obtaining damages for their pain and suffering even when the accident was not their fault if they lack car insurance or the car they were driving was not covered by insurance. This proposition passed the “no pay, no play provision”.
There is a fairness principle at work here: if you are unwilling to carry car insurance for the benefit of others when you are negligent, you shouldn’t be allowed to employ the system and access another’s car insurance when they negligently injure you.
Certain exceptions to the rule of Proposition 213 apply:
- the car operator was driving his/her employer’s uninsured vehicle,
- the accident occurred on private property,
- the owner of the vehicle did not have insurance, but the driver who borrowed the car did have insurance on another car. In this case, the driver is considered insured and entitled to his or her full measure of damages.
Even if proposition 213 applies, a driver should contact Gould & Jefferson immediately, as our experience attorneys at the firm will amicably obtain the economic damages for you as a result of the accident, such as property damage, medical bills and lost wages.
Keep in mind that there may still be other insurance options yet. For example, health insurance can be used to pay for your medical bills once you pay your deductible. Or, if the accident occurred because of a third-party’s actions, such as a motor vehicle defect that caused the crash, this third party (in this case, the car manufacturer) may be liable.
What to do during an Uninsured Motor Accident
As a result, it is absolutely essential that you contact an attorney at Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills as soon as possible after your accident. We will provide you with a free consultation and help you determine whether there is any way that you can be paid for your injuries, and avoid being held personally liable for injuries that you caused to others. Call us today at (310) 899-9529.