It happens all around the country, not just in California. People are on the roads, driving around like they have nothing to lose, convinced that their insurance covers them if they get into an accident. While this may be true for some drivers, a recent law in California has brought to light the concern of uninsured motorists and, at the same time, has inspired many drivers to update their insurance policies. More specifically, more drivers are considering whether they need an uninsured or underinsured motorist clause.
What Happens if the Driver is Uninsured?
In 2013, a new law was signed in resulting in Assembly Bill 60 which went into effect in January of 2015. The bill allowed for undocumented immigrants in California to obtain a driver's license and as a result, a large number of the people who were given driver's licenses in California were not citizens of the United States. For undocumented immigrants, this is actually a great idea, which can help them get to and from work easier and legally, and provide a valid form of identification. The risk isn't really to them, but to the other drivers on the road if they do not carry car insurance. The new law has made many drivers wonder what would happen if they are in a car accident that happens to be caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance.
Fault Insurance in California
California is considered a “fault” state, which means that the person who is at fault for an accident is legally obligated to compensate the other party, normally by using their liability insurance. If they don't have insurance, they may be able to use assets. The problem is that in some cases, undocumented immigrants and many other California drivers have neither assets nor insurance.
In most cases, being a fault state helps to provide options when you are in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence and need to seek compensation for your injuries. This just means that in order to ensure you are covered in the event of a car accident, you may need to check your policy to see if you have any coverage regarding uninsured and underinsured motorists, for your own protection. Although California is an at-fault state, it doesn’t provide compensation for your injuries and damages if the driver responsible for your accident isn’t insured and doesn’t have any assets.
Why You Need an Uninsured Motorist Clause
Although you may never need it, the uninsured motorist clause in insurance policies is worth considering because it can help cover damages if the driver at fault does not have insurance. The insurance company may try to recover the cost from the uninsured driver, but at least those who have uninsured motorist coverage won't have to do it. When it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorists, you’ll need a qualified car accident lawyer in San Francisco to help you get the best possible outcome after your accident.
Have you had any experiences with insurance and an uninsured motorist clause? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family members.