Uninsured motorists are considered a problem, not just on the road, but for regulators, too. Compulsory insurance laws help make sure that premiums are affordable for everyone, but uninsured motorists can drive these premiums up as the costs of their actions are passed on to insured drivers.
In California, Proposition 213, commonly known as the “no-pay no play” law, prevents uninsured drivers from collecting compensation for noneconomic damages suffered due to the negligence of other drivers.
California, along with several other states, is a “no-pay no-play” state. The law is designed to encourage drivers to get insured and comply with their financial responsibilities with the state.
What Does “No-Pay No-Play” Mean?
No-pay, no-play statutes prohibit uninsured motorists from enjoying certain rights and benefits, including the right to recover compensation from an insured driver who negligently caused them noneconomic damages such as disability, emotional distress, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Here are some of the scenarios to keep in mind:
- If the driver has insurance, this law does not apply. They are entitled to recover damages to the full extent allowed by their policy.
- If the injured person is a passenger, this law also does not apply. They are entitled to recover both noneconomic and economic damages.
- If the driver is not insured, this law is applicable. They are only entitled to recover economic damages like their medical expenses or lost wages.
- Certain exceptions also apply. The law is not applicable if the driver is using their employer’s uninsured car, if the driver is insured but the owner of the car he is driving isn’t, or if the accident happens on private property.
What if an at-Fault Driver has no Insurance in California?
In California, all drivers are required by law to have insurance. Any driver who’s driving a vehicle without insurance is doing so illegally and will face staff penalties An at-fault and uninsured driver may be held personally liable for both economic and noneconomic damages that the victims have sustained. Even if they were injured, they won’t be able to recover damages from the other party.
Can you sue someone for not having insurance? Yes. If someone has been injured in an accident due to the fault of negligence of an uninsured driver, they have the right to file a lawsuit for damages. However, it’s also important to remember that when a driver is uninsured, it usually means they don’t have the financial capability to pay for compensation.
An Orange County personal injury attorney can help you understand your options in cases like this.
What to do if I hit an Uninsured Driver?
Motorists who get in an accident involving an uninsured driver need to take certain measures to protect themselves. Here are some of them:
- File a police report right away. In some cases, the uninsured driver may try to pressure the other party to avoid reporting the accident using various tactics. However, failure to report the incident will make it more difficult for them to obtain compensation to pay for any property damage or medical bills.
- Avoid making any statement admitting liability, even partially. When asked by the police, answer honestly but avoid making incriminating statements.
- Seek medical care, even for minor injuries. The shock from the incident may conceal certain types of injuries, so it’s best to get checked and treated right away.
- Contact the insurance company, but be cautious. It’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer who can handle the claims process.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Car accident injuries can lead to enormous medical bills, and you need someone with enough experience and knowledge with handling cases like yours to reduce the financial and emotional burden you’re dealing with.
If you get injured in an accident involving an uninsured driver or if you’re uninsured yourself, the outlook can be quite grim. Your first step should be to hire a car accident lawyer who can help you understand your rights and ensure that you get fair compensation.
Barrios & Machado will aggressively fight for you and your family. We’ll review your case and let you know what your options are. Call us now at (714) 515-9696 for a consultation.