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Can I file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company if I’m uninsured?

Asked by user in California.

I just bought a car. I had no insurance on it. I was hit from the front by another driver who was at fault. How do I go about making a claim when I don't have insurance myself?

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

If you need to make an insurance claim because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you usually make a claim through your own insurance company against the other driver’s insurance company. California is a “No pay, no play” state. That means there are some limitations on what damages you can recover from the other driver because you don’t have insurance, yourself. You can recover for losses like repair and medical expenses, but you cannot recover damages for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.

California Prop 213 requires that an uninsured driver must deduct $10,000 before you can sue the at-fault driver for property damage. In other words, you would likely have a $10,000 “deductible” that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket before the other driver’s insurance covers any additional costs.

Please do make sure to get insurance right away. In addition to your out-of-pocket expenses for an accident, you might be charged penalties for driving without insurance.

There’s more information available on Enjuris about California insurance laws, No Pay, No Play laws, and accidents with uninsured drivers. If you need additional guidance, you can contact a California personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can guide you through the legal process to try to recover damages within the boundaries of state laws for uninsured motorists.

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