What can I do if my wife was hit by an uninsured driver?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my wife was hit by an uninsured driver?

My wife, who was not under my car insurance policy, was hit by a car with no insurance.

Apparently I didn’t have uninsured motorists’ coverage. My insurance does not want to cover

anything since she wasn’t under my policy. Should I sue the other driver in small claims? Also, I still owed the vehicle and my insurance considers the vehicle as totaled or total loss.

Asked on June 17, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did not have the relevant insurance and the driver had no insurance, the only way to try to get compensation is by suing. Of course, most people who have income or assets worth protecting have insurance; if the criver did not have insurance, it is highly likely that he is effectivley "collection proof" and has no money to recover. (I.e. he never got insurance because he has nothing worth insuring, and/or has no intention of paying any judgments against him, and/or doesn't even have enough money to afford insurance.)
2) If your insurer paid you the value of your car (e.g. if you had collision insurance) the car *could* be theirs, if they want it and asked for the appropriate title for you. It's also possible they did not want title because they feel it has no residual value at all and are content to let you have it. So if you were paid for the car and they want it, it's theirs; if you were not paid and/or they don't it, it's yours.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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