Out of all fifty states, California ranks twelfth highest for its rate uninsured drivers. 15.2 percent of drivers on California’s roads are estimated to be uninsured, as measured by the rate of uninsured motorist claims compared to bodily injury claim frequencies. And according to the CDC, although teens represent only about 7 percent of the population in the United States, they account for a disproportionately high percentage of costs of motor vehicle injuries (at 11 percent, roughly $10 billion dollars every year).
In the May 20th accident, it is unclear why the Acura jumped the curb, but its driver did not have a license. A 19-year-old passenger riding in the Acura was killed, after being struck by a Toyota Camry driven by a 69-year-old San Jose man. Following the accident, a white van crashed into one of the vehicles strewn on the road, then swerved, hitting another car. The driver of the white van was intoxicated at the time. California auto accident law provides that anyone injured in a car accident caused by someone’s negligence (texting while driving, or driving while intoxicated) can recover monetary compensation for medical bills (past and future), property damage, lost wages, earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
In the Memorial Day accident, after police attempted a routine traffic stop, the suspect car packed with young teen drivers took off. San Jose police decided not to chase the car, which they had identified as stolen, in an effort to protect the public. Nevertheless, the car full of fleeing teens hit a Ford C-Max that was making a left hand turn in its path. The teen passengers attempted to flee the scene, but the 13-year-old driver was trapped in the vehicle and sustained critical injuries. These accidents occurred in the midst of a juvenile crime wave in Santa Clara County.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in California
California auto accident law requires all drivers to be bear responsibility for property damage or bodily injury that occurs as a result of a car accident on a public road. This is usually satisfied by carrying car insurance, which is necessary to register your car with the Department of Motor Vehicles in California. But not every driver abides by this law—in California your odds of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver are more than double what they would be in New York, and four times as high as they would be in Maine.
When involved in a car accident, everyone knows to get the insurance information and contact information of the other drivers involved in the accident. But what happens if it’s a hit-and-run accident, or an accident with an uninsured or unlicensed driver? Nearly every car insurance policy sold in the state of California includes uninsured motorist coverage. This is because insurance companies are required to include this type of coverage, unless explicitly opted out of in writing by the policyholder.
What Happens If You’re Involved in a California Car Crash with an Uninsured Driver?
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It is also important to contact an experienced California car crash lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. It is an insurance adjuster’s job to pay out as little as possible, so you need an experienced lawyer in your corner, fighting to hold the negligent parties accountable and get you the compensation you are entitled to under California auto accident law. There is also a statute of limitations for filing a claim for car accidents in California, so it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to preserve your right to file a claim.