Driving in California is one of the best ways to get around, at least when you get away from the heavy traffic of the main roads and out onto the highway. There are beautiful sights to see and the whole experience can be extremely relaxing. However, it can be a lot less relaxing if the driver enjoying the road trip is underinsured or completely uninsured. That is because drivers are required to have insurance in California, which means that anyone driving without insurance is taking a huge risk and could get into big trouble if they get caught. If they get into an accident or have some sort of infraction, then they could be facing some serious penalties.

If you get into an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, then you are eligible to receive compensation from the negligent driver. Normally this compensation is obtained from the insurance company of said driver, but if they are uninsured, then you will have to seek compensation by other means. Lawyer Morse can help any person in the San Diego area who was in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver. So give him a call if that person is you.

The Consequences of Driving Uninsured in California

Uninsured drivers can face serious penalties simply for driving without insurance in California, but if they get into an accident, then the penalties can get even worse. For a first offense, the minimum fine is $100, but with additional penalties, the actual total could come to $450. A second offense that takes place within three years of the first can result in a minimum fine of $200, which can balloon to $900 after additional fees and penalty assessments are added. Second offenders can face a maximum fine of $500 that can reach up to $2500 with the additional charges. The penalties are not just monetary since uninsured drivers also risk having their vehicle impounded if they get caught. If they cause an accident, then they could have their driver's licence suspended for up to four years. That is in addition to the injuries and property damage that they will need to pay for.

What To Do If an Uninsured Driver Hits You

Since you will likely have insurance, the first thing you need to do is to file a claim with your insurance company within 24 hours of the accident, especially if you have uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you from accidents caused by uninsured drivers. You don't even have to be in a car to use it; you can use this kind of insurance if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver when you are walking or cycling. Ordinarily, the money you get from your policy is determined by the extent of your injuries and the other driver's coverage. But if the other driver is uninsured, then you will get whatever is offered by your standard liability protection.

Once you file a claim, your insurance company will assess the accident to determine the value of your claim. However, the insurance company will always want to pay the lowest possible amount that might not be able to cover all of your accident-related expenses. If that happens, then you can contest their assessment with the help of an attorney. You can also sue the uninsured driver but that might be a fruitless option since, if they cannot afford insurance, then they will unlikely be able to pay any damages.

Driving Uninsured Is Not Worth It

There are far too many risks associated with driving without insurance in California for that activity to be worth doing. Fines are just the tip of the iceberg since licence suspension is also a distinct possibility. If you have insurance, then not only are you following the law, you will also be covered if an uninsured driver causes an accident. You will need that coverage since dealing with an uninsured driver can get complicated. 

That is also why you should get a car accident lawyer as well if you ever end up in such a situation. They can offer you advice on the right course to take and can also deal with your insurance company if they make the situation even more complicated than it already is.