What happens if you get insurance after an accident

When you buy auto insurance after an accident, the insurance coverage won’t apply to the accident you just bought.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Do you need to have insurance in California?

Every driver in California is required to have insurance to cover any injuries that may happen in a car accident. You should want to have insurance, too. If you are in a crash and are not covered, then you will be responsible for paying the damages and medical bills. If another person is involved in the accident, you could be facing legal problems.

Liability insurance covers injuries that your accident causes others. There are other kinds of insurance that cover your own injuries and damages. These include uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and medical coverage.

Insurance is very important on a financial level. If you are injured in a crash and do not have coverage, you could be left unable to pay for your own medical bills and property damage. It will be very difficult to get any compensation for injuries, regardless of fault. If you injure another person in a car accident, you could end up owing hundreds of thousands in damages. Please contact our car accident injury attorney for a free consultation.

That said, even if you do not have insurance when you get into an accident, you might be able to get compensation. Let’s go over the basics first.

Is it illegal to drive without being insured?

It is a very bad idea to drive without insurance in California. Number one, it’s illegal. Number two, you will not be able to get much compensation in an accident. This is the case even if the other person caused the accident.

In California, there is a rule called “No pay, no play.” This means that drivers without insurance can only recover a small amount of money after an accident. Let’s say you are in an accident caused by another driver. You may be able to secure economic damages to pay your medical bills. However, you will be ineligible for non-economic damages. Perhaps you got a bad knee injury in the crash. The economic damages would cover your surgery. However, you are no longer able to play golf, your favorite hobby. Because you are uninsured, you cannot get compensation for the loss of quality of life.

You may also be fined or have your license suspended for driving while uninsured. These are relatively minor consequences when compared to the mountain of legal bills and damages you’ll face.

What happens if you cause an accident while uninsured?

If you cause an accident while uninsured, then you are in for a world of hurt financially. This means you are not eligible to have your medical bills covered by the other driver’s insurance. If you are seriously injured, you may not be able to pay for your treatment. Further, if the other driver suffers injuries, you will be on the hook for their recovery as well.

The other driver can sue you for damages even if they have uninsured motorist insurance. This puts your property and assets at risk.

How do you know if you are uninsured?

If you are driving another person’s car and they are covered by insurance, then you are covered as well. This is assuming, of course, they have allowed you to drive it.

You do not need to pay for an auto policy to be covered. Insurance is tied to the car. This means when another person gives you permission to drive their car, you are covered by their insurance policy. Let’s say you borrow your friend’s car for a night out and get into an accident. Most likely, your friend’s insurance will cover any injuries or damages caused.

How else can you get compensation?

If you have health insurance, it can cover some of your medical bills. Also, you have the option to sue a third party if they played a part in the accident. Let’s say your car’s brakes were faulty. In this case, you can sue the manufacturer for producing bad brakes.

In the event injuries and damages are not significant, it may be enough to pay the other driver in cash for any repairs. This can get around the insurance situation.

Can an attorney help?

It is not a good idea to drive without insurance in California. It will be almost impossible to recover any meaningful compensation. For this reason, having a lawyer will not do much to help your case.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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