In a word, very! Everyone in the state is required to have car insurance or another form of acceptable financial responsibility by state law. And, if one elects to drive without car insurance or another form of acceptable financial responsibility allowed by state law, there are stiff consequences. These include the loss of one’s driving privileges and increased car insurance premiums.
Car accidents without insurance
Car accidents without insurance in California are considered a serious offense. One can have their license suspended as a result, and even have their car impounded. Plus, since one does not have insurance, if they caused the accident, they will be entirely financially responsible for the other driver’s damages. This includes car damages, medical bill, lost wages, legal fees, etc.
For the insured driver, if they have uninsured motorist coverage, their own insurance will cover their losses. The insurance company will still sue the uninsured driver though. This likely means the attempted seizure of assets, the family home and any savings or investments.
California’s “no pay, no play” law
What if someone is uninsured and hey are hit? In our state, we have the “no pay, no play” law, formally known as Proposition 213. This limits how much money an uninsured driver can collect from another, insured driver, even if it the car accident was the insured driver’s fault. The uninsured driver has to pay $10,000 before the at-fault, insured driver is responsible for paying anything.
As our Southern California and Orange County readers can see, driving with insurance is extremely important. And, for those that are involved in an auto accident, whether at-fault or not, contacting an attorney immediately is the key to protecting one’s rights and responsibilities.