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Can I recover for the damages to my car if I had no insurance but the other driver was at fault?

San Diego, CA |

I was rear-ended but my insurance had lapsed without me realizing. They informed me that I was not covered and my car was reposessed as I was still making payments on it. The other driver was at fault, and now I am stuck without a car. Can I recover from the at-fault driver? Also, is there anything I can bring to the insurance company for not notifying me of my insurance lapse?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Check with an attorney for the specific rules governing insurance carriers' notice to their insureds regarding lapses in coverage. You can still bring an action against the other driver for your property damage and personal injury though.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.


  2. You can still recover for the damages to your car even though you were not at fault. The other person's insurance company should cover it. With regard to your insurance company not notifying you, I would recommend that you contact a lawyer who handles bad faith insurance in your area and is knowledgeable about the reporting requirements.


  3. You will be able to collect actual damages, meaning the cost of your medical bills, property damage, etc. However, since you did not have insurance, California Civil Code section 3333.4 will probably prevent you from being able to collect non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering). Here is a link to the rule: http://law.onecle.com/california/civil/3333.4.html

    You should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

    http://www.johnphillipslaw.com
    http://www.thecaliforniainjuryblog.com
    (818) 348-9515

    Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the state of California only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to that state. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship. http://www.johnphillipslaw.com http://www.thecaliforniainjuryblog.com