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In taking uninsured driver to small claims court, do I need documentation from insurance co to show defendant had no insurance?

Los Angeles, CA |

At the accident site, the other driver gave a policy number to the officer and had us under the impression that he had valid insurance. The insurance was the same as my insurance company. My insurance rep informed me that because his insurance is not valid on the day of the accident, I would not be able to collect because I only have liability insurance. The rep sent me a copy of the valuation report, photographs of my car, and estimates of repairs which shows that my car is a total loss. I received no other documentation that indicates that his insurance is not valid. Should I receive something from them to indicate this?

Attorney Answers 4


You do not need to show the other driver was uninsured, just prove the elements of your case: fault, causation and damages. if you obtain a judgment, get the abstract to the DMV with the appropriate form so they will put a hold on the other driver's license until the judgment is paid.

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Thanks so much for alerting me that I can put a hold on driver's license. I did not know that and it is a very go way to motivate the person to pay.


The first question is do YOU carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage? If you do, then you can pursue payment for all of your damages against that coverage, as if the UM insured the other driver.
If you have comprehensive or collision coverage, that will cover at least some of the value of your vehicle, up to the limits of that coverage.

If you do not have UM coverage, you do not need to plead or prove the other driver was uninsured in small claims, but you do have to prove all the other elements - the other driver was at fault, and your damages, e.g., property damage, medical expenses (where you or any family member injured?), car rental, loss of earnings from missed work and general (pain and suffering) damages, up to the $10,000 small claims limit.

If the value of your damage exceeds $10,000, you may want to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney to make sure your collect the maximium amount.

If you would like to discuss your case in detail, feel free to contact my office.

IVAN SCHWARTZ, Attorney at Law (619) 687-5052
501 West Broadway, Suite 1780 San Diego, CA 92101

Ivan Schwartz has been practicing law in Southern California since 1991. The information contained in this response is for general information only, does not constitute legal advice and should in no way be construed to create an attorney/client relationship. For more information, please contact Attorney Schwartz at (619) 687-5052.

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you do not need to prove that the other party doesn't have insurance for the purposes of your case. However, it may be something to use as evidence to establish that the driver was not following California law at the time.

While I am an attorney, I am not your attorney. You should always speak with your own attorney to gain full and complete legal advice.

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If you have insurance, you may have a UM provision in which you can retain a lawyer to recover from your own insurance. Good luck to you.

Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755

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