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Insurance lapsed 5 days prior to car accident. What can we expect the outcome to be and are we totally liable? In California.

Riverside, CA |

There were 3 people in our car my husband, myself 6 months pregnant, our 11 month old daughter who was bleeding from the mouth and vomiting, we all left in the ambulance to the hospital. We were in the middle lane, on a 3 lane freeway so we were in lane 2, my husband was driving and rear ended vehicle #2. After hitting vehicle #2 our car came to a stop in the 3rd lane where car #3, a semi truck, rear ended us and we were flung off into the shoulder. according to the accident report there was a 4th car involved, they pulled off to the shoulder to avoid hitting us. Before car #3 hit us he also rear ended car #4, causing minor damage to the rear driver side of the vehicle. Our car was totaled. The only thing we own is our second car an 71 mustang in very poor rusted condition barely running

Attorney Answers 8


  1. Insurance company is to give you a written notice of cancellation and provide you with 10 days to correct the nonpayment. Have you received that notice? Have an attorney review it for you. Good luck.


  2. You will need to have an attorney review your insurance policy and correspondence. You should also contact your insurance and determine if immediate payment reinstates the policy without a lapse. there is definitely an argument you are liable for the entire course of collisions. There will also be an argument vehicle #3 has some liability to car #4 and you.


  3. Complex. get a local lawyer. If your ins was properly cancelled, your husband as driver, and you if an owner of the car, lose your right to general damages (pain and suffering) for being uninsured.


  4. You did not say whether you got proper notice of cancellation.


  5. I recall hearing about this accident in the news. I'm so sorry about what your family is going through and I hope your daughter is doing better. Any of us here on AVVO (who are licensed in California) could assist you, but it's best to advise you after knowing all the facts. Consider calling a couple of us for a free consultation. Most insurance companies provide a courtesy lapse, but it depends on the company. I hope this works out in your favor.


  6. I would contact a Riverside attorney through avvo. This is a complex case with a lot of different moving parts. The good thing about hiring an attorney is that you dont have to worry about it and you can focus on the kids and everyone's recovery.

    Legal disclaimer: The information provided is general in nature based on the limited information provided and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. This attorney is licensed only in the State of California and Idaho and is not rendering you legal advice. The information given is for educational purposes only. The best advice would be to consult with an attorney in your local jurisdiction for answers and opinions based on specific and more detailed information relevant to your case specific question and the relevant laws in your area.


  7. As many of the responding car accident attorneys are suggesting, your best bet is to take a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer here in the greater Los Angeles area. The fact of the matter is that without proper legal counsel from an expert motor vehicle accident attorney, you will not know your legal standing. Best of luck.


  8. In some cases, the insurance company fails to comply with legal cancellation procedures (either in the law of California or in the policy itself). Then there is often a grace period after cancellation. So you may have insurance after all. It also sounds like you may have a personal injury claim against the truck that slammed into you. You need to get to a qualified and experienced California personal injury lawyer right away. Good luck.

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