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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

Posted

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.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

I never got a notice for 10 days to correct it or a notice that it was late and going to be cancelled. But in the paperwork from the company it says they don't have a grace period and that the minute your payment is late you don't' have coverage.

Maryam Parman

Maryam Parman

Posted

Not according to California law. The obvious purpose of providing strict time limits for advance notice as a prerequisite to cancellation of an automobile insurance policy is to protect the insured against unintended termination of coverage caused by the inadvertent delay of a premium payment, and thus, to give the defaulting policyholder at least a 10–day period to cure the default or secure other insurance. (See generally Kotlar, supra, 83 Cal.App.4th at p. 1122, 100 Cal.Rptr.2d 246; National *1262 Auto. & Casualty Ins. Co. v. California Casualty Ins. Co., supra, 139 Cal.App.3d 336, 340 341, 188 Cal.Rptr. 670 [“Public policy certainly favors a system under which motorists will not be operating their vehicles without the benefit of public liability coverage”].) Mackey v. Bristol W. Ins. Services of Cal., Inc., 105 Cal. App. 4th 1247, 1261-62, 130 Cal. Rptr. 2d 536, 546 (2003) Demand your insurance company send you a copy of the Cancellation Notice with Proof of Mailing. If they refuse or give you the run around, contact an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Okay thank you.

Maryam Parman

Maryam Parman

Posted

It's my pleasure to help.

Douglas Maurice Carasso

Douglas Maurice Carasso

Posted

Good advice, Ms. Parman.

Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

From what I read online it said that my husband cannot collect for pain and suffering, being the uninsured driver, but that the passengers can. Is that true?

Patrick John Phillips

Patrick John Phillips

Posted

Yes, this is true. However, in order for you and you daughter to collect general damages, or any damages for that matter, you must be able to prove that a third party was responsible for your injuries. Otherwise, your damages are the result of your husband's negligence, and of course you would not take legal action against him.

Asker

Posted

Okay. So as everything is what do we do? Do we wait to be contacted? Do we contact the other parties insurance? Or do we immediately seek help from an attorney. Neither of us have ever been in an accident and have no idea how to proceed.

Manuel Alzamora Juarez

Manuel Alzamora Juarez

Posted

Get a lawyer immediately!!!!

Posted

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

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Asker

Posted

I did not receive a notice of cancellation, by phone or mail, our monthly statement just says that there is no grace period and when the premium is due and if the payment is late we will have no insurance. I don't know if that counts as the notice. We went through Adriana's and have a cheaper small insurance provider. My grandmother has farmers and they give you 10 days to pay the late premium and during those 10 days you still have coverage. Her provider also calls her to let her know. I guess we get what we pay for. I should have been on top of the bills and which payments were due.

Posted

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.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Really? It happened this past Saturday.

James Michael Johnson

James Michael Johnson

Posted

Yes I seem to recall reading a story about a child whose mouth was bleeding after a crash. Our firm has a daily news blog so I think that's why it sounds familiar.

Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

Okay we will look into it. I'm just scared about finding a lawer because we done have a lot of money.

Ryan Hugh Sargent

Ryan Hugh Sargent

Posted

Don't be scared. Most of our clients have never hired a lawyer before. Also, most injury attorneys do not charge anything unless they get money for you and most offer free consultations. I know from prior cases that i have handled in Riverside County, if you are found to not have valid insurance than you might not be able to get pain and suffering. Your kids should be able to get money for the full value of their claim though.

Posted

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.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Okay thank you. I'm looking into it now.

Scott J. Corwin

Scott J. Corwin

Posted

As an FYI, many lawyers including myself offer free consultations for exactly this reason.

Posted

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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