Can You File a Lawsuit Against an Undocumented Driver?

by Staff | August 15th, 2022

If you have been in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have proper documentation, you may wonder about your next legal steps. Filing a lawsuit against an undocumented driver is an available legal option when you’ve suffered injuries and vehicle damage. However, you may also file a claim with your insurance company to recover compensation.

Work with a California car accident attorney when you decide how to proceed after getting into an accident with an undocumented driver. They can investigate the accident and the undocumented driver to help you determine your legal options.

Determining if an Injury Claim Against an Undocumented Driver is Required

In California, undocumented people are allowed to have driver’s licenses, and therefore should have auto insurance coverage. If you suffered injuries in a collision with an undocumented person, your attorney can investigate to see if the undocumented driver has the required auto insurance coverage. This can help you decide on your next legal steps.

If the undocumented driver carries the appropriate auto insurance, you can file a claim with their insurance company seeking a settlement. Otherwise, if the undocumented driver responsible for the accident has no way of paying for damages, you can turn to your insurance company for financial compensation.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

California law requires insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist coverage as part of the auto insurance policy. You can only submit a claim for the uninsured motorist coverage if you opted under your insurance policy. This type of insurance protects you against accidents caused by drivers who lack proper insurance coverage. It covers bodily injuries up to the limits of your liability insurance.

Uninsured motorist insurance includes coverage for property damage, up to $3,500 when the other driver has been identified. Property damage coverage may not be available under your uninsured motorist policy if you have separate comprehensive and collision coverage.

Your lawyer can present relevant evidence, such as photos or videos showing physical contact between you and the other vehicle, to help you file an uninsured motorist claim. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence, and an experienced lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers can help you do this while protecting your rights to pursue compensation.

Filing a Claim for Physical Damage

Most California lenders require comprehensive and collision coverage when you lease or finance a car. Often, comprehensive coverage is bundled with collision coverage. Collision insurance covers damage caused by accidents involving other vehicles, people, or objects.

The compensation offered by the collision and comprehensive coverage are based on your policy’s limits and your car’s market value. It may not be a good idea to choose this coverage if the value of your car is low.

When to File a Lawsuit for Damages Against an Undocumented Driver

If the undocumented driver has enough assets to cover your accident’s damages, you can file a lawsuit against them. As part of the initial investigation into your accident, a lawyer can search the driver’s assets to determine if they are in reasonable financial standing. With this information, your lawyer can determine the chances of you receiving compensation by filing your lawsuit.

Your lawyer may conduct an asset search for unreported assets, business entities hiding assets, and other sources of income. They can also determine if any personal property exists, such as real estate, under the driver’s name.

Along with evidence of your medical bills, loss of wages, and medical records regarding the loss of future earning capacity, your lawyer can put together a lawsuit for compensation against the undocumented driver.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

You can also sue when a loved one dies in an accident caused by an undocumented driver. You and your lawyer need to prove that the negligent party committed a driving error, like going over the speed limit and that this lack of care caused your loved one’s passing.

A loved one’s death must have caused your family economic or non-economic losses, like lost wages and the loss of companionship. If you have suffered a loss, your lawyer knows how to calculate your damages and will fight for maximum compensation for you and your family on behalf of your deceased loved one.

Enlist the Help of a Car Accident Attorney Today

Legal issues relating to accidents involving undocumented immigrants are complex. When a car accident involves an undocumented driver, it is best to seek ‌the assistance of California car accident lawyers from Berg Injury Lawyers to help you assess your legal options and file a claim with the appropriate entity.

Contact us today to talk with one of our lawyers in a free case evaluation so we can review the circumstances of your accident and help you seek compensation.