What to do if I was involved in an auto accident and we were not insured but we were not at fault??

We were rear-ended in the carpool lane. There was traffic and we were at a complete stop. We did not hit the car in front of us. Our auto insurance had just lapsed so we were not covered. The driver of the vehicle who caused the accident was driving a rental car and lives out of state. We are not sure how to proceed. Do we go after the rental car company’s insurance? The driver left us a bad phone number but we have his drivers license number etc. Yes, the police took a report.

Asked on November 12, 2014 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have separate property damage (cost of repairs to your vehicle) and personal injury claims to be filed with the rental car company's insurance carrier.  The rental car company's insurance information should be stated in the police report.

Each injured occupant of your vehicle has a separate personal injury claim.

When medical treatment is completed and you are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the rental car company's insurance carrier should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If your case is settled with the rental car company's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the rental car company and the at-fault driver.

If the case is NOT settled with the rental car company's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the rental car company and at-fault driver must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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