If you’re injured in an accident but hve no insurance, who pays for the hospital?

My fiance was hit from behind at a stop sign this morning. The guy had no insurance. The cops were called and they arrested the guy. My fiance has no insurance but his head and back were hurt, so if he was to go to the hospital who pays?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Accident Law, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since neither party had insurance, your fiance will have to sue the at-fault party in order to recover compensation for his personal injury claim and his separate property damage claim (cost of repairs to his car).

When he completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor, your fiance should obtain his medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of his injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Your fiance will need to file his lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party/ registered owner of the vehicle if someone other than the at-fault driver, prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or he will lose his rights forever in the matter.  CA has a two year statute of limitations in personal injury cases which means the lawsuit must be filed prior to the two year anniversary of the accident.  After obtaining a court judgment against the at-fault party, your fiance should pursue a wage garnishment to enforce the judgment.

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