Most insurance policies cover the car and not the specific driver who was involved in an accident. The critical exception to this is if the driver falls within the definition of an “excluded driver” under the terms and conditions of the insurance contract.
When might a driver be excluded from coverage under an insurance policy?
A car owner might exclude specific members from his or her family or household from coverage under an automobile liability policy if, for example, the excluded person has a poor driving record, and including him or her on the policy will result in significantly higher premiums. Those individuals that are specifically excluded should never drive the insured vehicle under any circumstances.
More often, an insurance company might argue that a driver falls within the broader definitions of “excluded drivers” under the policy language. Those definitions might encompass:
- Individuals who do not hold current and valid driver’s licenses.
- Persons operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Drivers who are using the car in the context of criminal felony activity, including, for example, if the car has been stolen and is being driven by the thief.
What options does an injured party have if an excluded driver causes losses and injuries in an auto accident?
California is not a no-fault car insurance state. Accordingly, the negligent driver’s insurance will be the first source of reimbursement for the injured driver’s losses and injuries. Regardless, California requires auto insurance companies to offer their clients underinsured and uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage that can at least partially reimburse an injured motorist or passenger if the negligent party is excluded from insurance coverage. If you have been in a crash and are not sure if your policy includes UM/UIM insurance coverage, contact a Los Angeles no fault insurance attorney for assistance in determining all potential sources of compensation for your damages.
Call Salamati Law
When you suffer losses and injuries in a Southern California automobile collision, the car accident lawyers at Salamati Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. For more than 25 years, our California accident and injury attorneys have represented car crash accident victims in lawsuits against negligent drivers. We use that extensive experience to get the largest available insurance payouts for our clients even if a negligent party is not on the underlying policy.
If you have been hurt in a Southern California car accident and you do not know how or where to file your claim for compensation, call us for a no-fee consultation. Our team will provide a simple and straightforward assessment of how you can collect the largest available compensation to get you back on your feet.