Car Insurance By License Plate - How to Find Out If Someone has Car Insurance

Car crashes are the number one cause of accidental injuries nationwide. According to data collected and published by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more than 277,000 people were hurt in car accidents in our state in 2017 alone. Being involved in a crash is always frustrating. A wreck can ruin your day in a matter of seconds. The situation is made all the more difficult if you learn that the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, this happens far more than many people know. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that 16 percent of drivers in California are uninsured or underinsured. This raises an important question: Can you look up someone's car insurance? The answer is ‘yes’—but it can sometimes be a little bit complicated. In this blog post, our California car accident attorneys provide a guide to finding out if someone has auto insurance coverage.

Car Insurance | Famous Personal Injury Lawsuit in California

California Law: All Motorists Must Have Minimum Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage

Every driver in California has a legal responsibility to purchase and maintain adequate auto insurance coverage. The failure to do so is a serious violation. As explained by the California Department of Insurance, every motorist must buy liability coverage. The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per crash.
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $5,000 minimum per crash.

To be clear, these are just the minimum mandatory requirements. The overwhelming majority of drivers in California can benefit from obtaining a greater level of liability coverage and collision coverage to ensure that they are fully protected in the event of a crash.

How to Know If Another Driver Has Car Insurance in California

California is a fault-based auto accident jurisdiction. A driver who is found to be responsible for causing an accident can be held liable for resulting property damage and personal injuries. In most cases, the victim will make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Here is how you can determine if another driver has insurance after an accident:

  • Get As Much Information as Possible at the Scene: First and foremost, you should try to get as much information as you possibly can at the scene of the crash. Among other things, ask for the driver’s name, their address, their driver’s license number, their license plate, the name of their insurance company, and their policy number. Under California state law, the other driver has a legal obligation to share this information with you. Ideally, the other driver will follow the rules and they will give you all of the information that you need to confirm their coverage and make a claim through their policy provider.
  • Verify Insurance Through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get insurance information from other motorists after a collision. Problems can arise for a wide range of different reasons. The driver may give information that looks phony or seems “off.” Alternatively, the other driver may not have a valid car insurance card with them in the vehicle. You should still try to get as much information as possible. Most importantly, take a clear picture of their license plate. You can look up car insurance by license plate in California. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has both an Insurance Inquiry tool and an Insurance Verification tool available online. If you are having any trouble trying to figure out how to check if insurance is valid or how to get someone's insurance info after an accident, you should reach out directly to your local DMV office or an experienced car crash attorney.

What to Do About an Uninsured Motorist Accident in California

If you find out that the other driver was uninsured or underinsured at the time of the crash, you are not necessarily out of luck. You have a right to pursue an uninsured motorist claim to recover financial compensation for your damages. You may have a claim against the at-fault driver personally, your own insurance policy, or a third party. An experienced Oakland, CA car accident attorney will review your uninsured motorist case and help you determine the best path forward.


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    How the Oakland, CA Car Accident Attorneys at Cutter Law Can Help

    Motor vehicle accident claims are complicated. There are many things that you need to do to protect your rights after a crash, including tracking down the insurance information for everyone else who was involved in the accident. At Cutter Law P.C., we are here to help you navigate the claims process. Among other things, our Oakland auto accident lawyers will:

    • Conduct a free, in-depth review and assessment of your personal injury claim;
    • Gather all of the evidence and information you need to proceed with a claim;
    • Take care of the paperwork and correspondence with insurance carriers; and
    • Build a personalized legal strategy focused on getting you the maximum compensation.

    No matter what situation you are facing, our legal team will help you find the best path forward. As every car accident injury claim involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances, it is essential that you get individualized guidance and support. With a record of results in car accident injury cases in California, you can rely on our firm to handle your case properly.

    Call Our California Auto Accident Lawyers Today for a Free Case Evaluation

    At Cutter Law P.C., our California car accident attorneys have the skills and legal expertise to protect your rights and help you recover the full financial support that you rightfully deserve. If you have any questions about finding out if another driver has auto insurance coverage, we are here to help. Contact us now to set up a free, no strings attached review and assessment of your case. From our legal offices in Sacramento and Oakland, we represent car accident victims throughout the whole region, including in Alameda County, Sacramento County, Contra Costa County, Solano County, and San Joaquin County.