As a cyclist, you have a far greater risk of severe injury on the road than people in motor vehicles. Unfortunately, you are largely dependent on the insurance carried by drivers unless you pay for a policy that protects you when you ride.
Sometimes, the drivers who cause crashes with cyclists do not have the necessary insurance on their vehicles. A lack of coverage might mean that you have no way to make a claim for medical bills, property damage and unearned wages that resulted from the crash.
Thankfully, if you pursue a civil claim against the driver, you have a way to compel them to repay you if the courts rule in your favor.
A judgment could lead to a garnishment against an uninsured driver
Someone who doesn’t have the foresight to keep their automotive liability policy active may not have enough personal property to fully reimburse you for the losses you’ve suffered. When you sue them in court, you could secure a judgment and then wonder how you will ever receive that money.
Although the California civil courts can place a lien against major assets like houses, they typically only do that for business creditors, like an insurance company trying to recoup losses or a hospital seeking payment for bills.
As an individual, your best chance may be to ask for a garnishment of the driver’s wages. The less they make, the less you may receive from each paycheck, as both the state and the federal government have strict limitations on how much of someone’s income can be garnished.
However, taking decisive action against uninsured drivers may be the only way to put the responsibility for their actions back on them. Learning more about your rights after a bicycle crash can help you get the support you deserve.