Experiencing a car accident has already burdened you with pain from your physical injury, on top of the emotional trauma of the collision. To discover that the at-fault driver does not carry insurance only intensifies your feelings of helplessness. You need to pay for medical treatment, and you perhaps have missed time at work, meaning your paycheck will already be stretched thinner than usual.
The truth is you should not need to add the financial burden of paying for your injury-related losses. The person who caused your accident should bear these costs. Fortunately, the law provides remedies for victims like you. A Bakersfield uninsured car accident lawyer can explain your options for recovering damages.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free consultation by dialing (800) 598-7557.
Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
Many people panic after a car accident when they discover that the other driver who caused the collision does not have insurance. Do not panic. You have options to recover injury-related losses.
When you bought your insurance, your provider was required by law to offer you uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage. This policy pays for the injuries you and any of your fellow passengers might suffer in an accident with a driver who does not carry liability insurance. Your coverage should mirror the same limits set in your liability policy, as confirmed by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving Bakersfield, call (800) 598-7557
How Much You Can Expect from UMBI
Minimum bodily injury liability limits in California, according to CDI, require:
- $15,000: injury to or death of a single individual.
- $30,000: injury to or death of two or more individuals, shared by the injured.
These are the amounts you can expect your insurance company to cover via your UMBI policy. With some types of injuries, these amounts might not cover all your injury-related expenses.
As part of your UIM policy package, your insurer also should have offered you underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which comes into play when the at-fault driver’s policy does not cover your bodily injury damages.
Bakersfield Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
How a Lawyer Can Help You
You might wonder why you would want to hire a lawyer if you have UMBI insurance. While this coverage should apply to an accident where the at-fault party did not have insurance, your insurance company will still require proof that the other driver caused the accident. A lawyer can investigate your accident and gather the evidence to support this claim.
Keep in mind, too, that once you file a claim against your UMBI coverage, your insurance company stops viewing you as a customer. Now you represent a liability. Your insurer will activate a series of proven strategies to undervalue or outright deny your claim. Motivated by profits, your insurance company will make it difficult for you to get the compensation you deserve.
A lawyer can help level the playing field in this case. The personal injury team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC knows the tricks and tactics your insurer will put into play, and we will work to gather the evidence that supports a strong claim on your behalf.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Driver
Sometimes the injuries from a car accident generate more economic losses than the victim’s UMBI policy covers. If your UMBI does not fully cover all your injury-related losses, you might consider filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. Your lawyer will present the evidence and argue your case to a civil court, which will decide an award and fund it by drawing from the uninsured motorist’s cash and assets.
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Duty of Care Doctrine
In this case, the case you present must signal to the court that you deserve the compensation you are demanding from the defendant. When hearing a personal injury case, courts require that the plaintiff proves four essential criteria, as follows:
- Duty of Care: The defendant owed you a duty to act in a way that would keep you from injury.
- Breach: The defendant violated this duty of care.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injury.
- Damages: You suffered physical, economic, and emotional losses from your injury.
A lawyer from Ben Crump, PLLC will investigate your case and gather evidence to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care and caused the accident that consequently caused your injury.
How We Will Investigate
Our legal team will gather evidence from a broad range of sources. To prove you deserve compensation, we will:
- Visit the accident scene
- Obtain the police accident report
- Gather your medical records
- Collect copies of your wages
- Interview witnesses
- Seek out photos and videos
We will also talk to experts who can provide testimony regarding the ways in which your accident injuries have affected and will continue to affect your finances, employability, and emotional well-being.
Damages You Might Recover
The amount that a jury awards you depends on the severity of your injuries and the extent to which they will affect your bank account and your life, in general. Your lawyer will consult with experts and review the evidence they gather to explain how your injuries have affected you.
After hearing your case, a court might consider some of the following damages when determining your award:
- Medical treatment costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional stress
If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist, a Ben Crump Law, PLLC lawyer can help you pursue a wrongful death action.
Consider Working with a Bakersfield Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Today
Please know that the California Code of Civil Procedures (CCP) § 335.1 requires that you file your personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident. The sooner you hire a lawyer to help you, the more time you give your attorney to build your case and meet all the required deadlines.
Remember, too, that Ben Crump Law, PLLC operates on contingency, so we charge you legal fees only when and if we win your case.
Call us today for a free consultation. You can reach us at (800) 598-7557.