The privilege of driving comes with certain rules. One of these rules is that you must either have auto insurance (in most states, including California), or proof of financial responsibility, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Car registrations are also dependent on having liability coverage.
When you get hit by another car, most people assume that the driver who caused the accident has insurance to pay for the damages. However, there can be exceptions. Sometimes the at-fault driver either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries suffered in the accident.
When this happens, you may want to consider filing a claim against the liable driver. A San Diego uninsured car accident lawyer can help by unraveling the evidence that’s needed, examining the details of each insurance policy and seeing how they may affect a damages settlement award, communicating with the at-fault party and the insurance companies, and more.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 to discuss what happened in your accident in a no-fee consultation. We can learn what happened to you, and discuss how we may be able to support you in a personal injury claim.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The California Department of Insurance states that, by law, all drivers of passenger vehicles in the state of California must be insured, with the required minimum bodily injury liability insurance. This coverage will cover payments for injuries that you may cause to someone else because of an accident.
- For one-person injuries: the dollar amount is $15,000. If someone gets injured in the crash, your coverage pays up to $15,000.
- Two-or-more-person injuries: $30,000 is allotted for the death or injuries of more than one person in an accident. If two or more are injured, the coverage pays up to $30,000, and no more. The injured people share the money.
Some California drivers may obtain additional coverage besides their required liability insurance. Some may secure additional coverage through their own automobile insurance policy, and some may secure it through the policy of someone in their household.
One of these types of additional coverage is uninsured motorist coverage, which can protect you if you are hit by another car whose driver doesn’t have insurance. If you are in an accident with a driver who is without liability insurance or is underinsured, this insurance covers you. It can pay for the injuries to you and any other persons in your car at the time of the accident with an at-fault uninsured driver.
Purchasing UM (uninsured motorist) coverage or UIM (underinsured motorist) coverage can provide coverage amounts from as low as $15,000 to $50,000 per person to more than $500,000 per person. This type of insurance is available both to the person who actually bought the policy, as well as to the other members of that person’s household.
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar. With this type of coverage, your own auto insurance policy covers the excess injuries that you have suffered, because the other driver’s policy wasn’t enough.
In both situations, your own insurance policy acts like insurance for the negligent driver. It covers pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and all other damages recoverable under California law.
Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage come into play as long as the accident involves a motor vehicle. This means that your underinsured or uninsured policy is available to you no matter if you were walking, riding a bike, a passenger in a car, driving a car, or even riding in a bus.
If you were in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and need legal advice, contact a San Diego uninsured car accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We have a team of attorneys that works to support you in a personal injury claim where you suffered injuries from an at-fault driver, and these injuries caused you to lose income, physical capability, and emotional stability.
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving San Diego, call (800) 598-7557
Filing a Claim
As soon as you learn that the car that hit you was being driven by an uninsured motorist, you should call your insurance company to alert them that you plan to file an uninsured claim soon. We recommend that you do not delay in filing the claim. Some auto insurance policies have clear deadlines, especially for uninsured claims.
If you’ve been hit by an underinsured motorist, this type of claim will take a bit longer to process. You and your lawyer will likely take your medical condition into consideration, while getting a better handle of the overall value of your car accident case. At some point, your lawyer will contact you to let you know that your case is likely worth more than the liability coverage of the defendant. That’s when it becomes appropriate to inform your insurance company with your intention to make a claim against an underinsured motorist.
In these situations, an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim is necessary. These claims are different from traditional lawsuits in a couple of ways:
- First, a claim is brought against your own insurance company, not the insurance company for the at-fault driver.
- Second, there is no jury involved. The parties give their evidence in front of an arbitrator, who then solely decides the case. Because many of these cases have nearly no chance to appeal the arbitrator’s decision, your attorney’s presentation and argument at the arbitration are of the utmost importance.
We would like the privilege to represent your case, if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Call a San Diego uninsured car accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557.