In California, the law requires that all drivers have liability insurance. However, unfortunately, this does not always prevent some drivers from driving without insurance coverage. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 15.2% of all California drivers do not have car insurance. This number becomes problematic if these drivers are involved in a car accident, especially if someone is harmed in the accident.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is optional coverage you can add to your personal car insurance plan. This type of coverage is not required in the state of California, but it can be very helpful. Uninsured motorist coverage simply means that if you are injured in an accident caused by a driver without insurance, your own insurance will help cover the damages incurred by you and your passengers, up to your policy limits.
Underinsured motorist coverage is for when the other driver has insurance, but the policy is not large enough to cover all of your damages. With this type of policy, your insurance would cover the damages above and beyond what the other driver’s insurance covers.
Another time this type of coverage is important is if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. When this happens and the driver at fault cannot be located, your uninsured motorist policy will be necessary to cover your personal injury damages as a result of the accident. It also covers you if you are injured by an uninsured driver while walking or riding a bike.
How it Works
If you are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your policy can make the difference between receiving little or no compensation and getting fully compensated for your losses. Instead of worrying about whether or not you will be able to cover your damages, you can feel calm in knowing that you have at least a basic amount of financial coverage. You will file a claim with your insurance and your provider will basically stand in the place of the party that caused the accident to cover the damages you experienced. These possible damages could include: hospital bills and other medical expenses, lost wages (if you have to miss work as a result of the accident), and other damages such as pain and suffering.
Making an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim
If you have been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist and decide to make an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, it is important that you find a Los Angeles car accident attorney with experience making these claims. We suggest that you call the police and our office from the scene of the accident if possible. There are many rules and procedures that must be followed when making these types of claims and your own insurance will try to reduce or completely fight the claim in many instances—by having a California auto accident attorney by your side it will help ensure the process is done correctly so you can get the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.
We encourage all drivers to make the safe choice to get the additional protection provided by adding uninsured/underinsured coverage to their car insurance plan. We suggest carrying as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as you can reasonably afford. If you need help with this type of claim, be sure to reach out to the skilled attorneys at our firm. At Walch Law, we are very experienced in handling uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. For a free case consultation, call us at 866-465-8792 or contact us through our online form.