What to Do in Car Accidents with Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
Nobody ever wants to find themselves in a car accident. The mere thought of winding up in a situation where you total your car, or worse, injure yourself or people around you, is mortifying. However, accidents, unfortunately, do happen, and you need to know how to handle them from a legal perspective when they do.
California Auto Liability Insurance Laws
California has some rather strict laws when it comes to Auto-Insurance. The state mandates that all drivers must have a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage to the value of:
- Bodily Injury (Per Person) – $15,000
- Multiple Bodily Injuries (Per Accident) – $30,000
- Property Damage – $5,000
The truth is, while this is the law, it doesn’t mean everyone complies. You can easily find yourself in an accident where the other person has no insurance at all, which is called uninsured, or does not have enough insurance to cover the full damage the accident caused, which is called underinsured.
If you or your loved one is involved with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, you need to get yourself an attorney. You need an attorney who can help you achieve adequate compensation, if possible, for the damages or loss of life incurred due to their negligent driving.
In some cases, damages caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver might be covered by your insurance, but an attorney will look at all of this to determine the best path forward.
Car Accidents While Uninsured
When an accident occurs, the at-fault driver should be the one fronting the bill. Even if you are a careful driver and believe that you’ll never be in an accident, you honestly never know what will happen.
When you’re the at-fault driver in an accident, you end up being responsible for mountains of payments such as medical bills if God-forbid anyone is injured, lost income for victims who couldn’t attend to their jobs, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, and death.
If you’re uninsured, victims can file personal injury lawsuits against you. If you’re the victim and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you can file personal injury lawsuits against them. However, and this applies to both you and the potential at-fault driver, if you’re uninsured because you or they can’t afford insurance, you will likely not recover your judgment.
If the at-fault driver is unable to compensate for their actions, your insurance provider might be able to help you out. Talk to Jillian at Hayes Law to get help filing a claim with your insurance.
Do I need an attorney considering I filed a claim with my own insurance company?
Insurance is essential and necessary, but sadly most insurance companies have a hard time actually sticking to their policies. You need an attorney who can spot dishonest tactics a mile away and ensure you get the full settlement you’re owed based on your insurance plan.
Insurance companies are all about getting people signed up, and in most (if not all) cases, paying out little to nothing due to shaky technicalities. They’re very skilled at the practice, but we’re better at fighting their shady dealings.
These are some examples of what insurance companies have been known to do in challenging claims from their clients:
- Denying you even have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage under your existing policy.
- Challenging the person to blame for the accident and attempting to shift it away from the actual perpetrator.
- Questioning the ‘true’ origin of injuries you acquired due to the accident.
- Claiming you could have received cheaper treatment at another hospital.
- Challenging the severity of your injuries to reduce settlement.
These are just a few of the countless ways insurance companies look to exploit their clients in order to pay drastically reduced settlements or nothing at all.
Hit and Run Accidents and Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
California law requires the affected drivers to stop their vehicles and go through a set of steps at the accident scene. However, what happens when the at-fault driver does not stop, and you do not know their identity? Well, most insurance companies do cover hit and run accidents under UM coverage.
In California, you need to report the incident within 24 hours to law enforcement and to your insurance provider within a 30-day window according to California Law (CA Insurance Code §11580.2(b)(2)). We recommend doing this ASAP to avoid any accusations against you and your claim.
An experienced attorney can help you get compensated even if you are a victim of a hit and run accident.
Get In Touch
If you or your loved one were recently involved in an accident in California, and need help with claiming compensation from an at-fault driver, then get in touch with our top lawyers at Hayes Law APC for a free consultation.
Looking for the best uninsured and underinsured car accident lawyer San Diego has to offer? Look no further than Hayes Law! We know the law like the back of our hands and will work to see you get the compensation you deserve. Call, text, email, or contact us directly through our website for further information.