Every driver should know that California law strictly requires them to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance. This auto insurance is necessary to ensure that drivers can cover the losses of victims if they cause an accident. Despite the law, a significant percentage of drivers in our state fail to carry insurance. Let our uninsured motorist accidents law firm explain:
Often, drivers obtain the insurance they initially need for licensing purposes. They then allow the policy to lapse due to higher insurance premiums charged in California compared to other states. Even if someone cannot afford their insurance, they often take the chance and drive anyway. Driving without insurance can result in serious problems if they cause harm to others on the road.
If you did not cause an accident, you should never have to pay for your losses out-of-pocket. Especially if it’s just because someone else violated the law! Too many people find themselves in this exact situation when they are in a crash with an uninsured motorist.
Fortunately, if this happens to you, an experienced attorney can help you. A firm experienced in filing an uninsured motorist accident claim with your own insurance company to seek coverage of your losses.
These claims can be complicated, so you always want to contact our attorneys right away for assistance. Our award-winning law firm has recovered more than $400 million for our clients. That being said, you can trust we will fight for what is right for you. Call us at 888-488-1391 for a free case evaluation without delay.
To protect the interests of everyone on the road, the law in California mandates that each and every driver has the following insurance coverage:
If an uninsured driver does not have the minimum coverage, they can face serious penalties, including getting arrested and the suspension of their driver’s license. Many drivers continue to take the risk of serious consequences by driving without the insurance the law requires.
You can bet that every uninsured driver is hoping – and assuming – that nothing bad will happen. However, even if they have gone without causing an accident their entire lives, it can suddenly happen when they least expect it. Not only do they face trouble for themselves with the law in the event of a car crash, but they also can cause serious injuries to other motorists. Being uninsured often results in serious financial hardship.
When a driver causes your accident, that driver should be responsible for all of your losses, which may include:
However, if the responsible driver is uninsured, there is no policy to cover your many losses. Another option is to file a personal injury lawsuit, but if a driver cannot afford auto insurance premiums, they likely do not have the assets to cover your losses. If so, you would not be able to recover your judgment.
Too many people get left facing piles of bills and losses because a driver was uninsured. However, know that paying your bills yourself is not your only option. You may be able to turn to your own insurance company for help, and you should discuss this option with our skilled uninsured motorist accidents attorneys.
Settlement in motor vehicle accident in a Under Insured Motorist Claim against a ride share company; client suffered spinal injuries.– Judd Ross Allen
Drivers with absolutely no insurance coverage are not the only ones that can leave accident victims facing a difficult financial situation. While California law requires a minimum amount of insurance, this is only the bare minimum that a driver can select for auto coverage. There is always the option to purchase more insurance to make sure that you and other accident victims are fully covered in the event of serious accidents.
Unfortunately – and not surprisingly – many drivers opt to carry the bare minimum so their premiums are as low as possible. While this may save drivers some money, it often causes serious hardship to others if they cause an accident. For example:
Without even considering property damage, your medical bills and lost income alone cost you upwards of $35,000. When you go to file the insurance claim to get your bills paid, you discover the driver only has the minimum amount of coverage, which covers $15,000 for your bodily injuries. This leaves you with $20,000 in costs that will not be covered by the insurance company.
This is an example of how underinsured drivers can wreak as much havoc as uninsured drivers in some situations. You don’t have to suffer paralysis, amputation, or another catastrophic injury to face this problem, as even relatively minor injuries can often result in more than $15,000 in losses. The good news is that your insurance coverage may help you in this situation, as well.
California insurance laws recognize that many drivers leave others vulnerable in car accidents due to their lack of adequate insurance coverage. For this reason, state law also requires auto insurance companies to offer policyholders both uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policies at the time of purchase or renewal.
If you decide you do not want to purchase these policies, your company will likely have you sign a waiver acknowledging that you received the offer for the coverage but declined it. There are three different types of coverage that fall into this category, including:
When you decide to purchase UM and UIM coverage – which is always a wise choice – your own insurance policy should cover your losses even if the negligent driver has little to no insurance. Your policy should provide coverage up to your policy limits. For instance:
In the above scenario, if the negligent driver was completely uninsured, you would have up to $100,000 to cover your losses.
Another important fact is that uninsured motorist coverage may also apply if you do not know the identity of the liable driver because they fled the scene of the accident. California law requires drivers involved in accidents that result in property damage or injuries to immediately stop their vehicles and take certain steps at the accident scene. In many cases, it is required to report the accident to the authorities within a certain period of time.
When a driver fails to abide by the law and flees the scene, they can face serious criminal charges if they are caught. If they are caught by the police, you can also find out their identity to file an insurance claim. However, in many situations, the driver who fled the scene is never found.
In this situation, your UM coverage can also kick in to help you. This coverage considers an unidentified hit and run driver to fall under the definition of an “uninsured driver,” so you will have up to your UM policy limits in coverage even if you never find out who the driver was.
If you get injured by a driver without insurance, you may breathe a sigh of relief when you realize that you have UM coverage. However, your insurance company does not automatically send you a check in this situation. Quite the opposite, actually, as these claims can be surprisingly challenging.
You may be aware that insurance companies are first and foremost corporations that primarily care about their bottom lines. To maximize their profits, they try to limit the amount they pay on each and every claim. You may think that because you pay your own company premiums each month, they will be more cooperative and forthcoming with your UM or UIM payment. This is not the case in most situations.
The harsh truth is that insurance companies are just as difficult to deal with when it comes to their own policyholders. Every dollar they pay on your claim is a dollar out of the insurance company’s pockets, so you can expect them to require you to prove your claim fully and that they will challenge your claim any chance they get. It is critical to have a highly experienced UM attorney from Arash Law headed by Arash Khorsandi handling your claim.
In order to prove your UM claim, you will need to demonstrate the following:
You must prove the negligence of the other driver just like any other type of auto insurance claim. This means you must prove:
You must also provide evidence of the value of your claim. This may include presenting medical bills, pay statements, statements from medical or occupational experts, and more. Proving liability for the accident and the amount of your losses can be more challenging than you think. Our law firm knows how to gather and present the necessary evidence to support your UM or UIM claim.
Even if you think you have a completely valid claim, you may be shocked when you receive an extremely low settlement offer or an outright denial. Insurance adjusters have many tactics to challenge these claims, including the following:
When your insurance company puts up a fight and makes a lowball offer or denies your claim, you need a serious advocate who will not back down. We regularly go up against major insurance companies to negotiate the offers our clients deserve, and we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit against your insurance company if needed.
For help with your UM/UIM claim in California, look no further than the team of trusted attorneys at Arash Law led by Arash Khorsandi, Esq. We recovered $400 million and more for our clients, and we can help you. Call 888-488-1391 or contact us online for free to learn more about how we can help you if you were involved in a California uninsured motorist accident.