Why You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage In California
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Vital
According to many estimates, one out of every three drivers on California roads is uninsured/ underinsured; some of these drivers may have the bare minimum insurance to be legal but their insurance is far from adequate especially if serious injuries occur. Such motorists often drive the most unsafe automobiles. They may also be among the least careful drivers. With so many dangerous drivers and so many of them without adequate insurance, you must protect yourself with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in California.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, or have questions about this type of coverage, contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys. For more than 30 years we have been dedicated to helping our clients recover maximum compensation after they have been injured. Our approach to personal injury litigation works. In our three decade career, we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Why is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage so Important?
An uninsured driver is someone who:
- does not have any insurance coverage
- has insurance that does not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements
- had their claim denied by their insurance company or the insurance company was not financially able to pay (became insolvent)
- they may be a hit-and-run driver who caused bodily injury
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to compensate the policy holder for losses, both property damage and physical injury, caused by a driver who is uninsured/underinsured or who flees the scene of a crash. Because the problem is so persistent, California insurance companies are required by law to include this coverage as part of every policy, unless it is specifically declined in writing. But just because this insurance is available does not mean an insurance company will honor a policy claim in such a situation. In such cases, personal injury attorneys who handle these types of lawsuits are crucial.
An underinsured driver is someone who has met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements, but does not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage involved. Underinsured motorist protection pays the policy holder for damages that exceed the payment limits carried by the underinsured driver. At least, that is what it is designed to do.
California law only requires drivers to carry minimum liability coverage of $15,000 for personal injury claims and $5,000 for damages to your automobile. If you are seriously injured in an accident, this minimum coverage will not come close to fully compensating you for your injuries. Many seriously injured people incur millions of dollars in medical costs. Other important reasons for obtaining the maximum coverage include:
- Becoming financially whole again. This coverage will protect you when you have suffered damages at the hands of an uninsured driver. This extra coverage can pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other damages resulting from the accident, up to policy limits.
- This addition to your coverage is relatively inexpensive.
- It provides coverage for you and all members of your family who reside in your household. It also includes any minor children who do not reside with you or children who are away at school or college.
- The coverage applies even if you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or bystander and were injured by an uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Without a doubt, such coverage is worth the investment. However, in rare cases, your insurance company may not honor your claim for a variety of reasons. If you have been in an accident and your claim for coverage has been denied, is being delayed, or is not adequate, we may be able to help you. We have handled innumerable cases in which our clients have had their claims denied by their insurance company. Call us for a free consultation at (818) 992-2919 about this or any other injury-related question.