Why You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage In California
According to many estimates, one out of every three drivers on California roads is either uninsured or is 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 or underinsured driver, or have questions about this type of coverage, contact our attorneys. For more than 30 years we have been dedicated to keeping the people of California safe on the road. When their safety is compromised, we have been at the forefront of fighting for compensation on their behalf. Our approach works. In our three decade career, we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and why is it 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); or
- is 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 or underinsured. 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.
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.
The Maximum Coverage should Provide the Maximum Benefits
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 or 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.