Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) can impact your personal injury claim by giving you an additional, more secure way to seek compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver. You could get compensation even if the negligent driver does not have liability coverage.
Su car accident lawyer can tell you more about how to file your uninsured motorist claim and negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Versus Other Auto Insurance Policies
Understanding the differences between the kinds of car insurance coverage available is important. Here are three of the most common:
- Auto liability coverage: This type of coverage will pay for any injuries (bodily injury coverage) or damage (property liability) you inflict on others if you are responsible for an accident.
- MedPay: If you sustain injuries in a crash, MedPay will help you pay medical bills no matter who caused the collision.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage only pays out if the person who hit you has no coverage, lacks sufficient coverage to cover your losses, and/or cannot be found (e.g., a hit and run accident).
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required?
That depends on where you live. California does not mandate uninsured motorist coverage. Like many states, California only requires liability coverage, per the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
While UM coverage is not required in California, you can still purchase it in addition to the mandated coverage.
What Does UM Cover?
Depending on the type of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages you purchase, it could cover several types of losses caused by uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers. Generally, uninsured motorist coverage may pay for things like:
- Gastos médicos
- Lost wages as you were recovering
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- The cost of repairing or replacing your motor vehicle
- Disabling injuries that prevent you from using any part of your body and/or living the way you did before
Getting Compensation for Injuries Caused by an Uninsured Motorist
After an accident, one of the first things you should do is get the name and insurance information of the person who hit you. If it turns out they are uninsured or underinsured, you can take the following steps:
Speak to a Car Accident Attorney
Recovering damages is stressful enough without the additional challenge of dealing with an uninsured driver. Instead of taking on this task alone, ask a lawyer in your area about your rights and how you can seek compensation.
Review Your Car Insurance Policy
Your lawyer can review your auto policy and see what coverage you have and how much they cover in relation to your losses. This process can confirm whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, and if so, your lawyer can help you pursue a claim to recover compensation.
Go Through the Uninsured Motorist Claim Process
Each insurance company will have its own requirements regarding filing the claim and what paper work you need. Again, your legal representative can guide you through that process. They can even file the claim on your behalf.
Once your case is filed, the insurer will assign an insurance adjuster to investigate. In a best-case scenario, the investigation will be quick, and the insurer will agree to pay the amount of your losses.
Negotiate Your Insurance Settlement
Unfortunately, not every claim goes smoothly. The insurance company may deny some or all of your claim, which would require your attorney to negotiate for a higher amount.
Insurance claims can take a long time to settle. Instead of going through the process alone, you can have your attorney do all the hard work and update you on your case’s progress.
What if Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Not Enough?
The biggest way that uninsured motorist coverage impacts a personal injury claim is by allowing you to recover compensation in the event of a crash caused by an uninsured driver. This can be a big weight off your mind as you figure out how to pay for medical bills, a damaged vehicle, and your family’s living expenses.
That said, in cases involving extensive property loss and catastrophic injuries, your coverage may not be enough to pay for everything. If that happens, you have another option: suing the at-fault driver personally.
Suing an Insured Versus an Uninsured Driver
In most cases, when your Abogada de lesiones personales files a lawsuit against a driver, the driver’s insurance negotiates and pays the settlement. With an uninsured motorist, however, you would have to sue them personally. Such cases can be very difficult, but discussing this with your attorney is important.
Learn More About Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Your Personal Injury Claim
You naturally want to resolve your case as quickly as possible, but some things are too important to rush through. That includes finding the right attorney to deal with your uninsured motorist case.
To get a free case review, call our team today. You can reach KJT Grupo de Derecho una consulta gratuita marcando (818) 507-8525. Our law firm is happy to help clients understand how uninsured motorist coverage impacts a personal injury claim and how they can seek compensation regardless of the challenges.