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Understanding Uninsured Motorists Claims from a Legal Perspective

In a 2017 study by the Insurance Research Council, they found that 13% or 1 in 8 motorists are uninsured. In California alone, 15.2% of motorists are uninsured; making California be in the top 15 states with uninsured motorists. As an accident injury law firm, we receive many uninsured motorist claims.

A Short Overview about Uninsured Motorists Claims

Understanding Uninsured Motorists Claims from a Legal Perspective

Understanding Uninsured Motorists Claims from a Legal Perspective

The California law requires that all drivers including motorists to have insurance for their vehicles. That is a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Some people choose insurance plans that cover a lot more than the minimum which is great. But the other side of the story is people who are under insured or uninsured all together. Although this is illegal, there are many California motorists driving without insurance nonetheless. Therefore, the uninsured Motorist coverage is there to protect you as a lawful citizen. 

The California Insurance Code Section 11580 instructs that California issued auto insurance must have in all their policies, uninsured motorist coverage in an amount that is as much as or more than the overall limits. 

Understanding the Way that Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage works

The (UM) coverage exists to protect you in case of an accident with an uninsured motorist. Usually, in the case of an accident, the parties involved will exchange information. However, if the party at fault is uninsured, there are three possible truths. First, they have no money to cover their insurance; which means they will not have money to cover your damages. Second, they do not have legal status in California. Third, they are both, illegal and have no money. Therefore, the UM coverage from your own insurance will cover your damages.

The uninsured motorist claim works like any other accident claim. The only difference lay in the settlement procedures. Your compensation award comes from your insurance and not the other party’s. Therefore, you cannot file a lawsuit in case you disagree with the settlement. That does not mean you are stuck with whatever your insurer will decide. There are avenues for negotiations that your attorney can help you with.  

Important things to keep in mind before filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim 

You should be familiar with your insurance policies. Sometimes, companies place extremely strict deadlines for uninsured motorist claims. Some policies have particular procedures for UM coverage that is different than other claims. Hence, in case you have an accident with an uninsured party, make sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible following the accident. 

Hire an Southern California Uninsured Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Uninsured Motorist Claims can get messy and difficult. The best way that you can assure you get the most optimal outcome is through professional legal guidance. A personal injury attorney can help you get the medical treatment you need, organize your documents and facts, and demand and negotiate on your behalf for a just reasonable compensation. Call us today to schedule your same day free consultation with one of our members.

Alexander D. Napolin, Esq.