San Diego Uninsured Motorists
California’s Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements
California requires drivers to maintain auto liability insurance to pay for any injuries or property damage they cause—the minimum for which is $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to multiple victims, and $5,000 for property damage. Unfortunately, not everyone complies with this requirement. Some drivers don't actually carry enough insurance to fully cover the medical expenses of those injured.
Expenses caused by an uninsured driver may be covered under your own policy. Call now to learn more about your options during a completely free consultation: (619) 215-1488.
Filing a Claim Under Your Own Insurance Policy
Your own auto policy may contain coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM / UIM). This is intended to bridge the gap when expenses from a car accident are greater than the at-fault driver's insurance limits or when the other driver does not have insurance; however, UM coverage is optional in California.
Drivers with uninsured motorist coverage can make a claim for:
- An accident with an uninsured driver
- An accident with an underinsured driver
- An accident with a hit-and-run driver
UM / UIM coverage may also cover injuries and expenses caused in a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident with an uninsured driver. Even if you do not personally have UM / UIM coverage, you may still be covered. For example, if you were a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, and they have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be covered. Similarly, if you live with a relative who has UM / UIM coverage, it may also cover you.
An Important Component of Auto Insurance
Some drivers and passengers in car accidents have learned the hard way about the importance of uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage when they are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver. The UM / UIM coverage is a strong protection against drivers who lack required auto insurance. If you have UM / UIM coverage, it should be clearly listed as part of your auto insurance policy. The coverage generally pays for property damage and medical bills in accidents caused both by uninsured or underinsured drivers.
In most cases, adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy doesn't cost much each month but it can save you and your family a huge headache if you're injured in an accident.
National estimates say that as many as 1 in 5 drivers don't have auto insurance. To protect yourself after a car accident, it's always wise to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. Serious car accidents often require the guidance of a lawyer who will help to protect your rights in dealing with any insurance company.
What Will an Uninsured Motorist Policy Cover?
In California, you can recover compensation for a wide range of losses under your uninsured motorist policy.
This may include things like the following:
- Ambulance and hospital bills
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future income
- Diminished earning capacity
Some of the things that UM coverage may not cover are property damage and punitive damages; however, you may also have collision coverage that will cover the cost of your property damage, less your deductible.
Addressing The Problem Of Uninsured Drivers
Many lawmakers across the nation are considering new ways to reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the streets. Some states are passing laws allowing police to remove license plates from uninsured motorists. The plates can only be retrieved after the driver gets car insurance and pays a fee.
California has attempted to address the issue by helping low-income drivers get more affordable coverage if they maintain a good driving record. The program is more than 6 years old, however, and has roughly 11,000 participants. With roughly 3 million uninsured drivers on the roads in California, the measure is clearly not enough to solve the problem.
What If the Other Driver Fled the Scene of the Accident?
Another advantage to carrying UM coverage is that it also covers hit and run accidents. While law enforcement will still take measures to find the at-fault driver, you would not be without options if they cannot be identified. By filing a claim under your own policy, assuming you have UM coverage, you can recover compensation for most of the expenses you have incurred—including the cost of your medical treatment and any loss of income.
Let The McClellan Law Firm Protect Your Rights
Even though a claim for UIM coverage is made with your own insurance company, the insurer may deny coverage or not fully cover expenses caused by another driver. When you work with a San Diego personal injury attorney at The McClellan Law Firm, we can make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible and that all options for recovery are explored. Call today for a free case evaluation. We have a nationwide reputation for excellence in representing car accident victims, including those who are injured by uninsured motorists.
Contact us online or call our office at (619) 215-1488 to learn more in a free initial consultation.