The Cost of Uninsured / Underinsured Drivers
In the state of California, motorists are required to carry insurance. Even so, there is still an alarming number of drivers on California roads that are either uninsured or underinsured. If you’ve been seriously injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver in a car accident it’s unlikely you’ll see anything from the person who hit you. As a result, you’ll have to turn to your own insurer and your uninsured / underinsured policy coverage to collect some or all of your losses.
Recovering Compensation when hit by an Uninsured Driver
Typically, uninsured motorist coverage is either included in your auto insurance policy or under umbrella coverage if you have it. While not all auto insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage, if your policy covers more than the bare minimum, it’s likely you are insured against uninsured motorists. Here, it’s important to read your policy and talk to an attorney if your insurer tries to mislead you or deny your claim. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your policy should pay for some or all of your costs after injured by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run accident.
Recovering Compensation when hit by an Underinsured Driver
In cases involving serious head, burn, or spinal cord injuries, the insurance policy limits of the driver that hit you may not be enough to cover the costs of your injuries. If you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurer to cover the rest of your losses up to your policy limits. Additionally, depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to sue the underinsured driver that hit you if he or she has additional sources of insurance (such as an umbrella policy or homeowner’s policy).
Dealing with Your Insurer when filing an Uninsured / Underinsured Claim
If an underinsured driver hit you, his or her insurer may offer you a one-time settlement to quickly resolve your injury case. Before you accept the offer, however, it’s important to discuss the matter with your own insurer. In some cases, your insurer may offer to pay your claim in order to seek additional damages against the other driver’s insurer through subrogation.
Since insurance companies are interested reducing the amount of money they payout in claims, you may encounter difficulties with your own insurer. For example, if it can be shown that you were partially at fault in the accident, the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive will be reduced by the percentage of your fault: if you suffered $100,000 in losses but are deemed 50% at fault, the most you could recover would be $50,000. For this reason, it’s important to consult an attorney who can protect your rights and ensure your insurer doesn’t engage in bad faith insurance practices.
Weber & Nierenberg – San Francisco Uninsured / Underinsured Attorneys
Dealing with hospital bills, property damage, and lost wages after being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver can be stressful and frustrating. Hiring a personal injury attorney to protect and assert your rights and interests can reduce your anxiety and ensure your insurer doesn’t try to take advantage of you. To learn how our personal injury lawyers can help you, email San Francisco car accident attorneys or call 1-866-288-6010 today.