What Happens if I’m hit by an Uninsured / Underinsured Driver?

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.

Officials Investigate Segmented Pipe in San Bruno Explosion

Possible Negligence in San Bruno Fire

As officials from the NTSB and PG&E continue their investigation into the cause of the San Bruno gas explosion, state investigators have turned their attention to a segmented pipe that had been classified as “high risk” due to its proximity to homes in the area. Responsible for the deaths of at least four people, destroying and damaging several homes, and injuring 60 people, the cause of the San Bruno gas explosion isn’t yet clear. However, several people reported smelling gas in the area days before the explosion.

Section of Segmented Pipe Attracts Attention of Investigators

The section of pipe in question consists of 28-foot section that isn’t solid and seamless but rather appears to be made up of segments welded together. Concerned that a pipe made up of segmented sections is more prone to leaks, corrosion, and wear, the NTSB has asked PG&E to explain why they would use a pipe constructed in this way as part of a gas line. The pipeline that exploded appears to have been installed in 1956 when there were fewer homes in the area.

As population in the area increased, more homes were built nearer to the gas line, resulting in its “high risk” designation. As a result, the line was not outfitted with automatic shut-off valves but manual ones. Christopher Hart, Vice Chairman of the NTSB, has indicated they will be looking closely at what role the manual shut-off valve may have played in the explosion.

Liability, Injury Claims, and the San Bruno Gas Explosion

While investigators continue to determine the cause of the San Bruno natural gas explosion, it’s important for effected homeowners and injury victims to contact their insurance carrier and an attorney. Even though initial information indicates PG&E may have acted negligently in not properly responding to earlier reports of the smell of gas, someone digging in the area may have caused the explosion. As a result, responsibility for the San Bruno gas explosion may be attributable to a contractor, homeowner, PG&E or a combination of all three. Here, legal issues surrounding liability and subrogation can complicate issues and create unnecessary difficulties for injured people and homeowners trying to recover what they’ve lost.

Legal Representation – Protecting Your Interests and Rights

In order to protect your interests and rights, it’s important to work with an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who can ensure your insurance company honors all of their commitments in a timely, transparent manner. Additionally, taking photos of your property and documenting your injuries are also important should the need to go to trial arise at some point in the future.

With four office locations throughout the Bay Area – San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, and San Jose – the personal injury law office of Weber & Nierenberg has helped countless people and families recover compensation for injuries and property loss. We’ve represented a number of clients in cases involving carbon monoxide poisoning and understand the issues involved in the maintenance and installation of natural gas pipelines.

For more information regarding our practice or to speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation, call San Bruno gas explosion attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg at 415-788-3900 or toll free at 1-866-288-6010 today. If you prefer you can email us and we will contact you shortly.

 
 
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