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.

Suspected Section of Pipe in San Bruno Fire Known to be a Problem

Update on the San Bruno Natural Gas Explosion

New information in the San Bruno natural gas explosion that killed 4, left 3 missing, and injured others indicates the section of pipe that exploded was part of a line that ranked in the top 100 “highest risk line sections.” In fact, three years ago PG&E asked state regulators for permission to spend $4.87 million in order to replace a portion of pipe in South San Francisco that is part of the same line that exploded in San Bruno. Additionally, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, it was learned that last year, PG&E suggested upgrading a portion of the same line 8 miles south of where it exploded in San Bruno. At a cost of $13 million, PG&E wanted to upgrade the line along 32 miles of pipe, all the way to the south to Milpitas.

Upgrading the Gas Line – An Important Project Moved Down the List

Needless to say, neither project was started or completed. In fact, the South San Francisco project was moved down the list of priorities and the money allocated elsewhere. Currently, the project slated to upgrade the line to the south down to Milpitas is still waiting for approval by state regulators. As a result of last week’s explosion has led some critics of PG&E to wonder if the San Bruno explosion could have been avoided had either of these projects gone forward.

Although Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB, indicated the section of pipe that exploded was not “piggable” – that is, it was too narrow to allow camera and inspection equipment to be used on it – others have wondered whether or not other problems could have still been discovered. Mike Florio, a senior staff attorney for The Utility Reform Network, suggested if the work had been done problems might have been uncovered on the ageing gas pipeline. In fact, PG&E wanted to install new valves and make a number of upgrades along the pipeline in question so a pig could be used to inspect the safety of the line in the future.

Liability and Foreknowledge – Tough Questions for PG&E

While more information continues to come to light, PG&E may have had foreknowledge of certain dangers associated with the gas line that exploded, increasing their liability for the disaster. If they knew of certain kinds of dangers and hazards and did not act to remove them, they could be held liable for a failing to act on their duty of care towards homeowners in the area. In the case of the explosion, even though PG&E did not directly cause it by striking a line, they failed to act on their foreknowledge of dangers associated with the explosion. As a result, their failure to remove these dangers may constitute negligence on their part.

Contact San Bruno Gas Explosion Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

As investigators continue to determine what happened and why, it’s important to have an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who can protect your rights and interests in any discussions with insurance companies, investigators, or other lawyers. At Weber & Nierenberg we have represented numerous clients in cases involving carbon monoxide poisoning and burn injuries. We understand the issues involved when dealing with negligence on the part of a public utility – especially involving natural gas.

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 today or email us and we will respond shortly.

SUV collides with Muni Bus 5-4-10

An SUV struck a #6 Parnassus Muni bus at the intersection of Market and Montgomery in San Francisco. Reports state that the SUV struck an island divider and then the left side of the bus. The SUV driver was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for observation and treatment.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident — especially a serious injury such as a complex bone fracture, amputation, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury — you should seek experienced counsel.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm by calling us toll free at1-866-288-6010.

Why do you need a personal injury attorney?

Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible in claims. They may claim that you were not hurt or that your injuries came from another accident or condition. They may downplay the seriousness of your injuries.

If you talk to the insurance company, do not allow yourself to be recorded. We recommend not making any statements to the insurance company without counsel from an experienced lawyer. It is best to leave all communications to an attorney who has extensive experience handling car accident injury claims. Insurance companies, even your own, will use anything you say against you. They are in the business of paying out as little as possible for car accident claims.

If you have been injured in a auto accident, retain the services of a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling insurance companies and auto accident claims. Call the personal injury attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or fill out our intake form and we will contact you.

How can we help you?

Once you hire us, we will try to preserve all evidence that remains at the accident scene. We will inspect and photograph your motor vehicle. We will obtain and review all police, fire and ambulance reports. Interviewing witnesses before the insurance company or public entity does is crucial.

We work with a renowned motor vehicle accident reconstruction expert to reconstruct the accident so that the insurance company or public entity can fully understand what happened.

To discuss your SUV or Muni Bus accident claim or wrongful death claim with an experienced San Francisco Bay Area personal injury lawyer, please call attorney Joe Nierenberg toll free at 1-866-288-6010
for a free, confidential consultation.

Freak Trucking Accident Kills Woman: Why You Need a Good Lawyer

In 2008, a woman was hospitalized and later killed when some debris struck her windshield and caused a severe head injury. The debris was a 34 pound metal plate. No one knew where the debris came from and no one claimed responsibility.

Eventually, the family retained an attorney, who utilized a team of specialists and investigators to track down the debris and the companies responsible for the accident. There were three companies involved and all three either settled or were found liable in court.

This illustration demonstrates why an experienced personal injury attorney should be retained. First, a less experienced attorney or a person trying to resolve this case on their own may not have discovered all the parties responsible for the accident, and therefore may only have had a partial recovery for less compensation. Second, because multiple parties were involved, a skilled lawyer understands how to examine the various insurance policies and help you maximize the compensation from each party who contributed to the accident. And finally, an experienced attorney has the network of professionals and experts to perform the proper investigation and assist with medical testimony and other trial issues that can make or break a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Therefore, if you have been injured or lost a family member in an accident, such as the freak trucking accident outlined above, you should consult an experienced attorney ASAP. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner an investigation can take place. The closer the proximity in time to the accident, the better it will be for you because witnesses and evidence will be more readily available.

With more than 25 years of experience, Weber & Nierenberg will gives every case personal attention from the day of your first consultation until the day your case is resolved by way of settlement or trial.
For more information contact the San Francisco Personal Injury Law Firm of Weber & Nierenberg at 1-866-288-6010
for a free consultation.

Cell Phones Should Not Be Used While Driving

According to one source (Human Factors Quarterly Journal), cell phone distractions were responsible for more than 2500 deaths and more than 300,000 injuries in the US each year…and that was in 2005. Can you imagine the statistics today? Take a look around next time you are in a car driving at the number of people on cell phones while they drive. Check it out at traffic lights, the results are staggering.

The same study that provided the report in 2005, also reported that drivers using cell phones while they drive are less capable than drivers who are on the road that are legally drunk (.08 alcohol level or above). To make matters worse, our children are on the road with these drivers (and may be guilty of using cell phones while driving themselves).

Today, more than ever, you must be a defense driver. Cars should be like airplanes, you should be required to turn them off while driving. A sound from your cell phone indicating a text message or a phone call is just too tempting and too distracting. Drive safely, drive responsibly and stay alive and healthy. Some states and cities have already taken action and made it illegal to drive while using a cell phone. If you make it practice to turn off your cell phone while driving, you will not need to worry about the distractions or paying a high fine in one of these states or cities, and your chances of causing an accident greatly decrease.

However, if you are involved in an auto accident, including a car accident involving the use of a cell phone, you should contact the police department, seek medical attention and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights and legal interests are fully protected.

With more than 25 years of experience, Weber & Nierenberg will gives every case personal attention from the day of your first consultation until the day your case is resolved by way of settlement or trial.
For more information contact the San Francisco Law Firm of Weber & Nierenberg at 1-866-288-6010
for a free consultation.
 
 
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