Uninsured Motorist Claims (UM/UIM): Los Angeles & Nationwide
California law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance in order to cover injury costs and property damage in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the rules. What happens when you are hit by an uninsured driver? Are you left to field your medical bills and other costs on your own? Do you have any hope of receiving compensation?
Call a knowledgeable uninsured and underinsured motorist accident attorney at the Morris Law Firm if you or someone you care about has been in an accident with an uninsured driver. Our seasoned car accident injury lawyers will walk you through your options and chart a pathway to recovery, no matter whether the at-fault driver carried the legal amount of car insurance. If there’s a way to get you coverage for your medical expenses and other damages, we’ll find it.
California Auto Insurance Requirements
In the State of California, every driver on the road must carry the following minimum auto insurance coverage:
- $15,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $30,000 per accident for bodily injury to multiple people
- $5,000 for property damage
Drivers without the requisite coverage are liable for severe penalties, including criminal prosecution and the suspension of driving privileges. We advise drivers to carry higher levels of insurance, given that accident costs tend to be much higher than the minimum required. Many drivers choose to flout the rules and drive without any insurance, however, putting other drivers and passengers at risk.
Recovering from Uninsured Drivers
When you’re hit by a negligent driver in California, that driver is responsible for compensating you for your damages. That means the driver owes you for:
- Medical bills, both current and future anticipated costs
- Lost wages from recovery time away from work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
At-fault drivers owe these damages regardless of whether they carry insurance or not. Insurance simply steps in to pay the claims should their policyholder be at fault. If you were hit by a driver who did not carry insurance, you still have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim against that driver. You may be able to get the money directly or get other court-ordered assistance such as wage garnishment from the at-fault driver.
Most people who drive without insurance, however, do so because they cannot afford the premiums (or believe they cannot). It’s unlikely that they have deep pockets, which leaves you on the hook for your medical bills. A savvy uninsured motorist accident lawyer can help you explore your options for recovery.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Auto insurance policies offer optional, supplemental coverage known as uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UM/UIM coverage kicks in when you are hit by a driver who is not covered by insurance, such as if they are uninsured, if they were driving a stolen vehicle, or if they committed a hit and run and cannot be found. California law requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage to drivers; policy applicants must actually sign a waiver choosing to decline UM/UIM coverage.
Just because you have UM coverage, however, does not mean your insurance company will happily pay out. They may conduct a long investigation to determine fault, to identify a hit and run driver, or otherwise to determine the extent of your injuries and other damages. They may drag you through a lengthy arbitration or lawsuit. A dedicated UM claim lawyer can help you recover the insurance payout you are due quickly and effectively, maximizing your available benefits in the minimum amount of time.
Reach Out to a California Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer at the Morris Law Firm Today
There are a thousand reasons why a car accident might happen, and each case is unique. Contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorney today to evaluate your unique auto accident claim. Morris Law Firm will give you a personalized evaluation and help you figure out your legal rights and next steps.
Call us today at 747-283-1144 for a fast response or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.