|uninsured car accident victim,|
|Car Accident Claims,|
Uninsured Motorist Car Accident Claims
An uninsured motorist is a person who operates a motor vehicle without any liability insurance while an underinsured motorist is one with liability insurance that is under the amount of coverage required by law.
California requires every motorist to have minimum coverage of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per occurrence and $5,000 in property damage. What this means is if driver #1 gets hit by driver #2 who has no insurance, and driver #2 is at fault, driver #1 is the uninsured car accident victim and has a ceiling of $15,000 of compensation for his injuries. If driver #1 had two passengers in his car who were also injured, there would be a total ceiling of $30,000 in available compensation for all injuries sustained by driver #1 and his passengers. This $30,000 ceiling applies even if a total of $100,000 in damages were incurred.
If driver #2 had no insurance at all, or coverage under the legal limit, driver #1 and his passengers may be able to make car accident claims through driver #1’s uninsured motorist insurance. It should be noted that uninsured motorist insurance may even cover a member of your household. It may also cover you or a member of your household as an uninsured car accident victim if hit by an uninsured driver as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
The general rule is that if a person has uninsured coverage, they also have underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured car accident claims are seen when the at fault driver has only $15,000 of liability insurance but the injured party incurs $45,000 of damages. Since the at fault driver’s liability coverage is insufficient to adequately compensate the injured party, a claim can be made by the injured party against their underinsured coverage to seek adequate compensation for their injuries.
Neither of the above types of coverage are required under California law but the insurer is required to offer it to a customer when they purchase liability insurance. Given the number of drivers with no insurance or insufficient insurance, it is wise to maintain the coverage, particularly in light of the fact that is significantly less expensive than liability coverage.
Settling with your own insurance company can be tricky under the uninsured or underinsured motorist guidelines. You should not attempt to settle this on your own. Seek legal counsel immediately after your uninsured car accident to reach and adequate and fair settlement.