California law requires all vehicle owners to possess auto insurance. Unfortunately, there are many people who cannot afford insurance or decide not to carry insurance coverage. So if you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) which results in serious injury, how are you financially protected?
California Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Policies
To protect drivers in California, insurance companies offer UM and UIM policies. According to California Law, these coverages are automatically included in your insurance policy – unless you specifically decline them.
The following are UM and UIM policies in more detail:
- Uninsured motorist claims – If the at-fault driver does not carry auto insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your own carrier. However, this means that your insurance company “takes place” of the at-fault driver, meaning they will attempt to reduce your entitled compensation or flat-out deny your claim. Ensure that your rights and best interests are protected by obtaining the legal assistance of an experienced attorney.
- Underinsured motorist claims – This type of coverage is similar to UM coverage, except it is applicable when the at-fault driver also possesses auto insurance. The minimum required is $15,000 per person. If you suffer an injury by a driver with insurance coverage less than the full value of your claim, then you can file a UIM claim with your own company. Again, your company will “stand in the shoes” of the at-fault driver.
Seek Legal Assistance from a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether the at-fault driver has no insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover the property damage and your injuries, you will need to hire a lawyer to make sure you get the most favorable outcome possible. At Haffner Law Group, we have over 50 years of combined experience in helping our clients get the justice they deserve.