Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist
Brenda is stopped at an intersection, waiting for the light to turn green. All of a sudden, she is struck from behind by a car who failed to stop in time. Immediate pain radiates in her neck as she shakily steps out of her vehicle to talk to the other driver. He profusely apologizes and admits fault in the situation.
Brenda asks for his insurance information so that she can file a claim. She looks at her car that is now crunched in the back and rubs her aching neck. She can only imagine the bills that will be attached to this damage and shudders.
Thankfully, she won’t have to find the means to cover for it. Pulling out a pad of paper and pen, Brenda looks back to the driver for his information and notice he has made no attempt to get his documents.
“I’m really sorry,” he shrugs, “but I don’t have any automobile insurance.”
What happens if you are injured in a car accident and the driver of the car that hit you doesn’t have insurance? Or what if you have serious, catastrophic injuries and his/her insurance doesn’t adequately cover your damages? What if you or someone you love is injured by a hit and run?
Car accidents can be frightening and disturbing on their own. When an accident is compounded with a driver who does not possess automobile insurance, the repercussions can feel devastating.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, there still lies hope in your own car insurance policy.
Everyone who purchases car insurance must be offered uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage. Unless you have declined this type of coverage, chances are your insurance policy has some type monetary amount that will protect you in a scenario like the ones described above. This type of policy covers you for property damage and bodily injury when hit by a motorist who does not carry insurance or whose insurance is insufficient to cover the extent of your damages.
In the United States, a whopping 33% of drivers do not carry insurance. California seems to fare a little better, but even having 14.3% uninsured motorists, as stated by the California Department of Insurance (CDI), is a scary number when driving on the road. For us living in the Sacramento area, the CDI shows Sacramento County as having 15.1% uninsured drivers and El Dorado County having 3.1%. Counties in California with the largest percentage of uninsured motorists in are Los Angeles having 23.3% uninsured drivers and San Francisco as having 21.7%.
An important side-note is that you do not have to be a driver or even a passenger in a vehicle to be eligible for benefits under an uninsured motorist policy. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and even bystanders are eligible for benefits as long as the injuries sustained are the result of an uninsured or underinsured motorist. However, uninsured motorist coverage also provides benefits to passengers in the vehicle or others who may have been driving your vehicle with your permission.
Even in a negligent driver does have insurance, it is often the smallest amount legally acceptable and not near enough to cover the costs of the damage they caused. Having an experienced attorney in your corner gives you the advantage of his experience in finding other routes for recompense.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist accidents can be devastating both emotionally and financially. Contact our office today to see how we can help you.
Calling an attorney immediately after you have been injured in a serious car accident will greatly help you in sorting out all the details of what to do next. An attorney will also prepare you for handling medical bills and your insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, we welcome you to call Sacramento car accident lawyer, Moseley Collins at (916) 444-4444 – there is no fee until we win.
980 9th St, 16th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-4444