What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
In California, when you purchase auto insurance, you must also be given the opportunity to buy uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). Unless you decline this coverage in writing, your policy likely includes coverage for accidents that involved drivers who either (1) have no insurance or (2) lack enough insurance to pay for your damages. Uninsured motorist coverage insures you and the passengers in your vehicle for bodily harm caused by a driver without insurance. This includes hit and run drivers who may feel the scene and cannot be located. In addition, if a driver uses your car without your permission, they will be covered by your UM policy. Underinsured motorist coverage is similar. It pays the difference between what the at-fault driver’s insurance covers and your damages for bodily injury. Because California’s insurance minimums are so low, having this type of coverage can be crucial. If another driver has the state minimum of just $15,000 for bodily injury and your medical expenses are $75,000, your UIM coverage could kick in to cover the remaining $60,000 (depending on policy limits).
How Do These Claims Work?
UM/UIM claims are different from most personal injury claims because you are filing against your own insurance company. In this situation, you have paid for coverage, and you are asking your insurance company to pay out on your policy. Although your insurance company supposedly represents your interests, remember that insurance is a business — and they are often reluctant to pay out on claims. A skilled California uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage attorney can help you get the money that you deserve from your insurance company. In many cases, insurance companies will fight a UM/UIM claim tooth and nail, arguing that the other driver isn’t truly uninsured, or that a third party could cover the damages in the case of an underinsured driver. Even if the insurance company accepts liability, they may disagree about the valuation of your claim. In this situation, your lawyer will aggressive fight for your right to full compensation.
How We Can Help
With more than 50 years of experience, the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn is dedicated to helping victims of car accidents recover for their injuries. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay a fee unless we recover money for you. We will seek every possible avenue of compensation, from the other driver, third parties — and your own insurance company. Questions? We are here for you. Contact our firm today at (310) 209-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation with a California uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage attorney.