Driving without car insurance is illegal in California, yet uninsured and underinsured drivers continue to cause serious car accidents. If you’ve suffered an injury caused in an uninsured/underinsured driver accident, you are likely concerned about recovering compensation for your financial losses. Serious car accidents often cause life-threatening injuries that require extensive medical care and time off of work.
If the at-fault driver in your car accident does not have adequate insurance coverage, you will likely need to file a claim with your own insurance company. You may be able to recover compensation through your underinsured motorist or uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, you may have a right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages for your financial losses and bills. The Los Angeles uninsured motorist attorneys at SoCal Injury Lawyers will advocate for your rights as the victim of a serious motor vehicle accident. Contact our Los Angeles personal injury law firm today to schedule your case evaluation.
Your Options for Recovering Compensation
California follows a fault-based system when it comes to the type of remedies that are available for victims of a car accident. If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, as a pedestrian, driver, or passenger, and you were not at fault, you can pursue compensation for damages you’ve incurred from the car accident. Your losses as a car accident victim include your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and future lost income. When you are not at fault for the car accident that caused your injuries, you can take the following actions to obtain compensation for your losses:
- Filing a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver
- Filing a claim with your uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist policy
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver
Recovering Compensation in an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Accident
Unfortunately, in many cases, the at-fault driver does not have adequate auto insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses. In other cases, the at-fault driver does not own enough assets to pay for your damages, rendering a personal injury lawsuit ineffective. When deciding how to recover compensation, it’s important to look at the whole picture. Which option will afford you the best chance of recovering enough compensation to cover all of your losses?
When the at-fault driver was working for an employer at the time of the car accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the driver’s employer. Under California law, employers have a legal duty to hire safe drivers. If the employer failed to conduct a background check into the employee’s driving history or failed to provide the employee with a well-maintained vehicle, the employer could be vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence.
In many situations, a business owns more assets than the driver who caused the car accident. Pursuing a claim against a commercial driver is often the best choice. If an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-sharing driver caused your accident, you would likely be able to file an insurance claim with Uber or Lyft’s insurance provider. Most ride-sharing companies offer up to $1 million in coverage for those injured by their driver’s negligence or recklessness. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we will evaluate your case and help you determine the best way to seek compensation for your damages.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in California
If you’ve been involved in a Los Angeles car accident caused by another driver, you may have a right to compensation. Unfortunately, many California drivers have not purchased any car insurance, or they have not obtained enough car insurance to cover your losses. Liability insurance provides compensation for a person other than the holder of the insurance policy. Specifically, drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of liability insurance:
- $15,000 for an injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for an injury or death to one or more person
- $5,000 for property damage
Minimum Insurance Requirements Are Often Not Enough
Unfortunately, these minimum insurance requirements are not enough to cover the costs of most serious car accident injuries. When a car accident victim needs emergency treatment, surgery, and time to recover in the hospital, the costs can easily exceed $100,000. Victims of severe car accidents usually need to take time off of work, adding to the expenses associated with the car accident.
When a car accident victim suffers a catastrophic injury, such as paralysis, a traumatic brain injury, or an amputation, the victim may require long-term nursing care, which is incredibly expensive. When a middle-aged person becomes paralyzed, for example, the lifetime care costs can easily exceed $1 million.
Why You Need a Lawyer When Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Accident Claim
When the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage, and there are no other options for recovering compensation, you will likely need to file an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage will help you cover your losses when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance coverage or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover all of your losses.
Every insurance company’s underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is different. However, most policies offer bodily injury coverage that will protect you from any costs related to injuries you suffered in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Additionally, most policies offer property damage coverage that will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and the cost of anything that may have broken inside of your vehicle due to the crash, such as a cell phone or laptop.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they will attempt to close out your claim for as little as possible. Insurance agents often make initial offers that are way too low, hoping that a car accident victim will take the offer and walk away.
When you file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, you need to receive enough compensation to cover all of your expenses. At SoCal Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience negotiating with auto insurance companies. We will advocate for you to receive a settlement that will cover all of your costs.
Contact Our Los Angeles Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, we can help. Contact SoCal Injury Lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.