Accidents with uninsured/underinsured drivers: Know your options
How to cover costs for injuries and property damage after an accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist.
Accidents will happen, especially on Southern California roads. All too often, these accidents involve an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The Insurance Research Council estimates 1 of every 7 drivers in the United States is uninsured, an alarming statistic when you consider that accidents with these individuals can result in significant costs and coverage issues for other involved parties.
Thankfully, there are ways that insured drivers can add coverage for potential accidents with uninsured/underinsured drivers. Or, if accidents have occurred, there may be other methods of recourse depending on individual circumstances.
Plan ahead with additional insurance coverage
Although not required in California, Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) offer additional protection when you are involved in an accident with a driver without adequate liability insurance. UMC and UIM will cover you and your passengers for medical expenses, lost wages, other economic losses, and pain and suffering. Typically limits are the same as your liability coverage for bodily damage and $3,500 for property damage, depending on your coverage.
Other options after a collision
After an accident with an underinsured/uninsured driver, the best option is to tap into your UMC or UIM coverage. If you do not have this as part of your insurance policy, there are other options for compensation, including the following:
- Collision coverage – If you have this as part of your auto insurance policy, your insurance company will pay for the repair of your vehicle, minus any deductible.
- Medical payments coverage – This is another option that will cover your medical bills up to your policy limits, usually with no deductible.
- Health insurance – Your health insurance policy, through an employer or obtained as an individual, can also be an option for medical expenses.
- Filing a lawsuit – An additional recourse may be to file a lawsuit against liable uninsured or underinsured motorists. This is typically a last resort, as you cannot make a claim while suing another involved party.
- Other drivers with shared liability – If there is another driver who was involved in the accident who shares liability, you can make a claim against his or her liability coverage.
Obtain legal representation
As with any automobile accident, having skilled legal representation can favorably impact the outcome of your claim. At the law firm of Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we are dedicated to helping injury victims just like you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your options.
Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 25 years of experience in representing victims of DUI and drunk drivers injured in all forms of motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California .