Tarzana Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer
Under California law, every driver is required to have auto insurance. However, there are drivers who can’t afford it or are unaware of their obligations and drive without purchasing insurance coverage.
When you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist who’s at fault, many questions arise. If you’re wondering where your compensation may come from as medical bills and time away from work pile up, a Tarzana uninsured motorist accident attorney can help. Contact LA Century Law to speak with our car accident attorneys in Tarzana.
Who Is Considered an Uninsured Motorist?
As of 2019, 16.6% of drivers in California were driving without insurance, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute. This is significantly higher than the national average of 12.6%. So it’s safe to say that there’s a one in six chance that the driver whose car collided with your car in California is uninsured.
Although the term “uninsured motorist” might seem self-explanatory, there are some situations which you may not realize fall into this category.
- No insurance: Any motorist who neglected to get auto insurance is uninsured.
- Driver not covered: At times, the insurance policy for a certain vehicle may only cover certain drivers. If the driver who collided with you was not one of them, the vehicle is considered uninsured.
- Stolen car: If the car has been stolen, its policy may not cover the injuries and damages caused by an accident. In this case, the car is considered uninsured.
- Out of business: If the insurance company goes out of business while your claim is pending, then the car is considered uninsured.
What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in California?
California requires motorists to possess liability insurance before registering a vehicle and has certain minimum requirements when you buy a policy. Each policy must have the following coverage:
- $15,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of one person.
- $30,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of more than one individual in the vehicle.
- $5,000 coverage for property damage to other vehicles.
By law, you must be offered the following types of coverage by your insurance company. However, you can sign a waiver that says you turned down the offer.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, equivalent to your liability coverage limits
- Underinsured motorist coverage, which has different limits
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage, which has a $3,500 limit.
Using Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Purchasing uninsured motorist coverage is highly recommended. It covers you in all the situations in which a car can be considered uninsured. Here are some things you can keep in mind regarding uninsured motorist coverage:
- When you file an uninsured motorist claim, you have to prove that the other driver was at fault in the accident.
- You also have to prove that the other driver was uninsured.
- It’s best to file your claim as soon as possible, or you might not meet the insurance company’s deadline.
- If your insurance company isn’t covering your medical bills and property damage bills, you may have recourse to a civil lawsuit. The jury in a civil lawsuit might award you compensation even if you were partially at fault.
What Is an Underinsured Motorist?
Keep in mind that the minimum insurance requirements in California are not that high, as a result of which a motorist might be underinsured even if they are not totally uninsured.
For example, if there were four occupants in a car and the insurance policy has a maximum of $30,000 coverage, then this may not be enough to cover everyone’s medical bills. In cases where the motorist who collided with you is underinsured, your own insurance company might cover you, or you can file a civil lawsuit.
After a Crash With an Uninsured Motorist, How Can a Lawyer Help?
When you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it’s best to get in touch with a lawyer who will be able to help you file a claim with your own insurance company or file a civil lawsuit.
Although filing an insurance claim may sound easy, it may turn out to be more complicated than you thought if a dispute arises. If you omit certain crucial documents or your claim goes in late, you may not get all the compensation you need and deserve.
Having a lawyer on your side will ensure that things get done in a timely manner and that your claim doesn’t fall through the cracks. Plus, having a lawyer will most likely increase the amount of compensation you receive.
If it turns out that your insurance company is not going to cover you in a case of uninsured driving, you’ll have to file a civil lawsuit, and the process of doing this is quite complex. A lawyer is highly recommended to protect your case throughout court proceedings.
When to Contact a Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a motor accident with an uninsured motorist, make sure you get medical attention right away. And as soon as your health has stabilized, call our lawyers at LA Century Law. We take care of our clients’ cases from start to finish, all to alleviate the stress that’s upended your life. Contact our Tarzana auto accident attorneys to start your claim today.
Uninsured Motorist Accident FAQs
What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
Keep in mind that you will not have to pay us until we win your case. It’s only when you receive compensation for your injuries that you’ll need to pay your legal bills.
Will my case be settled or go to trial?
Your lawyer will do their best to negotiate a fair settlement for your case out of court. But if this is not possible, then your case may go to trial. A caveat is that there may not be much in assets to be awarded from the defendant should they lose.