If you were hit by an uninsured driver in California, what can you do to make sure you are compensated for your injuries?
Since nearly 1 out of every 3 drivers in California is uninsured or under-insured, you need to carry sufficient uninsured / under-insured motorist coverage (UM) on your policy. This type of coverage allows you to make a claim with your own company when the other person lacks insurance to pay your damages.
It sounds a bit unfair that you have to pay for something when the other person is at fault, but consider this: uninsured drivers risk heavy fines, vehicle impoundment, license suspension and civil lawsuits when they choose to drive without insurance. The prospect of a civil lawsuit by the injured party can mean losing all assets or going bankrupt by the uninsured driver.
Who does Uninsured / Under-insured Coverage Protect?
Anyone who possesses such coverage and was injured by an uninsured driver is covered by UM coverage, including:
- Passengers of vehicles
- Policy holder’s family members
- Persons you trusted your vehicle to
If you did not purchase additional UM coverage and your damages exceed your minimum policy limit – your only option for fully compensation will be to file a lawsuit, secure a judgment and try to locate sufficient assets of the defendant in order to satisfy your judgment. Since people who drive uninsured often don’t have much in terms of assets, chances of getting full compensation are fairly low. This is why it is critical to have sufficient uninsured motorist coverage.
If you sustain serious injuries involving an uninsured or an under-insured driver, you can discuss your options with an attorney. An attorney can give can advise you as how to best proceed.
If you have any questions regarding your own accident, feel free to ask me by calling (213-891-0777) or emailing. Consultations are free.
You may also check out our California car accident Q&A section for answers to various auto accident questions.