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Collision with an Uninsured Motorist

According to California Vehicle Code 16020, California requires every driver hold liability insurance, yet, some drivers don’t. So, what happens when you are in a collision with an uninsured motorist?  With 26.4 million licensed drivers in California, there are 4.1 million uninsured motorists driving. That means 1 in about every 7 drivers are uninsured.

Many drivers do not know what comprehensive insurance coverage looks like, or how their insurance can safeguard them, their passengers, and their family members.  Bearing a general knowledge of the various types of insurance coverage your policy holds is important, and acquiring uninsured motorist coverage (bodily injury) and collision (property damage) coverage is vital for when unexpected situations arise.

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) protects drivers from paying out-of-pocket expenses towards medical bills that accumulated from accident-related injuries. UM includes coverage for ambulance and hospital bills, lost wages due to your injuries, emotional distress, and much more. While some states, such as North Carolina, require that you have Uninsured Motorist coverage included in your insurance policy, California only requires insurance companies to offer the coverage.

The most common usage of UM coverage is when you are in a collision where the at-fault party does not hold liability insurance or you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident and have reported the collision or incident within 24 hours.  However, it may also be utilized when you are:

  • a pedestrian or bicyclist who was struck by a vehicle
  • an uninsured person who lives with a family member that holds uninsured motorist coverage

or

  • an uninsured person riding as a passenger when the collision occurred

Recently, we took on two clients, a mother and daughter, who were driving down a main street and made a left when their vehicle was broadsided. The collision caused the airbags to deploy and resulted in a total loss of the vehicle. Our clients sustained major injuries and were transported by ambulance to the hospital. The at-fault party did not hold liability insurance, however, our client had uninsured motorist coverage and their treatment was covered by their auto-insurance.

When an uninsured motorist incident arises, discussing your case with a personal injury attorney in San Diego with extensive knowledge of insurance recovery is the only way to be sure that you receive a proper settlement. Insurance companies may seek to reduce or deny your UM claim, while an attorney will help guide you through every step of the process.

If you have any other questions regarding what to do following a car accident, or would like to set up a free consultation, contact Brett Geruntino at Acclaim Law Group by calling (858) 252-0781.

Disclaimer: While we always seek to establish accuracy when publishing articles, this piece is not intended to provide legal advice, and should not be used as such. Each individual case will differ and should be discussed with an attorney or legal expert. If you would like to inquire about pursuing a claim, please contact us at (858) 252-0781 or email brett@acclaimlaw.com

References:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/fafd3447-8e14-4ff6-bb98-e85f3aa9a207/ca_dmv_stats.PDF?MOD=AJPERES

http://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/IRC%20UM_NewsRelease_1.pdf

 

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