Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
It is wise to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy because many drivers in California, as in other states, are not appropriately insured for a serious accident. This means that you may not be able to recover adequate compensation for your losses after an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident. If you cannot recover enough compensation from the other driver, you may need to make a claim against the uninsured motorist provisions of your own insurance policy. Your insurer may be looking out for its bottom line, rather than your best interests, making it crucial to have an attorney by your side. At Sharifi Firm, APC, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers can help injured individuals in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California.Seeking Compensation for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Most people assume that when they get into an accident with another driver, that person’s insurance company will pay for their medical expenses and lost wages. Although this is what should happen in theory, this is not always what happens in practice. In California, a driver need only purchase $15,000 of liability insurance. This is significantly less money than what is necessary to obtain full medical care for a serious or catastrophic accident. It may only cover the cost of emergency care but not injuries that manifest later and require treatment, or other items like vocational rehabilitation or long-term lost wages.
When you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you or the passengers of your car can make a claim against your own insurance company for this coverage if an injury arises as a result of a driver who is not insured or who carries inadequate insurance. Your lawyer can immediately put your insurer on notice of the possibility of this claim at the start of proceedings against an at-fault driver. Once the third-party claim against the other driver's insurance is concluded, your lawyer may need to pursue the first-party underinsured motorist claim against your own insurer.
Through your lawyer, you can send a demand letter to the uninsured motorist carrier. In most cases, the carrier will offer less than what you need to settle the claim, and further negotiations may take place. In most cases, you would need to pursue your first-party uninsured or underinsured motorist claim through binding arbitration or accept the final offer from the carrier.
You may also want to file a negligence claim directly against the at-fault driver. You would need to show that the driver breached his or her duty to drive with reasonable care under the circumstances, and that this breach led to the accident and the damages that you incurred. Compensation that may be available in negligence claims often ranges from pain and suffering to medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost earnings, and the costs of future treatment. There is a limited time period within which to file a lawsuit, however, known as the statute of limitations. This makes it essential to consult a lawyer without delay if you have been harmed because of another driver’s carelessness.Explore Your Options with a Los Angeles Attorney after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you are injured in an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident in the Los Angeles area, our experienced motor vehicle collision lawyers can bring a lawsuit to recover damages on your behalf. We also represent accident victims in San Bernardino, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula, among other cities. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.