When to Make an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim
In California, more than 14 percent of drivers do not have car insurance. To help protect drivers, insurance companies offer special coverage called uninsured and underinsured driver insurance (UM/UIM) which can be used in the event that an individual becomes involved in an accident with a driver who does not have coverage, or doesn’t have enough. The purpose of this coverage is to pay for expenses related to an accident, like medical bills and vehicle damage.
Your Options After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you suffer injury or property damage and the other driver’s policy, or lack thereof, does not provide enough to cover your losses, you may have to file a UM/UIM claim through your own insurance company. While one option is to sue the at-fault driver, this is rarely the best route to take since drivers who don’t have car insurance are not likely to be in possession of substantial assets.
You should know on the date of the accident whether the other driver has insurance or not. However, it may take longer to find out whether the driver is underinsured, since it can take time to calculate damages and determine the difference between the value of your claim and the driver’s policy limit.
In either case, if you have been in an accident, it is in your best interest to contact your insurance company immediately to report the accident. Time is limited on these claims, and the longer you wait, the more you risk not being able to recover just compensation.
Seasoned San Jose Car Accident Lawyers Ready to Fight for You
Habbas & Associates has more than 175 years of legal experience that we put to work every day for drivers in the Bay Area and Northern California. If you have been hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, talk to a member of our team about your options. Since insurance companies are notorious for trying to minimize or avoid paying claims, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.