High percentage of Uninsured Motorists in California
As Los Angeles car accident lawyers, we unfortunately encounter a high number of motor vehicle collisions caused by drivers without insurance, or without enough insurance, to cover an injured victim’s damages. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2014, it was estimated that 12.6% of motorists in this country were uninsured in 2012. The study found that the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in California was 14.7%, which is higher than the national average.
When a driver that causes an accident does not have insurance, or does not have adequate insurance, a claim may be made against any applicable insurance policy with “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” coverage.
The attorneys at The Rudman Law Firm, APC are car accident attorneys with an office in Encino. We regularly represent victims of vehicle collisions in making Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist claims. Our lawyers have over 75 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases and have helped thousands of injured victims of car crashes receive the compensation they deserve.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
If the driver of the vehicle which caused your accident was not insured, or did not carry enough insurance to cover your damages, an insurance policy with an “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” (“UM/UIM”) provision may provide coverage for your damages. UM/UIM coverage may be found in an insurance policy which covered the vehicle you were driving, or in which you were a passenger, at the time of the accident. UM/UIM coverage may also be afforded by an insurance policy which covers you in another vehicle, even though you were not in that vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Claims. A claim can be made to an applicable insurance policy with UM/UIM protection up to the monetary limits of that coverage, if the driver that caused the accident did not have liability insurance. In order to succeed with such a claim, the claimant must prove that: 1) the uninsured driver was a cause of the accident, injuries and damages; and 2) the uninsured driver was in fact uninsured.
- Underinsured Motorist Claims. A claim can also be made to an insurance policy providing UM/UIM protection when the driver that caused the accident did not have enough insurance to cover a claimant’s damages. In order to succeed with such a claim, the claimant must prove that: 1) the underinsured driver was a cause of the accident, injuries and damages; and 2) the underinsured driver’s liability insurance limits have been fully exhausted (i.e. fully paid out). Because a credit, or offset, in the amount that a claimant has collected from the liability insurance of the driver who caused the accident will be applied to any claim for UM/UIM benefits, an Underinsured Motorist Claim can only be made when the UM/UIM limits are higher than the limits of the liability insurance policy for the underinsured driver.
To illustrate, if a person is injured by a driver with liability insurance limits of $15,000 per person, an Underinsured Motorist Claim may only be made if the limits of the UM/UIM coverage are higher than $15,000 (i.e. higher than the at fault driver’s liability insurance limits). So, in this example, if the UM/UIM coverage has limits of $60,000 per person, the injured party, after collecting the full $15,000 of the at fault driver’s liability insurance limits, may make an Underinsured Motorist claim for up to $45,000. (i.e. $60,000 UM/UIM coverage less the offset of $15,000 collected from the liability insurance for the at fault driver = $45,000 in available UM/UIM coverage).
If there are any disputes with an insurance company over a UM/UIM claim, they are resolved through arbitration.
Applicable to “Hit and Run” Accidents and Pedestrian Accidents
Your Uninsured Motorist protection may cover your bodily injury damages if the driver that caused your accident flees the scene of the accident in a “Hit and Run” and you are unable to identify the driver or the vehicle. Additionally, UM/UIM protection may also provide coverage for an accident in which you were a pedestrian injured by a vehicle, even though you were nowhere near the vehicle covered by your insurance policy at the time that you were injured.
Call The Rudman Law Firm for Representation in Your UM/UIM Claim
Call for a free consultation with one of the attorneys of The Rudman Law Firm, APC at our Encino office at (818) 769-6969 or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN. We will give you the best chance at receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.