Underinsured Motorist Accidents Lawyer

Being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver in California can be a challenging situation. California law requires drivers to carry auto insurance, but unfortunately, not all motorists comply with this requirement.

What Is the Law in LA? 

In Los Angeles, California, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance policies are governed by state laws. Here are some key aspects of UM and UIM insurance in LA:

  • UM Coverage: Under California law, all auto insurance policies are required to include uninsured motorist coverage unless it is explicitly rejected in writing by the insured. UM, the coverage provides protection if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault. It can help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
  • UIM Coverage: UIM coverage is not mandatory in California, but it is strongly recommended. UIM coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their policy limits are insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. UIM coverage can help bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and your actual losses.
  • Insurance Policy Limits: UM and UIM coverage limits are typically set by the insured when purchasing their auto insurance policy. These limits represent the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay for a UM or UIM claim. It’s important to review your policy to understand the limits and ensure they are adequate to protect your interests in the event of an accident.
  • Filing a UM or UIM Claim: If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you would file a claim with your own insurance company under your UM or UIM coverage. It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company promptly and provide all necessary documentation, such as the accident report, medical records, and proof of damages.
  • Statute of Limitations: In California, there is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a UM or UIM claim. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from a car accident is two years from the date of the accident. It’s crucial to be aware of this deadline and take appropriate action within the allowed time frame.
San Jose Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle Accident

It is recommended to consult with your insurance provider or a qualified attorney to fully understand the specific details of UM and UIM coverage in your policy and how it applies to your situation. They can guide you through the claims process and help ensure that you receive the maximum benefits available under your policy.

What’s the Difference?

An uninsured motorist (UM) and an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim are two types of insurance claims that can be filed when you are involved in a car accident. Here’s the difference between the two:

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Claim:

  • UM, coverage is designed to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have any auto insurance.
  • When the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can file a UM claim with your own insurance company.
  • UM, coverage can help compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident caused by the uninsured driver.
  • This coverage is typically mandatory or automatically included in auto insurance policies in many states, including California.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Claim:

  • UIM coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their policy limits are insufficient to fully cover your losses.
  • If the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough to compensate you adequately, you can file a UIM claim with your own insurance company.
  • UIM coverage helps bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and your actual losses.
  • It can help cover your remaining medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
  • UIM coverage is not mandatory in all states, including California, but it is highly recommended.

In summary, an uninsured motorist (UM) claim is filed when the at-fault driver does not have any auto insurance, while an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim is filed when the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your losses. Both UM and UIM coverage is important to protect yourself in case of accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. It is essential to review your insurance policy and consult with your insurance provider or an attorney to understand the specifics of your coverage and how to navigate the claims process effectively.

An Uninsured Motorist Hit My Car

If you have been involved in a car accident where an uninsured driver hit your car, it can be a frustrating situation. Dealing with an uninsured driver adds an extra layer of complexity to the claims process. Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Safety First: Ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call for medical help immediately.
  • Gather Information: Collect as much information as possible about the uninsured driver. This includes their name, contact details, license plate number, and a description of their vehicle. If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information as well.
  • Contact the Police: Report the accident to the police and provide them with all the necessary details. They will create an accident report, which can be important for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any visible injuries. This documentation will be useful when filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company and inform them about the accident involving an uninsured motorist. Provide them with all the relevant information and details you have gathered. They will guide you through the claims process and explain the options available to you.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Check your own insurance policy to see if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you in situations where the at-fault driver is uninsured. It can help cover your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other damages. Consult with your insurance company or an attorney to understand the extent of your coverage and how to proceed with your claim.
  • Consult with an Attorney: Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents and uninsured motorists. They can provide legal advice, evaluate your case, and help you navigate the claims process. An attorney can also explore potential legal options to recover compensation from the uninsured driver personally.

What Type of Compensation Can You Receive?

In Los Angeles, the type of compensation you can receive after a car accident will depend on several factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, the damages to your vehicle, and the specific circumstances of the accident. These are some types of compensation that can be available:

  • Medical Bills: You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment related to your injuries.
  • Lost Income: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the income you have lost during your recovery period. This includes both the wages you have already lost and any potential future earnings that may be affected by your injuries.
  • Property Damage: If your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you can seek compensation for the repair or replacement costs. This may also cover other damaged property, such as personal belongings inside the vehicle.
  • Pain and Suffering: You may receive compensation for the physical pain, distress, and mental anguish you have experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries. Calculating the amount of compensation for pain and suffering can be complex. It may depend on various factors, including the severity of your injuries and their impact on your daily life.
  • Punitive Damages: In certain cases where the at-fault individual’s actions were particularly horrific or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. 
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries have significantly affected your ability to engage in activities and enjoy life as you did before the accident, you may be eligible for compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.

We Can Help in Underinsured Motorist Accidents

The Pacific Attorney Group can provide assistance if you’ve been involved in an underinsured motorist accident. They have a team of experienced personal injury attorneys who specialize in handling these types of cases in Los Angeles.

Here’s how the Pacific Attorney Group can help you in underinsured motorist accidents:

  • Case Evaluation: We offer a free consultation where you can discuss the details of your accident and injuries. We will evaluate the strength of your case and determine if you have a viable claim against the underinsured motorist.
  • Insurance Coverage Review: Our attorneys will review your insurance policy and assess the available coverage for underinsured motorist accidents. They will help you understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation.
  • Negotiations with Insurance Companies: The Pacific Attorney Group will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company involved. We will work to maximize your compensation and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
  • Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, the attorneys at the Pacific Attorney Group are prepared to take your case to court. We have the skills and experience to litigate underinsured motorist claims and fight for your rights in the legal arena.
  • Comprehensive Legal Support: Throughout the entire process, the Pacific Attorney Group will provide you with comprehensive legal support. We will guide you through the complex legal procedures, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf.

The Pacific Attorney Group understands the challenges that come with underinsured motorist accidents, and we are dedicated to helping you navigate through the legal process to seek the compensation you deserve. Our goal is to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests every step of the way.

Book your free consultation with us.