Victims of preventable
car accidents have a right to pursue financial compensation for their injuries by pursuing
personal injury cases. These cases, handled in civil court, focus on proving that another
party, such as another driver, was negligent in causing the accident and
injuries. Personal inury claim lawsuits are typically filed against the
at-fault driver and are defended by that driver’s auto insurance
provider, who will be responsible for paying victims’ damages in
accordance to the limits of their insured’s policy. In some cases,
however, the negligent driver who caused the accident does not have sufficient
coverage to provide victims with adequate compensation and in other cases
the at fault driver is uninsured. Unfortunately, over the years Biren
Law Group's , Los Angeles car accident attorneys have experienced
many cases where the at fault driver was uninsured or had insufficient
insurance coverage. In those cases, the only clients who recovered adequate
compensation were those who had purchased substantial uninsured or underinsured
driver coverage (UM/UIM) as part of their own insurance policy. How this
insurance works is that the victim's own insurer pays for all damages
caused by the at fault driver, less what ever that driver's insurer
paid, to the limits of the victim's policy. For example if the victim
has $100,000 UM/UIM coverage and an uninsured at fault driver causes $95,000
damages, the victim can collect $95,000 from his carrier; if the at fault
driver has $30,000 insurance which is paid the victim, then he can collect
the additional $65,000 from his own insurer.
UM/UIM insurance is not mandatory in the state of California. For this
reason, it becomes immensely important for all motorists on the road to
understand the value of purchasing UM / UIM coverage, which can act as
the safety net they need if they have the bad fortune of being involved
in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Know the risks – In a large metropolitan area like Southern California, there are
numerous drivers on the road who have no insurance or minimum insurance.
In fact, The Insurance Research Council estimates that as many as
4.1 million California motorists cruise the roads without any insurance at all. There
are also millions more who drive with the minimum insurance policy limits
required by law. As such, you face a significant risk of being involved
in a wreck caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver any time you
venture onto public roads or freeways, as well as the subsequent risk
of not being able to secure the compensation you need.
Minimum insurance is often not enough – While the risks associated with uninsured drivers is clear, there
are also major risks involved with drivers who carry minimum insurance
allowed by law or policies with low liability limits. This is because
costs associated with treating injuries and recovering after a crash can
quickly add up and amount to more than an underinsured driver is able
to provide through their policy. Even if your damages exceed policy limits,
you won’t have a viable source of recovering the additional damages.
A lack of viable sources for compensation – Following preventable car wrecks, personal injury claims and insurance
payouts are the most viable source of recovering your damages as a victim.
Although there may be opportunities for victims to seek reimbursement
of their losses through other means, these opportunities are severely
limited and often ineffective. For example, in cases where an at-fault
driver caused an accident as a result of committing a crime (such as driving
drunk or evading police), criminal cases do account for restitution for
victims. However, it is often the case that at-fault drivers also being
charged with crimes lack the ability to pay such restitution, especially
if they didn’t have the funds or wherewithal to purchase insurance
in the first place, or are soon to be incarcerated.
As we tell all of our clients and others with whom we discuss the rights
of auto accident victims,
purchasing UM / UIM coverage as part of your insurance policy is one of
the wisest decisions you can make – and a decision that could make all the difference when you need
it most. Purchasing this additional coverage, or increasing your UM/UIM
insurance, is not excessively expensive, especially when you consider
the value and comfort you gain in knowing there will be a source to pay
for your damages if you are hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
With this coverage, you can work with experienced accident attorneys like
those at Biren Law Group to file a claim with your own insurance company
following a UM/UIM accident, and recover the full amount of compensation you need.
To discuss a potential auto accident case, or discuss a case involving
an uninsured or underinsured driver,
contact us for a free consultation.