California law requires all drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility for their vehicle by purchasing liability insurance in the event that they cause an accident resulting in property damage to another vehicle or injuries to another person.
Unfortunately, far too many drivers ignore this requirement. If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you can be left shouldering the financial burden of the accident. Your best protection is to ask for uninsured motorist coverage when you purchase your auto policy. If you choose not to do this, you may still be able to receive compensation for your damages with the help of an uninsured motorist lawyer, but it is a much more difficult proposition.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Mean?
“What does uninsured motorist mean?” is a question that we often get from clients. To put it simply, an uninsured motorist is someone who does not carry the state-mandated minimum liability coverage or whose insurer is unwilling or unable to pay the claim.
If the uninsured motorist is found to be at fault in the accident, the other driver will typically not receive payment if they only carry a regular auto policy without the uninsured motorist provision. A driver who leaves the scene of an accident may also be considered an uninsured motorist.
Examples of Uninsured Motorist Claims
To get a better idea of your legal rights in regards to an uninsured driver, it is important to look at a couple of uninsured motorist claims examples. Your first option is to sue the uninsured driver directly. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to put any money in your pocket since the majority of uninsured motorists lack money or other assets with which to pay a judgment.
The court may be willing to require the defendant to make weekly payments, but the payments will likely be too small to be of any real benefit. You would also have to go back to court every time the defendant stopped paying in order to enforce the payment plan.
If you purchased uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, the far better option is to file a claim against your own insurer. Uninsured motorist claims in California progress in much the same way as traditional accident claims with one important distinction.
If you and your insurance company are unable to agree on a settlement, your case will most likely go to binding arbitration where it will ultimately be decided by one or more arbitrators with few options for appeal. Your potential recovery is also limited by the amount of your own primary liability coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Claims in California
If you know or suspect that the driver that hit you does not have insurance, you should contact an uninsured motorist attorney in California as soon as possible in order to determine the best course of action based on the facts of your case. It is important to remember that most insurance companies impose strict time limits for providing notice of an uninsured motorist claim.
Contact an Uninsured Motorist Lawyer Today
Daniel Weltin has more than a decade of experience helping victims fight for their legal rights against some of the biggest insurers in the country. If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist and are in need of a reliable uninsured motorist attorney in California, contact our office today.
Get help NOW! Call (510) 771-8999
If you or a loved one was hurt or died through someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call (510) 771-8999 now or contact us below. Get the compensation you deserve!