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Approximately one in seven drivers in the United States does not have auto insurance, and California has the most uninsured motorists in any state.
Suppose an uninsured motorist injures you in an auto accident. In that case, you may have to cover the cost of treating injuries sustained in your accident unless you’ve elected to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
This type of coverage can be a relatively cheap add-on to most insurance policies (around $150 total), especially when you consider it can recover lost wages, pay for medical bills, and pay for additional expenditures you encounter.
You’re out driving to pick up your children, or maybe you’re dropping off a friend at the airport, and traffic up ahead comes to a screeching halt, so you slam on the brakes, but the other driver behind you doesn’t react as quickly as you did and he slams into the back of your vehicle. Suddenly, you realize that you hit your head and may have sustained a concussion. In the following days, your neck and back ache, and you need urgent medical attention.
Unfortunately, the panic continues when you talk to your insurance company and realize you have to foot the bill for those expenses because the other driver is an uninsured driver. What will you do?
Don’t let this be you. Don’t drive uninsured or underinsured. Opt for coverage against an uninsured motorist whenever possible, and if you get involved in an accident with motor vehicles, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in handling car accident injuries.
While an uninsured motorist who caused an accident may face penalties from the state of California for failing to acquire insurance, these penalties will not compensate you if they injure you because of their negligence.
While you have the right to sue the at-fault driver for the damages and take financial responsibility, remember that if a driver does not have insurance, they may lack the financial resources to settle your personal injury claim.
To register a vehicle in California, motorists must carry $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
If a driver does not have uninsured motorist coverage, they may still be able to receive some compensation from health insurance or other coverage that California law requires. You can repair your vehicle with comprehensive collision coverage, and insurance companies will pay for it. Medical payments coverage compensates for medical bills up to your policy’s limit.
One way to help protect yourself is to purchase extra insurance and liability insurance coverage when you purchase auto insurance. We refer to it as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
This coverage allows you to buy a level of protection from your insurance company for any damages or medical expenses and medical payments that may be more than the amount you can recover from the uninsured or underinsured motorist.
If an uninsured driver hits you, you may need legal help.
Contact aggressive personal injury attorneys at Ehline Law Firm to help you understand financial responsibility laws and consider the following steps:
Report the accident to the police and file a police report at the accident scene. Call to notify your insurance company and let them know about the accident, and then you can seek medical care.
You must call a lawyer to guide you through what to do and not to do after an accident and start building your case immediately. Never admit fault and agree to any settlement without a lawyer.
Establish an attorney-client relationship with Ehline law firm and allow a car accident attorney to represent you to win your car accident case. Use our website contact form for validation purposes only and a callback.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.