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Silverthorne Attorneys is a personal injury law firm in Orange County whose top priority and singular focus is the people we represent. We work diligently to make sure that our clients are well taken care of and that their needs are not only met, but come first. Injured now? Do not hesitate to reach out to Silverthorne Attorneys for a free consultation.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 drivers on the road in the United States are uninsured. In some states, they are requiring car insurance carriers to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in their plans. So, what is uninsured motorist coverage? Below, we answer that question for you!
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is used when the at-fault driver of your accident doesn’t have liability coverage. Having uninsured motorist coverage will save you and your passengers from having to pay for an accident you didn’t cause. Especially if you or someone in your vehicle suffers from injuries. Oftentimes the minimum liability coverage that comes with your basic car insurance policy won’t always offer enough coverage after an accident with an uninsured motorist. When you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may end up paying for damages and medical expenses out of pocket. The expenses that would normally be covered by the at-fault driver’s car insurance.
What is the Difference Between Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your passengers if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage steps in when you are in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover damages done to your vehicle and any medical expenses you and your passengers may have accrued.
The at-fault’s policy will pay for the damage up to the policy limit and then your underinsured motorist insurance will cover any excess amount, up to the limits you have set up.
Types of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage – this covers any medical expenses, lost wages, and any injury related expenses for you, any permissive drivers, as well as your passengers when you have been injured in an accident. This also provides coverage for any injuries sustained by a hit-and-run accident. This helps to cover you and any passengers with medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. It is extremely beneficial to have when you are in an accident with a motorist who does not have insurance or their liability coverage is not sufficient enough to cover all of the damage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage – this will cover any car damage and property damage sustained due to the accident. However, it will not cover damage that was done by a hit-and-run driver.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits
Believe it or not, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage has a limit that you can set yourself. In most states, the insurance companies already set the minimum limits for you. Especially in states that require you to have uninsured motorist coverage. Coverage limits usually look like the following:
The payments will come in a split-limit:
Split Limit –
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death, per person. or,
- $30,000 for total bodily injury or death, per accident
Combined Single Limit
You may have the option to purchase a combined single limit policy. This means that there is only one amount your insurance company will pay out for all bodily injuries in an accident
Getting $30,000 total for all injuries . This includes yours as well any passengers who have are suffering from injuries due to an accident with an uninsured motorist.
How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cost?
Costs vary from state to state. Costs depend on the policy you choose, if you have tickets on your record, any prior claims, and/or policy discounts. However, as a rule of thumb, uninsured motorist covered costs approximately 5% of your annual car insurance rate. For example, if your premium is $1,000 annually, you will pay an additional $50.00 a year for uninsured motorist coverage.
Which is something that we believe is worth the extra money. It will put you and your family at ease every time you are on the road. You will not have to worry about your medical bills or car repairs.
We always advise our clients to do what is best for them. Further, in the long run, having extra protection helps. This protection not only helps you but it helps anyone in the car with you.
Finding the right personal injury attorney can be daunting. Make sure that your attorney knows how to handle insurance adjusters. Every personal injury lawyer in our firm has experience with uninsured motorist coverage.
If you are suffering from injuries due to your accident, please contact us today. Consultations are free.
Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
When a hit and run driver strikes your vehicle, the impact could damage your car and injure you and your family. If the injuries are serious, high medial bills, lost wages, and other long term expenses can change your standard of living for years to come. Our accident lawyer knows that the consequences of a hit and run accident can seem unfair for an innocent party to bear. But if you have the right coverage, your auto insurance company can rescue you from the financial burden.
You probably know auto insurance basics: Collision coverage pays for damages to your car. Medical Payments coverage contributes to out of pocket medical expenses. But if you don’t fully understand your Uninsured Motorist coverage, you may not realize that it pays injury-related damages you are suffering from.
Accident Lawyer | Uninsured Motorist Coverage and You
A Hit and Run Driver is an Uninsured Motorist
California Uninsured Motorist Coverage is optional; but if you have it on your policy, it may eliminate the concerns traditionally associated with hit and run accidents. As the name implies, the UM coverage will pay for damages caused by an “uninsured motorist.” But the auto policy’s definition of an uninsured motorist also includes, “…a hit-and-run vehicle whose owner or operator cannot be identified…”
If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your policy, your insurance company should step in to fill the void left by a hit and run driver. If a hit and run driver caused damage to your car or injured you or your passengers, your insurance company will set up a claim file and pay you as though they were his liability insurance carrier.
You and Your Insurance Company May Become Adversaries
Once your company verifies that you have a potential uninsured motorist claim, it can change your relationship. Your uninsured motorist claim will put your company in the other guy’s shoes. For the purposes of a UM claim, the hit and run driver becomes the insured and you become the claimant. Just like any other liability claim, your insurance company will conduct an investigation to prove the facts:
- Was the other guy negligent in causing the accident?
- Were your damages and injuries a result of the impact?
- Were your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident?
Liability Issues Are not Simple
When a driver hits your car and leaves the scene, it may seem obvious to you that he ran away because he was at fault. That’s a reasonable assumption, but your insurance company will still conduct an investigation to gather all the facts so they can be certain. For example, what if the facts showed that the other guy ran a red light, but they also revealed that you were speeding?
California accidents are covered by the state’s pure comparative negligence statute. That means the laws recognize that in most accidents, more than one party can be negligent. For example, if your insurance company decides that the other guy was 70 percent responsible for the accident and that you were 30 percent responsible, they would reduce any UM claim settlement by 30 percent.
Presenting Your UM Claim to Your Insurance Company
What if your insurance company pays all of your bills and reimburses your lost wages? But what if they don’t offer money for pain, suffering, and permanent disability? That’s exactly how some company’s handle liability claims. They set reserves based on the full value of your claim. They pay the bills presented; but if an injured party wants a settlement, they have to ask for it.
You May Need Help
When a hit and run driver injures you and your family, there are a lot of issues to resolve. You might be able to handle the coverage and liability problems. Your negotiation skills could come in handy when it’s time to settle your Uninsured Motorist claim. But if you decide to concentrate on healing and let a professional take care of the rest, feel free to contact us.