Being involved in a collision can result in stacking medical costs, thousands of dollars in repair costs, lost wages, and a variety of other economic and non-economic damages for victims. In most cases, accident victims pursue the insurance companies of those at fault to obtain compensation for the financial burdens they face moving forward. Although every vehicle on the road in the United States is required to maintain adequate insurance coverage, over 15% of vehicles on the road in California are driven by uninsured motorists.
People who are involved in accidents with uninsured motorists can have a difficult time collecting compensation to cover the costs they face after a collision. For this reason, California offers drivers the ability to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
The state of California requires all drivers to maintain “15/30/5” liability insurance. This policy entails that the insurance company will pay for losses caused by an at-fault driver in amounts of up to:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death resulting from an accident per person
- $30,000 total coverage for bodily injury or death per collision (for all parties combined)
- Up to $5,000 for property damages to other vehicles involved
Although these are the minimum amounts required, there are several insurance companies in the state of California that provide up to $100,000 per person and up to $300,000 per accident. Insurance policies with higher limits come at a far steeper cost. As a result, many drivers do not purchase these policies and, instead, shift the burden of covering damages to private health insurance companies or government-funded Medicare and Medi-Cal.
Although insurance companies will cover the costs of healthcare treatment, they do not provide coverage for repairs and property damages. In these cases, people can use uninsured motorist coverage to alleviate the costs they face should they become involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. Uninsured motorist coverage extends to your minor children your children away at college, you, and all members of your family.
Uninsured Coverage vs Underinsured Coverage
The option of having uninsured motorist coverage is mandated in our state, meaning that every insurance company has to offer it to policyholders. In cases where insurance policyholders do not want the coverage, they are able to decline it in writing. Generally, drivers in our state can elect either uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both. Although both provide coverage for victims who are injured in crashes with drivers who do not have adequate insurance, the circumstances under which they are applied vary. Uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage for damages sustained while in crashes with drivers who do not have insurance coverage for their vehicles at all. Even if you select an insurance policy that has a higher limit, insurance companies are only required to provide the minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage. Conversely, underinsured motorist coverage covers the financial burdens that extend above the limits of the at-fault driver's policy.
What to Do If You are in a Crash with an Uninsured Driver
If you are injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver who does not have adequate insurance coverage, it is crucial that you reach out to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Torrance as soon as possible. A skilled legal team will help you explore options available for you to obtain compensation to cover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, property damages, and more.
At AgnewBrusavich, our knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorneys fight diligently to ensure our clients are able to get the compensation they need to cover the financial burdens they face from their accidents. We are devoted to helping victims who wrongfully suffer as a result of irresponsible parties protect their legal rights and get the justice they deserve. Contact our personal injury law firm in Los Angeles at (310) 928-9081 to see how we can help you.