woman driving with a big smile on her face uninsured motorist

In California, all motorists are required to have insurance coverage, but uninsured drivers are on the road nonetheless. Because most of these drivers cannot afford insurance, they probably have little money, so suing them won’t get you very far, and you may still be financially responsible for your medical costs and repair bills. There are, however, other options.

At the Los Angeles personal injury law firm of J&Y, we believe that you deserve fair compensation and should not have to suffer further if you are the victim of an uninsured motorist accident. We work with car accident victims in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, San Bernardino County, San Francisco County, and Sacramento County.

What is an Uninsured Motorist?

The California Insurance Code defines an uninsured motor vehicle as one not covered by a liability insurance policy, including a vehicle where coverage is denied, such as for an excluded driver or if the vehicle is stolen. If you are involved in a hit and run accident and the owner cannot be identified, that vehicle is also considered uninsured. Finally, a vehicle can also become uninsured if the insurance company goes out of business while your claim is pending.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, provided that you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company. California law requires auto insurance companies to offer uninsured coverage to all motorists. If you refuse to obtain this coverage you must sign a written waiver. There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) is designed to cover injuries to you and any person in your car in an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault. The benefits cannot exceed the amount of your personal liability coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) pays for the damage to your car from an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault, but it is limited to $3,500 and only pays if the uninsured driver is identified.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

In order to file an uninsured motorist claim, you must demonstrate that the other driver was at fault and that the motorist was not insured. Moreover, many car insurance policies impose strict deadlines on policyholders to provide notice of a potential uninsured claim. Therefore, it is crucial to notify your insurer as soon as possible.

An uninsured claim is similar to a typical car accident insurance claim, and many insurers will offer an immediate settlement for as little as possible. If a settlement cannot be reached, you must serve a demand for formal arbitration. If this process does not resolve the matter, a hearing may be necessary before an arbitrator who will make a final decision.

Why You Should Call the Law Firm of J&Y

In order to obtain a fair settlement, you should contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at J&Y. We can negotiate coverage with your insurance company to help defray costs of injury and repair. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist that was not your fault, call our office today at (888) 806-6722 for a free evaluation of your case.