Car accidents require a careful attention to detail and an understanding of California’s liability laws to successfully manage. To add some complications to the already stressful situation, insurance companies will be heavily involved to try to protect their own best interests and finances. However, a car accident will be even more stressful if the responsible driver is uninsured.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 10% of all drivers in the country are uninsured. Even though this is a serious crime in California, any criminal penalties associated with it do not guarantee someone hit by an uninsured motorist (UM) will be able to recover appropriate damages. In order to be compensated as deserved, a will need to be filed in most circumstances.
Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP and our San Jose uninsured motorist accident attorneys can help you sort through the confusion and file a claim for compensation after an uninsured motorist accident.
Start today by requesting a free case evaluation with our team online or by calling (800) 900-0863.
California’s Uninsured Motorist Laws
In the state of California, motorists are legally required to have current car insurance on any vehicle operate or intent to operate. Not only must a driver have insurance coverage, they must also have insurance coverage that meets certain minimum standards.
In California, car insurance must provide:
- $5,000 for damage to property in an accident.
- $15,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident.
- $30,000 maximum for the injury or death of all individuals in an accident.
A driver with car insurance that does not meet these insurance minimums is known as an underinsured motorist (UIM). Even though a UIM does have some insurance, they are still in violation of the law and will still create a significant complication for anyone they strike while driving.
What Is Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance ensures that your insurance company will cover the costs associated with your medical bills and/or damaged property up to a certain dollar amount in the event that you are in an accident with another motorist who does not have insurance coverage at all.
When hit by an underinsured motorist but have UIM coverage, your insurance company will pay the difference between the amount that you need and the limited amount that the negligent party’s insurance covers (this amount that serves as the difference will not exceed the amount of coverage for which you pay). In any event, there is always a cap on the amount of the settlement that your insurance company is willing to pay, according to the stipulations of the policy.
Funds sought from insurance companies can help cover the costs of:
- Medical bills
- Monetary compensation for injuries
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Current and future lost wages
Alternative Method to Seek Compensation from UM
As in any personal injury case, you should not rule out the personal finances of the responsible party. If a driver hits you but has no insurance, or you did not receive all of the compensation you need from insurance companies, talk to our attorneys about the possibility of filing a claim directly against the driver’s finances and estate. This is uncommon since most people do not have spare finances but it is not altogether impossible.
Call Caputo & Van Der Walde at (800) 900-0863
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Northern California, please contact us at your first opportunity. Our San Jose uninsured motorist accident attorneys will explore every possible legal avenue to discover how to get you compensation and just how much can be recovered.
You can discuss the key details of your claim with us during a free case evaluation – schedule one today.