Driving an uninsured vehicle is against the law in the State of California and is punishable by a substantial fine. Individuals violating this law are not always forthcoming when questioned. If you are involved in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist, he/she will either have to compensate you for any injuries or damages out of their own pocket, or in some instances, not pay you at all. It’s an emotional time when you or a loved one are involved in any type of a car accident, but to be involved with someone who doesn’t have coverage brings a new layer of angst. It’s important to have someone on your side who knows what to do, and how to handle the next phases following the event. Understand that an uninsured motorist is someone who drives without any insurance coverage, or whose insurance doesn’t meet the minimum liability requirements.
Your Insurance May Cover Most insurance companies’ Uninsured Motorists coverage applies when:
* The other driver is liable for the injuries (and/or property damage)
* The owner of the vehicle causing the loss has no Liability insurance policy or bond
* The owner of the vehicle causing the loss had purchased Liability insurance, but the insurer is insolvent
* The owner of the vehicle causing the loss had purchased Liability insurance, but the insurer denies coverage Vehicles owned by government entities or by qualified self-insurers are not considered uninsured motor vehicles.
Under the uninsured motorist insurance policy, you can usually claim compensation for bodily injuries, sickness or death, which result from the car accident with an uninsured motorist. These also include medical costs as well as other damages such as loss of income, emotional trauma and other losses that are covered in an insurance policy. Even if someone has Uninsured Motorists coverage, most basic insurance policies cover only bodily injury. To cover damage to a vehicle caused by an uninsured driver, Uninsured Property Damage Coverage must be added to a policy. You can also fall back on the collision coverage of the insurance policy. Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage is a very important clause in automobile Insurance coverage. If you have the Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage and you’re in an auto accident with an uninsured driver, your automobile insurance company should pay the difference between what the uninsured driver is able to pay and what you are entitled to receive for your injuries. If you are in an auto accident where the other driver flees the scene, your Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage should go into effect. This occurs because you could not get the proper identifying information to give to your insurance company and the insurance company considers that the same as having no coverage. Understanding Insurance Uninsured Motorist coverage is based on fault. For you to collect, the other driver, the uninsured driver, must be liable. Uninsured Motorist insurance also pays for pain and suffering. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium are all including in determining what you may receive. Those that are covered under Uninsured Motorist provision of insurance include: the insured; members of the insured’s household; any other person entitled to recover damages. This coverage also applies to injuries sustained while you or an insured motorist injures members of your household as pedestrians. The coverage under the liability portion of your auto policy is designed to pay some of the medical fees that may result from an auto accident. While the liability portion of the policy has fault attached to it, medical payments has no relationship to fault and will pay benefits to eligible beneficiaries for the cost of medical bills and/or funeral expenses. Those eligible for coverage are the insured and his/her family members living in the same household, and any passenger injured while riding in the covered vehicle.
There are exclusions to the medical payments, which are as follows:
* While in a motorized vehicle with less than four wheels
* While using the covered auto to carry persons or property for a fee
* If Workers’ Compensation benefits are payable
* While occupying a vehicle without leave or permission Hit and Run If an injury or death has occurred as a result of the hit and run accident, the offender can be charged with a felony and can serve jail time. Civil and criminal penalties may be incurred by the offender.
Uninsured Motorist Fast Facts:
* The Insurance Research Council in the United States reported that the number of uninsured motorists could be as high as 25% in some states.
* Uninsured motorists are more likely to not have either health or life insurance.
You can have a dispute with your insurance company. You have venues in which to choose from including arbitration or when necessary, to go to court. You have rights with or without coverage, or what appears to be no coverage. You don’t have to navigate the process by yourself. You can have someone on your side who knows this area of the law simply contact me now. (818) 886-6600