According to studies conducted by the Insurance Research Council in 2021, close to 13% of drivers were uninsured nationwide in 2019.

Unfortunately, around a third of Californians drive without proper insurance. In light of the fact that a myriad of drivers throughout the Golden State do not have sufficient or any vehicle insurance at all, you must seriously consider the need to obtain sufficient uninsured motorist protection.

In that same vein, uninsured motorists are also seemingly the least cautious drivers on our roads. Most persons who opt out of carrying uninsured motorist coverage may also fail to maintain their vehicles adequately. What’s more, almost half of all car accidents in California are caused by a motorist who is either uninsured or just partially covered by insurance.

So, what can you do to protect yourself legally and financially after an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Keep reading for more advice on how to deal with the aftermath of these types of vehicle accidents.

Uninsured Driver Coverage in California

Automobile insurance policies in California nearly always include uninsured motorist coverage, which may also be referred to as UIM coverage for drivers who don’t have enough of their own insurance to cover accidents. Your uninsured motorist protection is there to help you out if you’re ever in an accident caused by someone who didn’t have enough insurance or didn’t have any at all.

If an accident or loss happens and the other party is not covered, your own insurer will bridge the gap and compensate you for your losses. Therefore, every vehicle policy issued in California must contain uninsured motorist coverage unless the policyholder expressly waives this coverage in writing.

If you want to waive uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage in California, you must sign a waiver and ensure it’s in writing. On the declarations page of your car insurance policy, coverage limits are often denoted by “U” or “UM” (occasionally “UIM”).

When you add uninsured motorist (UM) protection to your comprehensive vehicle insurance policy, you and your household members will be covered against accidents involving drivers who do not have enough insurance to pay their medical bills.

How Does Uninsured Driver Coverage Work?

Your uninsured motorist coverage extends to anybody else who is a passenger in your vehicle or who is driving with your authorization. Therefore, the insurance policy covers everyone in the car regardless of who caused the accident.

Of course, your insurance won’t cover someone else driving your car if it was stolen without your knowledge, but it will remain in place as long as you’ve given that person permission to use your vehicle.

California uninsured motorist coverage applies whenever an insured person is injured by a driver who is either uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM), which means that the driver does not have enough insurance to pay for all of the damages they caused.

In California, hit-and-run drivers are considered uninsured as soon as there is any evidence of physical contact between the vehicle and the victim. Please keep in mind that there must be evidence of vehicle-on-vehicle collision in order to get UM or UIM benefits.

Under your uninsured motorist (UM) policy, coverage will fill the gap if the other driver’s liability limitations exceed yours. For instance, if you have uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 aggregate, your own insurance company will pay up to the $50,000 difference in the event of injuries to one victim and up to the $100,000 difference in the event of injuries to two or more members of your family or passengers in your car.

What Does an Uninsured Motorist Policy Cover?

If you are injured in a collision caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver in California, your uninsured motorist policy will pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Financial losses include out-of-pocket expenditures like home and associated care and assistance, as well as reasonable and necessary medical bills, lost wages or earnings, and diminished future earning potential.

In contrast, non-monetary losses include things like the inability to enjoy or participate in certain activities due to injuries, medical costs and treatment requirements, pain and suffering, permanent impairment, and any other losses for which you are entitled to monetary compensation under California law.

The severity of an injury, whether or not it heals completely, the types of treatment required, and the length of time it takes for a person to recover optimally are all factors that insurance claims adjusters and attorneys can use to come to an agreement on the appropriate amount of compensation for this factor or value driver.

More objective determinations, such as approved impairment, are needed for settlement negotiations during California jury trials.

Contact the Accident Attorneys at Beckerman Anderson

Clearly, UM/UIM coverage in California is complex. A lawyer specializing in accident-related injuries may provide crucial guidance on the rights you are entitled to under your own insurance policy.

Auto insurance companies know which personal injury lawyers in California are prepared to take their cases all the way to court to get enough compensation for their clients and which attorneys are hesitant to do so. It goes without saying that you must choose a trial attorney who is ready to fight for you and yours. If you want to increase your chances of success after filing a claim, consult with an attorney in Costa Mesa right away. At Beckerman Anderson, our team is committed to fighting for you, stopping at nothing to ensure that you are awarded the money to which you are entitled.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident in which the defendant lacks sufficient insurance or has no insurance at all, do not hesitate to contact our legal team here at Beckerman Anderson. Our team is skilled in UM/UIM matters and will do everything it takes in order to safeguard your rights to the greatest extent possible.

When you meet with us for your first, no-cost consultation, you may find that you’re eligible for compensation for medical expenses, property loss, lost earnings, and pain and suffering after a California car accident involving an uninsured motorist. Our lawyers may be reached at 949-409-4299.