An automobile accident is a traumatic event, and when the person who caused your injuries has minimal or no insurance to cover your damages, the event becomes even more traumatic. If you are involved in a serious accident, you expect your damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.) to be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance. If; however, the at-fault driver does not have any, or enough, insurance coverage, you will need to be covered by your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
What Is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
California law requires every driver to have insurance, but many drivers on the roads and freeways in Long Beach and Los Angeles do not. Drivers who do have insurance often carry only the required state minimum coverage of $15,000 for injuries or wrongful death of one person and $30,000 for injuries or wrongful death if there is more than one person injured or killed in an accident.
For individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident, damages can quickly exceed these minimum amounts. Damages for serious or permanent injuries, or wrongful death, can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more. Any shortfall in the at-fault drivers insurance coverage can leave an injured accident victim with a significant financial burden. This is when uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage becomes really important. If you have uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage, your own automobile insurance company will cover the damages the at-fault drivers’ insurance policy does not cover, up to your own coverage limit. There is a caveat. In order to collect money under your underinsured motorist policy, your underinsured motorist coverage must be greater than the at-fault driver’s policy.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is separate coverage under your own automobile insurance policy. It is designed to protect you when an at-fault driver doesn’t fully compensate you for your damages. For that reason, I encourage all my clients to carry as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as they can afford. It is protection you are buying for you and your family.
Will My Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Rates Go Up If I File A Claim?
Some drivers are hesitant to file a claim because they are worried their rates will increase. That is not the case. In general, insurance rates do not go up if you are not at fault for an accident. By definition uninsured motorist benefits only apply if someone else was at-fault for the accident but he or she has no, or insufficient, insurance coverage. In addition, California law prohibits insurance companies from raising rates for claims filed under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney for More Information
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
My law practice exclusively represents personal injury victims and does so with a deep understanding of their suffering and an absolute commitment to their recovery. I take your injuries personally, and that is why I directly handle all aspects of every case to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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