The reality is that almost anyone who has been injured in an accident may need to bring a lawsuit in order to receive compensation for their injuries. We frequently see clients suffering serious economic losses due to the cost of medical care as well as lost income when they can’t immediately return to work. When the at fault driver doesn’t have adequate insurance, you might need to use your underinsured motorist insurance to receive compensation.
It’s helpful to first understand what underinsured automobile insurance coverage is along with when someone might need to use it. Underinsured motorist coverage helps protect you financially if you’re in an accident with someone whose policy limits aren’t high enough to cover the damage to your vehicle and your medical bills. Sometimes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are bundled together.
Under California law, any person who registers a car must buy minimum liability insurance:
- At least $15,000 for the injury/death of one person per accident
- At least $30,000 for the injury/death of more than one person in a single accident
- At least $5,000 for property damage per accident
The reality is many accidents easily exceed this amount of damage. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury you could be out of commission for four or five months or longer and unable to work. In addition to thousands of dollars in medical care, you could lose out on your income. These economic losses will easily exceed the minimum $15,000 that the at-fault driver carries.
The same holds true if a loved one dies in a car accident. Under California law you can receive compensation for loss of companionship as well as for wages your loved one would have earned had they lived. These amounts almost always exceed $15,000.
The California uninsured motorist statute requires that your insurer offer you underinsured motorist insurance and you must decline it in writing. If you opted to carry underinsured motorist coverage you will be able to receive more insurance benefits for your bodily injuries.
In California the uninsured motorist statute of limitations is typically 2 years from the date of the accident. Anyone making a claim for uninsured motorist coverage benefits, you must do one of the following within 2 years to comply with Insurance Code:
- File a lawsuit against the underinsured motorist in court.
- Reach an agreement to the amount due.
- Formally institute arbitration proceedings by sending a notice to the insurer in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested.
Make sure to comply with this rule, otherwise you will not be able to receive compensation for your injuries. If you have questions about your rights please call our office for a free consultation.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!