When you’re in a car accident and you get hurt, it can be nerve-wracking as well as stressful and terrifying. As medical bills pile up and your expenses mount, you wonder how you’re going to pay for it all. You deserve compensation for your injuries, but then you file your lawsuit and discover that the other driver didn't have enough insurance or no insurance at all.
What happens next? Learn what happens when you’re hit by a driver with no car insurance, and how a car accident lawyer can help you work out compensation.
UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
One way you can help to ensure you get paid in an accident where the other driver isn’t insured at all is to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance exists to protect you in exactly these situations. Even if the other driver isn’t covered, they are still technically liable for the damages you suffer, but if they don’t have the money to pay, it may be hard to collect.
By carrying uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim against your own insurance company, and get paid up to the limit of your own coverage.
UNDERINSURED DRIVER COVERAGE
Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, protects you in cases where the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the damages you have suffered. However, in these cases, your insurance will only pay out an extra amount that amounts up to the total of your coverage. Put another way, it will cover the difference between your coverage and theirs.
For example, let’s say that you’re in an accident worth $225,000, but the responsible driver only has $150,000 in coverage. You, on the other hand, have a policy of $200,000. Your insurance would not pay the remaining $75,000 to meet the total damages. It would pay an additional $50,000, to your total coverage (the difference between their policy and yours).
HOW MUCH CAN I CARRY?
This is something important to keep in mind. You can only carry an amount in underinsured or uninsured driver coverage, in total, equal to your primary coverage amounts. So, in the case above, you would need to have primary coverage of at least $200,000 as well. The reason for this is that it costs less to carry under- or uninsured coverage, which could stand to cost insurers a great deal if they didn’t limit the coverage you could carry.
CALLING A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
The best way to ensure you get the full compensation you can for your accident, and that you take the proper steps, even if it’s filing under your own policy, is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer. From dealing with insurance companies that are resisting payouts or trying to lowball you, to helping you make the right decisions and fighting for your rights, accident attorneys will be your best ally and your best option to collect the maximum possible damages for your case.
We’ve helped people just like you in their California car accident cases since 1975. If you need representation in pursuing your case, call the attorneys at Dunnion Law for help and a free discussion of your case today.