Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims
What Every California Driver Needs to Know
At the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk, we have spent the better part of the last 30 years dealing with car accident victims on a daily basis. We are fully aware of the devastating effects that auto accidents have on men, women and children, and how such accidents can tear families apart and leave lives forever changed. Due to the nature of our work, we deal directly with auto insurance companies and we file claims within the confines of peoples' auto insurance policy limits. After watching countless drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians sustain injuries in auto collisions; we have come to realize how important it is to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
In the typical scenario, when someone is injured in a car accident as a result of someone else's negligence; for example, the at-fault driver runs a red light and collides with another vehicle or someone rear-ends the vehicle in front of them, then the at-fault driver's auto insurance carrier pays the repair or replacement costs of the victim's vehicle, their medical expenses, and any other losses. In California, drivers are required by law to carry liability auto insurance, but who covers the damages when the driver is uninsured or underinsured, where do you turn?
In recent years the economy has suffered financially and a lot of people have suffered from unemployment and cannot afford to pay auto insurance, but they elect to drive anyways and take their chances being caught. In Southern California there are many drivers driving without valid insurance; therefore, if you are involved in an accident with one of these drivers, you don't have a very good chance of collecting any money from him or her. Due to the fact that your chances of being involved in a collision with an uninsured driver are relatively high, your only recourse in this situation is to collect from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When you're involved in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, it's important that you contact a Long Beach car accident attorney from the Law Office of Leonard Matsuk right away. When the at-fault driver isn't insured or when their insurance coverage isn't enough to cover your damages, you could file a claim against your own insurance policy to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses.
Perhaps the at-fault driver was insured but they only carried liability coverage and that wasn't sufficient enough to cover your losses. In this case your own underinsured motorist coverage would kick in and compensate you for the losses that weren't adequately covered. Another advantage to having this type of coverage is that you are covered if you were hit while on a scooter, or while riding a bicycle, or when you are a
The good news is that you don't have to worry about being penalized for making a claim against your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and your claim won't cause your insurance rates to increase. As a Southern California driver, it's essential that you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and as much as you can reasonably afford. In this state there is a large percentage of drivers who don't even carry liability insurance coverage and when the odds are stacked against you, you can't afford to go without underinsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Long Beach Car Accident Attorney
Your first step is to find out if you presently have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. If you only have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident, then this is not enough. Everyone's minimum limits should be $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident, but it's even better to carry $250,000/$500,000. Since the cost of this coverage is only around 10% of your premium, it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will need a Long Beach car accident lawyer to help you make a claim against your own insurance company. Just because you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it doesn't mean that your insurance company will be willing and eager to pay your claim for damages. Your own insurance company may try and say that you were at fault or partially at fault in order to reduce the amount they pay in your claim. Your own insurance carrier may dispute your injuries or whether or not you're able to return to work, and this can create an adversarial relationship with your own carrier.
With over 30 years experience handling uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, attorney Leonard Matsuk has the knowledge and experience to effectively handle your claim. We can take the guesswork out of the process and handle every aspect for you do you don't have to. Give us a call today!