Hit By an Uninsured Driver in CA
California law requires all drivers to maintain a minimum level of auto insurance. Drivers must carry liability insurance which compensates accident victims when that driver is at fault for a crash. Not everyone follows the law, however. People may be unable or simply unwilling to pay for insurance coverage. You could be hit by a driver who flees the scene, leaving you without a means to get the unidentified at-fault driver to pay. Below, we discuss your options for recovering compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver. If you have additional questions or need help obtaining compensation after a serious Antelope Valley car crash with an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle, call a dedicated Lancaster auto accident injury lawyer at the Kistler Law Firm for advice and assistance.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance are forms of supplemental insurance coverage. By law, California auto insurance providers must offer UM/UIM insurance to applicants for coverage. Applicants can choose whether to take on the additional coverage. UM/UIM coverage is not a free addition, although it is relatively cheap; the average annual cost for UM/UIM bodily injury and property damage is around $50-$75 annually, according to analysts.
We strongly advise all drivers to purchase at least a minimal amount of UM/UIM coverage to protect them in the event they are hit by an uninsured driver. UM/UIM coverage protects the policyholder in the event they are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It’s a first-party claim, meaning you file under your own insurance policy. UM/UIM will cover your medical costs and property damage, up to your policy limits.
UM/UIM coverage kicks in whenever you are hurt in an accident that was not your fault and you are unable to collect from the at-fault driver. Typically, this happens because the other driver was driving without their legally required insurance. Although you can still sue the at-fault driver for damages, if they do not carry the minimum amount of insurance required by law, it’s quite likely that they cannot afford to pay for your damages. UM coverage also covers you in the event of a hit-and-run accident when you cannot track down the at-fault driver. UM coverage protects you whether you were driving, a passenger in a car, or you were a pedestrian/cyclist at the time of the accident.
We typically advise drivers to maintain the same level of UM/UIM coverage as they carry in liability coverage. California law requires drivers to keep a minimum of 15/30/5 coverage in liability auto insurance ($15,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident/multiple victims, and $5,000 for property damage). It’s usually worthwhile to carry at least 50/100 coverage for bodily injury, and to carry the same in UM coverage in case you are the one injured.
Health Insurance Coverage After a Car Crash
Auto insurance is not your only source of compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver. You can, instead, file a claim with your health insurance provider to cover your medical bills. Getting coverage from your health insurance company can be more costly and challenging, however.
Typically, health insurance policies state that they will cover car accidents only as a secondary choice, meaning that your health insurer will expect you to first rely on your UM/UIM coverage if you have any. Additionally, if you receive compensation from any other sources–the at-fault driver or their insurance company–your health insurance company will expect to be paid back. The takeaway point, nevertheless, is that you can rely on your health insurance to cover your medical expenses after a car crash.
Call a Seasoned Lancaster Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer at the Kistler Law Firm Today
There are a thousand reasons why a car accident might happen, and each case is unique. Contact our Lancaster car accident injury attorney today to evaluate your unique auto accident claim. The Kistler Law Firm will give you a personalized evaluation and help you figure out your legal rights and next steps.
Call us today at 661-206-6990 for a fast response or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.