Uninsured (UI) and Underinsured (UIM) Coverage
One of the most important factors affecting the outcome of a personal injury case is the policy limits of the at-fault party’s insurance. While a personal injury claim empowers injured parties to seek compensation for damages, any recoverable funds must exist either in the form of an insurance policy or assets owned by the wrongdoer. Generally speaking, a person with assets is likely to protect themselves and their estate with an umbrella policy- if a person does not have assets, they may elect to purchase only the minimum insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, underinsured and uninsured motorists can leave injured parties with no source of recoverable funds.
Underinsured Motorists (UIM)
Because of the state’s laws, drivers in California are only required to maintain a bare minimum car insurance liability coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, many common injuries sustained in car accidents can result in medical bills exceeding the minimum $15,000 coverage. Since most insurers will themselves seek to recover treatment costs out of personal injury settlements after the beneficiary’s insurance company is paid back there might not be much left for damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and lost wages.
Uninsured Motorists (UM)
Uninsured motorists lack any liability coverage of their own. If an uninsured driver causes an accident, the damaged parties will likely face significant challenges in recovering any financial compensation. A lack of insurance is a strong indicator that a person does not have any otherwise recoverable assets. It is worth noting that driving on California’s public roadways without the minimum insurance coverage is illegal.
Insuring Against the Underinsured
Auto insurance policies can be equipped with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. These provisions typically allow for an individual’s own policy to cover damages not recoverable from underinsured and uninsured motorists.
Insurance companies are not necessarily your friends, including your own insurance company. Even if you purchase UIM coverage, your insurance provider may be skeptical of your claim or even deny coverage. An experienced accident lawyer will be able to help you deal with both insurance adjusters and the courts should you need to file a lawsuit.
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Sacramento Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident because of the negligence of another driver? Please contact me right away at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly, and no-obligation advice. I can also be reached online via my website, AutoAccident.com.
For over 35 years I have been serving the Sacramento and Greater California community, helping injured people and their families recover after accidents. Some of my valued clients have left reviews of their experiences working with me on Avvo, Yelp, and Google.
I am honored to have been acknowledged by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Membership is reserved for trial lawyers who have earned case verdicts and settlements worth in excess of $1 Million.
See some of my past Verdicts and Settlements.