| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents
uninsured motorist coverage California

Many may be surprised to learn that nearly one in eight drivers in the United States is uninsured. Some of us may find ourselves in the unfortunate position of seeking compensation from a liable driver only to find out they don’t have car insurance or are significantly underinsured.

If this happens to you, you may be concerned about whether you can recover the total value of your damages. What are your options? How does uninsured motorist coverage in California work?

Read on to learn more about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in California and the opportunities you may have for compensation. If you have any questions, contact us today.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work? 

Despite California law requiring all drivers to have automobile insurance, some drivers still fail to purchase insurance. Many drivers also opt to purchase only minimal liability coverage amounts.

If you are involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be left with uncovered expenses even if you weren’t at fault for the collision. 

Purchasing California uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured automobile coverage in addition to minimum liability amounts helps pay for injuries and damages the liable driver’s policy fails to cover. There are three types of underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage: 

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI). UMBI policy coverage pays for injuries to you and any person in your car if there is an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault. The limits for this policy would be the same as your liability coverage amounts. 
  • Underinsured motorist (UIM). UIM covers bodily injury costs if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for your losses. 
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). UMPD policy pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident with a liable uninsured driver. The limit on these policies is $3,500.00 in damages and only pays off if the uninsured driver is positively identified. 

Insurance companies must offer drivers these policy options. California uninsured motorist laws do not require drivers to purchase this coverage.

If you choose not to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in California, you must complete a waiver stating that your insurer offered the coverage, but you turned it down.  

What Other Options Do I Have?

You still have options if you were involved in a collision with a California uninsured motorist and chose not to get uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from the negligent driver. Prevailing on a negligence claim requires proving four essential elements. 

  • Duty. Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely and reasonably to protect themselves and others.
  • Breach. A driver breaches this duty by failing to drive their car reasonably. A breach occurs if a driver runs a red light, engages in speeding, or otherwise recklessly drives their vehicle, creating a dangerous condition. 
  • Causation. A driver’s breach must have caused your collision. For example, a driver fails to stop at a red light and collides with you in an intersection. 
  • Damages. You must have suffered damages as a result of the driver’s breach. Causation may be easy to establish if a negligent driver collided with you and caused damage to your car and physical injuries. 

Proving a driver’s negligence is far more complicated than many realize. Deciding not to seek legal assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney could ruin your claim and chance for compensation.

An experienced attorney knows the devastation that a car accident creates for innocent victims and works to recover the financial support you and your family need and deserve.  

Contact Us 

At Peerali Law, we craft innovative and creative legal solutions in wrongful death and complex catastrophic injury cases. We base the core of our practice on the belief that persistence, passion, and creativity bring forth outstanding results for our clients.

We’ve obtained millions of dollars in judgments and settlements on behalf of our clients when they need it most. Our attorneys are prepared to handle any case from start to finish and are never scared to bring a case to trial if necessary.

Contact us today by phone or email to obtain a free consultation. We help good people get justice. Let us help you today.

Author Photo

Kristopher earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law where he was a member of the Review of Law and Social Justice honors law journal and was awarded several scholastic honors.

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