Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers Serving Southern California
Personal injury cases arising from preventable car accidents can involve any number of scenarios – from drunk driving and distracted driving to collisions involving multiple vehicles, commercial trucks, or publicly operated transit. While these situations may all involve unique facts and circumstances, they generally focus on holding an at-fault party liable for the damages victims suffered, which are often paid for by the defendant’s insurance carrier (i.e. the insurance company from which they purchase auto insurance). Auto accident cases involving uninsured or uninsured drivers, however, can create significant challenges for victims who rely on financial compensation to cover their losses and rebuild their lives.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have extensive experience representing victims and families in their fight for justice. Given the added challenges that arise when at-fault drivers are uninsured or underinsured, we work diligently to help clients explore their available options for pursuing needed compensation, and assist them in taking the steps they need to secure the most positive outcome possible.
Exploring Options in UM / UIM Accident Cases
Most personal injury claims against at-fault drivers are handled by insurance companies which represent their policy holders. These insurance companies are typically the parties that pay victims when claims or lawsuits are successful, as individual drivers don’t commonly have the funds to pay claims for what can be extensive damages. This is precisely the reason why California law requires all motorists to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance liability coverage. Unfortunately, not all drivers abide by the law.
When victims are injured by drivers who do not have insurance, or who don’t carry enough insurance to cover the full scope of their damages, they can face significant challenges in securing the financial recovery they need and deserve. In these situations, it becomes important for victims to explore all their potential options for making a full recovery of their damages.
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Although every case is different, examples of the options victims can explore following an uninsured or underinsured motorist collision may include:
- UM / UIM Claims – If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, you can pursue compensation by filing a claim with your own insurance provider. UM / UIM coverage is an additional form of coverage you must purchase, but it can make all the difference when it matters most, especially if you suffer injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver (which is why it is strongly advised that any motorist look into this form of coverage). In uninsured and underinsured motorist accident cases, UM / UIM coverage is typically the most viable option for recovering compensation, when it is available.
- Commercial Businesses – While victims without UM / UIM coverage may have more limited options for pursuing the compensation they need following accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists, there may be options for pursuing compensation from a commercial business. This may be an option when accidents involve commercial trucks or vehicles, even if those commercial vehicles contributed only in part to causing the accident and injuries.
- Split Liability / Additional Coverage – Other potential options for compensation may arise when there are multiple parties involved or when there is some form of additional coverage available. For example, multiple at-fault parties may result in split liability, meaning more than one driver can be held liable for at least a percentage of a victim’s damages (which could prove vital in one driver is uninsured or underinsured). There may also be unique situations where commercial insurance policies may cover victim’s damages, such as in the case of accidents involving Uber or Lyft vehicles. If a driver causes an accident and injured an Uber passenger, for example, and doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the victim’s damages, additional compensation may be pursued through the ride share company’s commercial insurance policy.
Fight for Auto Accident Victims
Uninsured and underinsured motorist accidents can be unfortunate and challenging experiences for victims, as there may be limited options for recovering compensation. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our legal team is available to help clients pursue UM / UIM claims with their own insurance carriers and explore any available options for securing needed financial recoveries through other avenues, when possible. During a free case evaluation, we can help you understand whether you may have viable options for seeking a financial recovery of your damages, and discuss how we can protect your rights and interests throughout the process.
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