Who Pays if I’m Injured by an Uninsured Motorist?
Posted in Car Accidents on October 1, 2016
In California, driving without insurance is against the law. Unfortunately, that does not stop uninsured drivers from getting on the roadways. After an accident with an uninsured motorist, many injured individuals wonder about their ability to secure compensation. You can’t squeeze water from a stone, can you?
Don’t panic if you suffer an injury in an accident with an uninsured motorist. You may still have an opportunity for recourse, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Avenues for Insurance Payment in Uninsured Motorist Incidents
After an accident with an uninsured motorist, explore your own insurance policies – you may receive some compensation. Some of the most common coverage types that will cover injured individuals after an uninsured motorist collision include:
Uninsured motorist coverage. Designed to protect drivers and passengers in incidents involving drivers without insurance, uninsured motorist coverage is a type of add-on coverage that will take the place of someone else’s liability insurance. The added policy terms may cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic expenses associated with the accident. California does not require that drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage, so not all drivers can access its benefits.
Collision insurance. Collision coverage is designed to cover the cost of property damage associated with accidents. Depending on your policy, the insurance provider may or may not require a deductible payment in uninsured motorist accidents.
Health insurance. Your health insurance may also cover the medical costs associated with your injuries. After paying the policy terms, including your deductibles and copays, the insurer may pay for the full cost of your treatments. In some cases, your health insurer may look into the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and your own auto insurance for compensation.
Medical payments policy coverage. Another form of added insurance, medical payments coverage is designed to boost your ability to pay for medical expenses. It may also cover pedestrian accident injuries and other incidents.
Talk to an insurance representative to explore the terms of your policy and determine if you can file a claim against a policy you hold. If you have trouble working with your insurance provider, consider involving an experienced auto accident attorney. In addition to pursuing lawsuits against at-fault drivers, attorneys also play an important role helping clients negotiate with insurance companies and secure fair compensation under the terms of a policy.
Filing a Lawsuit in an Uninsured Motorist Case
In addition to your own insurance policies, an accident attorney may investigate and explore liability issues within the case. Unfortunately, most people who do not carry auto insurance cannot afford to pay damages in a civil claim. However, the other driver is not the only person who may bear responsibility for your injuries.
Other drivers involved in the accident and third-parties also may contribute to your injuries. If you have a strong case, your attorney will recommend pursuing a third-party claim against an auto manufacturer or another driver instead of using your own insurance coverage.
Can an Uninsured Motorist Use My Insurance to Cover His or Her Injuries?
In some accidents, you may cause or contribute to an accident with an uninsured motorist. Upon realizing that the other motorist has no coverage, you may wonder if the individual has the same rights to compensation as you would. In California, uninsured drivers can file claims against at-fault drivers, but they may not receive non-economic damages (e.g. disability, pain and suffering) during the case. The only exception to this rule is if the at-fault driver was under the influence at the time.
After an accident with an uninsured motorist, a qualified California accident attorney will help you navigate the process so you can claim fair compensation and get back to your life. Determining fault, identifying opportunities for compensation, and holding responsible parties liable for their fair share will affect the outcome of your case. Secure the services of an accident attorney with the experience and expertise to obtain justice and minimize the effects of an uninsured motorist’s poor decisions.