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How To Handle Uninsured Motorist Claims

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2016

Car accidents are stressful events, and insurance is meant to make the claims process easier. In an ideal situation, your auto policy will cover your property damages in exchange for your bills being paid in full and on time. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and car insurance rules are complex. Car insurance adjusters know how to use loopholes to ensure that your insurance company pays out as little as possible. To make matters worse, the law gets more complicated when one driver is uninsured. What happens if you are in an accident involving an uninsured motorist in El Cajon?

Dealing With an Uninsured Motorist

Did you know that one in seven drivers is currently on the road without any kind of insurance? That can take being in a car accident from a stressful situation to an unmitigated disaster. Car insurance is not just to protect policyholders; it should also protect those they potentially injure.

California has laws that set appropriate minimums for coverage. These apply to any driver on the road, and they stipulate that you purchase a policy that covers any potential accidents with uninsured motorists. You have the right to waive the requirement, but you will also be 100% liable for any damages you sustain in an accident with an uninsured motorist. The minimum requirement set by law is $15,000, but insurance carriers recommend coverage well beyond that.

Have you been injured in an accident involving either an underinsured or uninsured motorist in Chula Vista or El Cajon? If so, you are entitled to pursue damages for recouped expenses. Unfortunately, these motorists do not generally have the funds to cover your personal injury claim. While the courts allow you to sue for co-pays and deductibles that your insurance policy will not cover, getting a fair settlement from uninsured motorists can be an exercise in futility, as they often do not have the cash.

So What Are My Options for Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim?

If you are involved in an accident involving an uninsured motorist, your best course of action is to file a claim with the insurance company using your uninsured motorist coverage.

You may file a claim with your insurer for up to the full amount of your underinsured motorist coverage. For example, if you are facing a car accident with $200,000 in total damages and the defendant’s policy only covers $100,000 in damages, you would file a claim with your underinsured motorist policy for the additional $100,000 (assuming your coverage is that high; if it is only $50,000, then you can only file a claim for up to that amount).

The uninsured motorist claims process works much like a regular car insurance claim, but it can take a little longer. It is hard to know right away if you are dealing with an underinsured motorist claim—you will not know the full extent of the damages until your medical bills start to come through. In the case of an uninsured motorist, you can start the claims process right away.

Pay attention to deadlines; some insurance carriers will have timelines as little as 30 days for filing an uninsured motorist claim. From there, the claims process will unfold much like any other: an adjuster will conduct an investigation, look at your medical records, and hold depositions.

The Importance of Having an Attorney

We cannot stress this enough: having an experienced attorney throughout the claims process is important. Our firm is familiar with the loopholes insurers will try to use to sell you a low-ball offer. We are not afraid to send the claim to arbitration to fight for the outcome you deserve. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.


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