The only coverage California requires is liability and property damage coverage. Uninsured motorists are an optional coverage. When people say they have full range, they have liability and property damage coverage if it’s your fault. There’s no such thing as full coverage, so when people say that, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have uninsured motorist coverage.
What Does Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Cover?
Uninsured motorist policies would cover:
- Your bodily injury if you’re involved in an accident with somebody who does not have insurance coverage;
- Up to the maximum of whatever coverage you carry on your uninsured portion of the policy. The minimum is $15,000 for one person and $30,000 for two or more.
I always recommend to my clients that they carry more than the minimum and, at the very least, make sure it equals your liability if possible because it’s the number one way to protect yourself.
In California, for underinsured motorist coverage to apply, the coverage you carry must be higher than what the underinsured driver holds. Underinsured motorist coverage covers the difference in the value of a claim versus what the at-fault party’s insurance carries.
For instance, if your case was worth $35,000, and the at-fault party has a $15,000 over $30,000 minimum policy, you would be able to settle for the $15,000 from them.
Then, if your uninsured motorist policy is $50,000, you would have $50,000 minus the $15,000; meaning that there would be another $35,000 available.
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Being In An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist?
Many people think that there’s no way to get their injury-related costs taken care of after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Fortunately, this is not valid.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be covered. Also, if you have medical payment coverage on your policy, you can get your medical bills covered up to whatever your policy limits are.
This is also true if you’re involved in a hit and run. You’re going to be covered as long as three things are true:
- There was physical contact between the two vehicles;
- You get a police report within 24 hours;
- You alert your insurance company within 30 days.
Is There A Time Limit To File Uninsured Motorist Claims In California?
With an uninsured motorist claim, the statute of limitations is the same as those with insurance. It’s generally a two-year statute; unless it’s a governmental entity or the hurt party is minor, in those cases, the laws are different.
If it’s an underinsured motorist claim, the two-year statute does not apply to the underinsured portion; but the two years would still apply for the third party portion.
Is It Difficult To Recoup Medical Bills After Being In An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist?
It is often difficult to recoup your medical bills if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself.
It isn’t easy to recoup a settlement against an uninsured or underinsured party because, generally, if they don’t have insurance, it means they’re not protecting any assets. If you sue them, there’s nothing really to go after.
Even if you did win a judgment in California, they would be able to protect their home with the Homestead Provision, which allows them to protect from anywhere from $300,000 of equity up to $600,000 of equity if they’re married, depending on the value of the house.
For more information on Accident With Uninsured Motorists In CA, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (562) 600-0807 today.