When an individual is involved in an auto accident where the other driver was at fault, the auto accident victim may consider filing a claim under his or her underinsured or uninsured motorist provisions of his or her auto insurance policy.
Underinsured and uninsured auto policy provisions are very similar but involve separate coverages that could come into play when the at-fault driver has:
- No auto insurance
- Not enough auto insurance
- The at fault driver flees the scene of the accident
When an at-fault driver does not have enough auto insurance coverage or no coverage at all, he or she will not likely be able to pay for the injuries and/or damages they caused to the victim and his or her passengers.
Every in-use vehicle in the State of California is required to carry auto insurance. Unfortunately, not every driver abides by the law. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a driver who did not carry auto insurance or otherwise did not have enough auto insurance coverage to cover your grievances, consider seeking the legal expertise of an attorney. This article will highlight important factors you could consider if you find yourself in this situation. For more information based on your specific case, consult with an attorney who has experience in handling underinsured or uninsured motorist claims.
Understanding Underinsured and Uninsured Provisions
When it comes to underinsured motorists, it is likely that the at-fault driver will not carry an auto policy that will cover the entirety of a victim’s medical costs or property damage expenses. When a motorist is not insured, this is also known as an uninsured driver. Drivers who do not carry any auto insurance will not be able to pay the victim’s medical expenses or his or her property damages unless the victim chooses to file a civil claim against the at-fault driver. Further, at the conclusion of a civil lawsuit, the defendant may also not have sufficient assets to cover expenses.
Victims who find themselves involved in auto accidents where the driver was either underinsured or uninsured, can turn to his or her own auto policy to seek financial support. When a victim is covered with uninsured or underinsured motorist provisions, he or she will likely be able to receive a payout faster than attempting to file a civil suit against the at-fault driver. Filing a claim against your own insurance company is not always straight forward, and simply because you are the policyholder, does not mean the insurance claims department will not try to settle or satisfy the claim for the least amount possible.
The Potential for Bad Faith
A victim who chooses to file a claim for underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage will likely find that his or her auto insurance company will initiate an investigation to help determine if there is coverage or defenses and reasons to pay less than the full value of the claim. Auto insurance companies have the right to investigate auto insurance claims but it is important to note that these investigations cannot be excessive. This means that an auto insurance companies cannot withhold payouts for an excessive amount of time while they make an investigation.
Obtain the Support of a Qualified Team of Attorneys
If you have recently been involved in an accident where the at-fault driver did not have enough auto insurance coverages or did not have an insurance at all, you will need to file a claim as soon as possible.
Furthermore, if you find that that you auto insurance company has denied to payout for your medical costs or property damages, seeking the legal support of a qualified attorney can greatly help you. As an injured auto accident victim, you will likely have medical costs, may undergo financial difficulties, and have the stress of dealing with property damage. An experienced attorney can help you obtain the financial compensation you need.
The attorneys at Martinez & Schill, LLP., are dedicated to helping injured auto accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. The firm is specialized in dealing with underinsured and uninsured motorists claims. Auto insurance claims are time sensitive; obtain the legal support of a professional attorney who will champion for your rights as soon as possible.