I was a passenger in an uninsured car in california that was rear ended can I be compensated for pain and suffering?

Asked over 1 year ago - Thousand Oaks, CA

The car I was in was stopped at a red light and hit, the driver who hit us was found to be at fault. I was injured her insurance paid for damage to the car and they are offering me the maximum liability amount the defendant had for my medical bills, which were a lot higher than her coverage. Can I recover anything for pain and suffering?

Attorney answers (12)

  1. Malosack Berjis

    Contributor Level 20

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Her coverage limit is supposed to include claims for both economic (i.e., medical bills) and non-economic (i.e., pain & suffering) damages. However, you should seriously consider consulting with a local personal injury attorney to see if there are any other avenues to pursue in getting you the maximum compensation that you deserve.

    Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and... more
  2. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    17

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assuming the offer was the liability policy limit, that is the most the insurance policy will pay to cover the other driver's "liability" which, for bodily injury, includes medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. So, if you accept the policy limit and sign a release, you cannot get any more money. If you have your own auto insurance policy with uninsured motorist coverage and that policy limit is higher than the other driver's liability limit, you can claim the difference between the policy amounts as "under-insured" motorist benefits.

    Hopefully you will be able to satisfy your medical bills or medical insurance reimbursement out of the available insurance money and have something left over for you. Depending on who is claiming what for medical expenses, you may need to talk to a personal injury lawyer.

    Good luck.

  3. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sounds like the typical scenario where are insurance company is taking advantage of an unrepresented person. They know that most people net out far better with a lawyer than without a lawyer. Contact a local and qualified personal injury litigation attorney now. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  4. David Laurence Altman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You may be entitled to be fully compensated not only for your medical bills but for pain & suffering since you were a passenger. However, if you were also the owner of the vehicle that you were riding in, you would be limited to medical expenses because your vehicle is uninsured. If you were a passenger in someone else’s uninsured vehicle your damages would NOT be limited to medical expenses but include pain & suffering damages. You should contact an attorney immediately and do not talk to or make any settlement with the insurance company until after seeing an attorney.

    Attorney responses are PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DO NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY... more
  5. Mariam Mary Margaryan

    Contributor Level 15

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Since you were the passenger of the uninsured vehicle you are entitled to recover for all damages caused by the collision, including pain and suffering. If the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to cover all your losses (medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering), you should consult with an attorney in your area before you accept the policy limits offer.

  6. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . If you have coverage for a vehicle you own or a relative with whom you live has insurance, and it has underinsured motorist coverage higher than the amount of the limits offered you by the at fault driver, you can make an underinsured motorist claim for addl money.

  7. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unlike the driver of your car, yes, you could recover for pain and suffering, but if you are already being offered the policy limit, the only way to recover more would be to find assets of the defendant or find additional defendants, but it doesn't sound like there are any. If you don't have a lawyer, you should sit down with one and at least have a consult to review your options.

  8. Korosh Torkzadeh

    Contributor Level 9

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to speak to an attorney ASAP. There are many issues that exist here and you need a Personal injury attorney to go over each one with you. As a passenger in a car, you have certain rights. You may also have your own UM/UIM insurance that may cover you. I would highly recommend speaking to an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. Many firms, including my own, offer free consultations.

    Under no Circumstances are the comments made on this message board meant to be legal advice or constitute an... more
  9. Steven Mark Sweat

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the policy for the vehicle in which you were riding has underinsured motorist coverage with a limit in excess of the policy limits of the driver that hit you, you may be able to receive additional funds there. For more information on underinsured motorist claims go to our blog:
    http://www.victimslawyer.com/uninsured-motorist...

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more
  10. John N. Demas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If driver that hit you is insured, yes. Alternatively, if you have your own insurance and carry um coverage, you may be able to make a claim with your insurance.

  11. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, it's the driver of an uninsured vehicle that can't recover for pain and suffering. Retain one of the above distinguished lawyers in your state.

  12. Scott J. Corwin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have your own auto insurance policy and have Underinsured Motorist coverage, then you may be able to recover additional damages beyond the third party at fault defendant's policy limits. Not only for your pain and suffering but the overall amount of your claim including medical bills, future medical costs, loss of earnings, future lost wages.

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