UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
This guide will help you some understanding of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What Happens If You Get Into An Accident, And The Other Car Hit You Doesn't Have Insurance?Getting involved in a car accident is stressful enough, but if somebody T-boned you and what would happen if the at-fault driver doesn't even have insurance? Does that mean you do not have recourse? Not necessarily. If you have UMC/UIM, then you may be able to recover. UMC is short for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and UIM is for Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
In California, the insurance companies are required by law to offer uninsured motorist coverage to drivers who sign up for their insurance. So if you were smart and signed up for the added coverage, then you will be covered whatever amount of UMC coverage you purchased. Most drivers choose to purchase the same amount of coverage for UMC. So if your bodily injury liability coverage is $100,000/$300,000, then it makes sense you opt for the same amount of coverage for your UMC.
In this case, then you will have to work with your insurance to get compensated for your injury under the UMC plan. Even though it is your insurance company and you paid for your coverage, UMC litigation is more like any other adversary litigation. The insurance company will try to give as little as possible. Thus I highly recommend hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your UMC case.
The At-Fault Driver Has Insurance, But What If The Coverage Is Not Enough To Cover For Your Damages?What if the other driver is at fault, and his insurance only covers $15,000, and your damages exceed that as in most bodily injury cases? What can you do? If you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), then you are covered … well up to the maximum coverage of your UIM.
UIM could be trickier at times as you will have to deal with the other driver's insurance and your insurance. As I mentioned above, these UMC and UIM cases are just like any adversary proceedings. Even though it is your insurance company, they will not just give it to you. You will have to prove that you have those injuries and the accident has caused those injuries.
UIM will cover whatever the other driver's insurance did not cover up to the maximum coverage. If your coverage is $100,000/$300,000, and the other driver's insurance paid up $15,000, and your damages are $50,000. Then the best case scenario with the best lawyer, you will recover $35,000, not $50,000 as the other driver's insurance company already paid for $15,000.