What Happens If an Uninsured Motorist Hits Me?
Your chances of being involved in a collision with a driver who can’t pay your damages are greater than you may think: 15 percent of motorists in California are uninsured and even more are underinsured. The personal injury attorneys in our office often meet with people who’ve been injured in accidents with drivers who have no auto insurance or policy limits that are insufficient to cover the cost of their medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. One of the most common questions they’re asked is, “What happens if an uninsured motorist hits me?”
If you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver then you will be responsible for paying all expenses arising from the accident, such as for medical bills and lost earnings. Uninsured motorist insurance will cover these costs, as well as pain and suffering. It is not only important to carry this coverage, but also to purchase a large enough policy.
Most drivers’ policies in California only meet the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements:
$15,000 for injury/death to one person.
$30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
$5,000 for damage to property
Given that most drivers in California only carry minimum liability insurance policies, it is also a good idea to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. Once the at-fault driver’s policy limit has been reached, your auto insurance company would cover the remaining bills up to your policy limit.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage could significantly improve the outcome of an accident with a driver with inadequate insurance or none at all—a situation that the personal injury attorneys in our office know is all too common in California. This additional coverage costs less than a cup of coffee a month and could save you thousands in the event of a collision.
With this coverage, the recovery process after being hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist will be much smoother. Without it, your only option may be to sue the motorist, who most likely will have few assets with which to compensate you.
If you have questions on this subject or on what to do after an auto accident, please call our California office at 888-752-7474 or contact us online.