UNDERINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENTS
The minimum liability insurance required in California affords only $15,000.00 per person and no more than $30,000.00 per accident for personal injuries claims including any medical expenses which you reasonably required as a result of such an incident, any loss of income or earnings, any diminution in your ability to earn money in the future, or any assorted out-of-pocket expenses such as household and related help and assistance along with loss of ability to enjoy or engage in certain activities as a result of injuries, pain and suffering, and other such subjective losses for which you are entitled to monetary compensation. Approximately 80% of Californians only maintain minimum coverage.
The average cost per day for a hospital admission from an automobile accident in Los Angeles County is over $10,000. Almost any serious automobile accident will exhaust a minimum insurance coverage.
Your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, in writing. Coverage is usually designated on the face page of your automobile insurance policy by the letter or letters “U” or “UM”. Underinsured motorist coverage only applies if the other driver’s liability limits are lower than your uninsured coverage limits. Thus, if the driver who causes the accident has a liability policy of $30,000 per person, you are not entitled to any uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits if your uninsured motorist coverage is for $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident. If, however, you have uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, you could receive up to the $70,000 difference from your own company for an injury to one person, and up to $240,000 additional insurance from your own company if there were injuries to three or more of your family members, or passengers in your car.
Many, if not most insurance companies will allow you to purchase uninsured motorist benefits in an amount equal to your liability policy. Thus, if you have a $100,000/$300,000 liability policy for example, you usually will be able to purchase uninsured motorist benefits in that amount as well. Many insurance companies will automatically issue a $30,000/$60,000 policy of uninsured motorist benefits when issuing a policy with higher liability limits. If this happens to you, contact your broker immediately and find out how much more it would cost to have your uninsured motorist benefits raised to match your liability policy limit. Additional coverage is very affordable and Fortune Magazine has determined that higher uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be the best financial investment providing the highest return for the average person.
When you purchase uninsured motorist coverage as part of a policy, it affords coverage for you and all members of your family who reside in your household with you. It would also include any minor children of yours who do not reside with you or your children who are away at college. You do not have to be an automobile driver or passenger in order to be eligible for benefits. Your automobile UM policy applies even if you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or bystander, so long as the motorist who caused your injuries was uninsured or underinsured. Your uninsured motorist coverage also applies for the benefit of other passengers in your car or other people driving your car with your permission, and who are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Your underinsured motorist claim will never go to court, instead, California provides that all claims be arbitrated in order to quickly and economical resolve your claim. Do not be fooled by the informality of an underinsured claim. The stakes are high and the process can be daunting if the procedural rules are not complied with.
You need an attorney well versed in underinsured motorist accidents who will get you the right medical personnel to get you care you need and a settlement commensurate with your injury today and the consequences tomorrow.
FOCUSING ON COMPENSATION
Liberty & Associates has the experience and knowledge needed when encountering any underinsured motorist accidents. With over three decades of experience, Liberty & Associates has the resources and is the dedicated Santa Monica underinsured accident lawyer you need to follow through with your claim.
Liberty & Associates will thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident or incident in order to determine the legal strategy to take in your particular situation. During your initial consultation, we will fully discuss your case, including potential sources of information not readily apparent, including potential witnesses, video and audio recording which must be acquired quickly before they are recorded over, law enforcement reports and investigation whose initial conclusions can be altered if quickly dealt with early on. Liberty & Associates will try to answer all of your questions. The firm is committed to providing you personal attention throughout the course of your claim and will pursue every possible means of compensation on your behalf. Whether you have medical costs, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, our efforts will be towards maximizing your potential settlement.
It is never easy to get through a difficult situation where you suffer an underinsured motorist accident. We strive to provide caring and compassionate representation. Our goal is simple: resolve your claim fairly, effortlessly and as quickly as possible. If your case requires that a lawsuit be pursued, rest assured that the experienced and successful attorneys at Liberty & Associates will still have the same goal.
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Underinsured Motorist Accidents