UNINSURED MOTORIST ACCIDENTS
While the national average of motorists who are uninsured is 16.1%, the rate is 25% in California and, in Los Angeles County, the rate is over 50%. 14% of automobile accidents are caused by uninsured motorists. 40% of uninsured motorists operate a vehicle over 15 years old.
Your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured 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”.
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.
Uninsured motorist vehicle coverage comes into play whenever anyone who is insured is injured by a driver who is uninsured. An uninsured driver includes a hit-and-run driver. California law requires that there be contact between the hit and run vehicle and your vehicle. If there is no contact, the hit and run claim will be denied. Contact, however, need not be major, even the slightest touching is sufficient. While the policy may say that you are required to file a police report, under the law, you may still proceed with a hit and run claim even with have done so. However, an unidentified hit-and -run driver is not considered an “uninsured motorist” for the purpose of damage to your car.
Uninsured motorist coverage is intended to compensate you for both your financial and your non-financial losses which you sustain, and for which you have a legal claim as a result of the negligence of an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. Your financial losses would include 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.
Non-financial damages include such elements as 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 under the law. There is usually no exact way of pinpointing an appropriate amount of compensation for this factor, but insurance people and attorneys are often able to come to an accommodation based upon the severity of the injury, whether it fully heals, what kinds of treatment are necessary and how much time is required in order to achieve an optimum recovery.
Your uninsured 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 a uninsured 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 uninsured 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 uninsured motorist accidents. With over three decades of experience, Liberty & Associates has the resources and is the dedicated Santa Monica uninsured 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 uninsured 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.
Contact Liberty & Associates to discuss your uninsured motorist accident claim.
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