As a San Francisco Bay Area driver who’s somewhat confused about your insurance obligations, you have likely encountered the concept of the uninsured/underinsured motorist policy (UM/UIM). This coverage can provide you with a modicum of protection, if an underinsured driver hurts you or damages your vehicle – or leaves the scene of the accident.
UM/UIM insurance is not required by California law. But many industry experts believe that it should be. Some surveys suggest that millions of California drivers either lack insurance or don’t have enough insurance to cover catastrophic events. If one of those drivers gets into a car crash with you, you may be very limited in terms of possible mechanisms to get remunerated.
In some cases, your own (non-UM/non-UIM) policy might help. In other cases, you might be able to sue a third-party or a company indirectly culpable for what happened – the manufacturer of a brake part that failed, for instance. You could also resort to suing the driver himself and trying to access that driver’s assets or that driver’s family’s assets. But these are very complicated, annoying, and legally cumbersome mechanisms.
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you need not rely on the other driver’s coverage (or lack thereof) for protection. For instance, say an unlicensed motorist driving an uninsured car hits you at a stop light and causes $15,000 of damage/medical bills. If you have UM/UIM coverage, you can just tap that coverage to pay those expenses. If not, your path to “getting whole” is whole lot more complicated and difficult.
What if you were involved in an accident with an underinsured/uninsured motorist?
The team here at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega can help you determine your most strategic next steps, whether you were hurt in an auto accident, or you suffered damages in a hit and run. Connect with our team today for a free consultation by calling our toll-free hotline at 866-471-6847, or learn more about us here on our website.