§ What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?In California, uninsured motorist coverage is governed by the Uninsured Motorist Act, under California Insurance Code section 11580.2. Uninsured motorist coverage basically requires a driver’s insurance company to compensate its insured for damages incurred by a driver who is either uninsured or does not have adequate coverage to cover all of your damages. When another driver does have insurance, but not enough to cover your damages, your insurance may compensate you under what is called underinsured motorist policy. The Uninsured Motorist Act also requires insurance companies to include uninsured motorist coverage in every automobile liability insurance policy unless it is specifically declined by the insured in writing.
Who’s Covered in My Uninsured Motorist CoverageUninsured motorist coverage provides coverage to the driver of the vehicle, passengers, and any family member of the named insured who reside in the policy owner’s household. Therefore, a spouse or a child who lives with you can also file a claim under your uninsured motorist if they were struck by a hit and run driver. Furthermore, minor children (under the age of 18) who do not live with the named insured would also be covered under the UIM policy. Also, it is not essential that you were in your car to receive benefits from your UIM policy after being struck by a hit and run driver. Uninsured motorist applies in situations such as:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle collisions
- Motorcycle accidents
- Passenger in the vehicle
- Other people driving your car with your permission
Accident with uninsured motorist: Your own Insurance Policy may helpIn most instances if you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your motor vehicle insurance then you may be able to have a claim against your insurance company for compensation of your injuries and other damages. Many other motorists have under insured motorist coverage or (UIM); meaning having only the minimum legal and financial obligation as required by state law. This form of coverage under your insurance pays the difference between the policy maximum limit of the under insured defendant and the damages you incurred. Under such circumstances your uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage can compensate you for the damages you have sustained.
Uninsured coverage from your insurance policy pays for such damages as follows:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Pain and Suffering
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
When Insurance Does not pay for Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage: Lawsuit & Punitive Damages for Breach of Contract Bad Faith against Insurance CompanyIf your insurance provided wrongfully denies a car accident claim, low balls a claim or delays the payment of compensation; you may be able to bring a lawsuit for punitive damages. Under our legal system insurance companies owe those covered as well third party claimants an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing”. California Insurance Code Section 790.03 places standards which insurance companies must follow when dealing with insurance claims; failure to comply with these standards will subject insurance companied to Tort Claim and thus Punitive damages
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.Individuals can file lawsuits against insurance providers under both contract claim and a tort claim. Under a contract claim plaintiff will receive only those damages suffered; while under the tort claim most U.S. jurisdictions allow for the issuance of Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are given because Insurance companies are required to pay claims properly and promptly in “Good Faith”. If you have been involved in an auto accident and your insurance provider refuses to pay out your rightful claim our Los Angele Bad Faith Insurance lawyers will represent you in the court of law and make sure insurance companies are held responsible for the duties they own to insured auto drivers.
Uninsured Motorist Laws in CaliforniaCalifornia Minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles are as follows:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
- Car Accidents and general motor vehicle accidents
- Truck Accidents: Including 18-wheeler collisions
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bus and Train Accidents
- Wrongful Death Law Suites