California’s minimum liability insurance ideally protects drivers on the road from basic car accident losses. That’s why the state requires all of its drivers to secure minimum protections before they start driving. A driver without this protection may struggle to financially recover from an accident, as may the people they hit.
Unfortunately, hundreds of drivers in California refuse to acknowledge the benefits of driving while being comprehensively insured. If you get into an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, securing the support you need to recover from your accident may feel impossible.
The good news is that accident survivors like you can work with Triumph Law’s personal injury lawyers to pursue personal injury cases after relevant accidents.
Understanding an Underinsured and Uninsured Car Accident
California requires every driver with a license and a car to secure the state’s minimum liability coverage insurance to legally operate vehicles on the road. According to California Insurance Code §11580.1b, this coverage sees drivers secure:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
Drivers also have the right to secure additional coverage, including personal injury protection or PIP.
Even so, there are drivers who will knowingly take to the road without securing the protection they need. These drivers can face criminal and civil consequences if their negligence results in an accident.
As a car accident survivor, you specifically garner the right to take an underinsured or uninsured driver to civil court if you can prove that their negligence resulted in your losses. Note, however, that the state can only issue a criminal case against someone driving without insurance, not someone who secured the state’s minimum liability but no additional protections.
Protecting Yourself from Underinsured and Uninsured Car Accidents
Underinsured and uninsured drivers put themselves and everyone around them in substantial economic danger when they take to the road. Fortunately, you can plan around that negligence. While you can’t control another driver’s behavior, you can opt to invest in underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, or UMC, when purchasing your coverage.
UMC allows you to pre-emptively protect yourself from the financial consequences of a roadway accident. If the driver who hits you doesn’t have the insurance or other means to help you contend with the cost of your recovery, UMC allows you to turn to your own insurance provider for support.
That said, many insurance providers are reluctant to provide their customers with the comprehensive support that those customers deserve after an accident. If a provider denies your UMC claim or underestimates the value of your losses, let our attorneys know. We can step in and manage communications with insurance adjusters for you.
Taking Action After an Underinsured and Uninsured Car Accident
Underinsured and uninsured drivers can’t turn to an insurance provider to help you contend with the cost of your losses. Instead of letting these drivers off of the hook, though, you can work with California’s underinsured and uninsured car accident attorneys to take liable parties to civil court.
You can file a personal injury claim against the person or parties responsible for your roadway accident. In doing so, you must make claims regarding the identity of the party liable for your losses and the total value of your accident. You must also submit evidence like footage of your accident, expert witness statements, or post-accident invoices that defend your right to a case.
Submitting a personal injury claim to a relevant California civil court affords you the right to fight for post-accident compensation. If your case moves forward, you can either negotiate for a settlement with your liable party or have a judge and jury oversee your case.
The Downsides of Relevant Legal Action
Taking an uninsured or underinsured driver to civil court does give you the right to demand damages equivalent to or exceeding the value of your losses. That said, so many drivers forgo insurance primarily because they don’t have the funds to contend with biannual or monthly fees.
With that in mind, you may win the right to damages in your civil case. The person you charge with your losses may not be able to give you a lump sum settlement that adequately addresses your expenses. You may have to agree to monthly payments or settle for significantly less than you initially anticipated.
As such, discussing the time and economic value of an underinsured or uninsured car accident case with an attorney before you begin compiling your complaint is important. Our team can determine what the economic outcome of your case might look like and help you otherwise address the extent of your accident’s losses.
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Filing Your Complaint Within California’s Deadlines
Taking action after a car accident can be difficult, no matter how severe your injuries or other losses may be. However, if you do want to bring your losses to the attention of a civil judge, you must do so within California’s statute of limitations. California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 caps your actionable time on the second anniversary of your accident.
What does this mean for you? It means that in that two-year period, you need to gather all of the evidence you need to establish the identity of an at-fault party. You should also prepare to present evidence of your case’s value and your desired compensation.
If you can’t argue your point by the time that two-year deadline expires, you waive your right to action in civil court. Fortunately, our underinsured and uninsured car accident lawyers in California are prepared to help you build a comprehensive civil lawsuit. The sooner you connect with our team members, the more we can do in the time allotted to you.
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Don’t Let Someone Else’s Lack of Insurance Inhibit Your Recovery
California, along with every other state, requires its drivers to secure minimum liability coverage before they take to the roads. Unfortunately, there are too many drivers who see those insurance requirements as optional. If you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t take the need for insurance seriously, your road to recovery may be smattered with obstacles.
Fortunately, you retain the right to take an underinsured or uninsured driver to civil court in the wake of a severe accident. You can sit down with a California underinsured and uninsured car accident lawyer to discuss the value of a case as well as your best steps forward. Contact Triumph Law online or over the phone today to learn more.
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