Why is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) Important?

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Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Recommend Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Recommend Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

May 24, 2023

Car accidents happen every day, and more than 269,000 Californians were injured in 2019 motor vehicle collisions, according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). While California requires all drivers to maintain minimum auto insurance policy limits, state law does not mandate that you purchase what’s known as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM coverage).

Why is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) Important?

However, with California ranking among the Top 10 States With the Most Uninsured Motorists, purchasing this type of coverage is highly recommended by virtually every personal injury and car accident lawyer. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately 16.6% of California motorists were uninsured as of 2019.

Let’s take a look at what uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage entails in the sections below. We’ll also review the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage and provide information on how to file your Los Angeles car accident claim today.

What are California’s Minimum Insurance Policy Limits?

According to the California DMV, the minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles entails:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for damage to property

While these minimums may be adequate for minor car accident injuries, they often do not fully cover more severe/catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Furthermore, if you’re seriously injured by an at-fault driver who has either no insurance or only basic coverage, you could end up paying out-of-pocket for expenses like medical bills and more. Accordingly, California drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which will help protect them fully – even in an accident involving a hit-and-run (or when the at-fault driver’s policy is insufficient).

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is a type of auto insurance policy that protects individuals involved in accidents caused by drivers who do not have insurance. Additionally, UM protects you as a driver if the other individual(s) involved your car accident possess inadequate coverage. A UM policy is intended to compensate you financially for various losses:

  • Physical injuries
  • Medical costs
  • Miscellaneous damages (e.g. pain and suffering or emotional trauma)

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will actually act as the insurance company of the driver who is placed at fault. As a result, you can make a claim to your insurance company even if you are injured by an uninsured motorist. As stated previously, this coverage is also available in the case of hit-and run accidents, where the other driver’s identity is unknown.

Uninsured Motorist coverage is usually divided into two major components:

  • Uninsured motor vehicle bodily injury (UMBI)
  • Uninsured motor vehicle property damage (UMPD)

UMBI includes:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Various additional damages resulting from the accident

In contrast, UMPD covers any physical damage caused to your car or property by an uninsured motorist.

Why is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Important?

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is recommended for a number of reasons – one of which happens to be its affordability. Auto insurance providers typically offer UM coverage for a few additional dollars per month on whatever type of policy you select.

But in addition to the fact that UM makes smart financial sense (especially when compared to what you would have to pay out-of-pocket for a serious car accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver), there are a number of additional benefits to having this type of coverage:

  • You’re covered even in the event of a pedestrian accident – UM coverage actually protects you if you’re ever hit by a car while walking (or even biking).
  • You can drive with peace of mind knowing that you are covered for uninsured drivers. This is an additional layer of protection that ensures you’re financially protected in the event of a car accident caused by a driver who has no insurance or inadequate coverage.
  • Protected in the event of a hit and run where the at-fault driver flees and cannot be identified. Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection for injuries and property damage even when the other party is unable to be identified.
  • Protected from uninsured motorists – if an accident is caused by an uninsured vehicle, the coverage will ensure that you receive compensation for any injuries or damages. This coverage fills in the gaps left by an uninsured driver, so you can recover your total amount of losses.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage can include payments for medical expenses such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation, and other treatments. You may be compensated for your lost wages as well if you are unable to work due to your car accident injury.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage for car accident property damage helps pay for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle or other damaged property in a crash caused by an uninsured vehicle. This is especially helpful if you do not have collision coverage or if your at-fault driver’s insurance does not cover all of the physical damages.
  • Your premiums will typically not be affected if you are placed at-fault for a car accident. If you make a claim on your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, it’s usually considered “no fault.” As a result, it is unlikely that your insurance rates will increase even if you are at fault in the accident.

Do I Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Insurance companies are in business to make money. This can lead to these massive corporations denying or undervaluing legitimate car accident claims from injured victims. If you are involved in a car accident with injury – whether it’s just minor scrapes and bruises or something more severe like a traumatic head injury or spinal cord damage – having an experienced attorney on your side can ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve.

In fact, a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) confirms these important statistics:

  • When injured claimants have private legal representation, their settlements are 40% higher.
  • When compared with those who represent themselves, the average insurance payout for injured victims is 3.5x higher when they hire private attorneys.
  • The victims who are represented by a private attorney receive 85% of the money that all insurance companies pay for bodily injuries.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Contact the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers at DLG Today for a Free Consultation

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is a California-based car accident and personal injury firm with a dedicated team of proven attorneys available and at your service 24/7. We have more than 25 years of experience helping injured victims like you secure over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts. Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to take the first step toward obtaining the maximum damages award you deserve for your car accident injury.

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