How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Work?
Imagine a situation where you were injured in a car accident because of someone else’s fault. Imagine that the person who injured you and caused damage to your vehicle does not have car insurance. What do you do? You call your insurance and they tell you that you only have “liability” insurance, which will only cover you for liability if you were to injure another party in the collision that is your fault. While you continue to pile up emergency room bills, ambulance bills, car repair bills, you cannot find anyone to pay for them.
You can blame the other driver for causing the car accident or not having insurance. Rather, we recommend being prepared.
To avoid a horrible situation, which we described above, you must purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance policy. This policy will protect you in a situation just like this.
When you purchase car insurance, your insurance broker will ask you if you want to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to be “fully covered” or under “full coverage.” It is also sometimes referred to as UM/UIM insurance. When you are in a car accident and the other driver does not have car insurance, you may be able to recover from your uninsured policy of insurance. Carrying this policy is very important.
Another Important Factor Is the Limits Of Your Coverage
A lot of people believe that carrying $15,000/$30,000 liability protection and $15,000/$30,000 UM/UIM protection is enough. It is not enough, and we are not trying to sell car insurance here. You have to be prepared for the worst situation possible. Imagine that you are seriously injured in a car accident and have a broken leg. You get surgery while you are at the hospital where they install pins and screws. An overnight stay in the hospital can cost anywhere between $30,000 to $40,000 per day. You medical insurance will cover some of you hospital stay, but your co-pays are still outstanding.
A large number of people also believe if they have medical insurance it will cover their treatment for any injury regardless of how they got that injury. That is only partially true. While medical insurance will cover some treatment, all medical insurance companies are entitled to reimbursement for the treatment that they pay for as a result of third party liability. It is called subrogation.
So, if you only have $15,000 UM/UIM policy and reach a settlement for those limits. Out of that settlement sum, you will have to pay or reimburse:
- Your attorney
- Co-pays for medical treatment
- Your medical insurance company for all treatment for which they paid on your behalf
If you only have $15,000 policy, at best, you may walk away with only $5,000 in your pocket.
A reasonable mind would arrive at a conclusion that carrying UM/UIM insurance is more important than carrying liability insurance. However, in California, an individual’s UI/UIM insurance policy limits cannot be higher than the liability insurance policy limits.
We recommend carrying higher UM/UIM policy limits specifically for the bodily injury portion of your policy. You can carry limits as high as $250,000/$500,000, but not many people can afford it. Always try to carry the highest limits you can afford, $100,000/$300,000 or $50,000/$100,000 for $25,000/$50,000. In the end you are protecting yourself.
Contact Sacramento Accident Lawyer About Your Auto Accident Injuries
If you were injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another, regardless of the nature of the underlying accident, it is important to contact an experienced Sacramento accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. The Weinberger Law Firm has the resources and expertise to aggressively litigate your case in court, fighting to get you just compensation for your injury. Call 916-583-7709 today for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case.