One Accident with an Underinsured Motorist Can Mean Serious Financial Difficulties for You

Our client, the driver, was traveling at 55 miles an hour when he hit a cow on a rural road in the middle of the night. An investigation revealed that this was not an open range—the cow should not have been on the road.

What happens if you are seriously injured in a car accident and the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured?

California law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, however the Insurance Research Council estimates that 15% of California drivers are uninsured, representing almost four million drivers on California roads. If you get hit by one of these individuals, they will be fined, but you could be left with hefty medical bills that could put you and your family’s financial future at severe risk.

There is also another factor to consider – the underinsured motorist.

California law requires a minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $5,000 minimum coverage for property damage. When it comes to medical costs, this coverage may be far less than what is required for a hospital stay, physical therapy, and potential long-term medical needs.


Protect Yourself from Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers

Make sure you have enough coverage in case the other driver doesn’t.

According to the California Department of Insurance, your insurance company is required to offer you Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Bodily injury coverage pays medical expenses for you and passengers. Property damage coverage pays the cost of repairs to your car not covered by collision coverage up to $3,500. You may not need this if you have collision coverage, but it’s good to check with your agent.

Before you sign the mandatory waiver to forego Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage, evaluate your situation carefully. The costs are generally minor compared with steep cost of medical care and/or repair bills. Review your car insurance policy and make sure you have adequate insurance to protect you, your family, and your assets.


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