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Options for victims of uninsured motorist collisions

Southern California is known for a high amount of congestion on the roads, which can increase the chance of auto accidents.
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    December 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Los Angeles boasts a temperate climate free from many of the winter hazards that other cities around the country have to face. It is, however, known for a high amount of congestion on the roads, which can increase the chance of auto accidents. Other risks that increase the chance of wrecks include drunk drivers, distracted drivers or fatigued drivers.

The incidence of motor vehicle accidents includes many variations such as cars and trucks, cars and motorcycles, single vehicles, multiple vehicles and more. Statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety indicate that for 2010, the city of Long Beach experienced:
- 1,874 injury or fatal car accidents
- 215 of those accidents involved motorcycles
- 257 of those accidents involved pedestrians
- 224 of those accidents involved bicyclists
- 215 of those accidents involved alcohol

Further records indicate that 163 accidents in the city for 2010 were hit-and-runs, 254 were attributed to speeding and 254 happened between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 2:59 a.m.

Requirements for auto insurance in California

While California law does require that all drivers must carry a minimum level of automobile insurance coverage, there are still some motorists who choose to ignore this law. Accidents caused by uninsured drivers carry additional challenges for victims than those in which the at-fault driver is properly insured.

The minimum insurance coverage required by California state law includes a policy that provides payment up to $15,000 for injuries sustained by one person, up to $30,000 for injuries sustained by multiple people and up to $5,000 for any property damage. Drivers found to be in violation of these laws--in other words, driving without insurance--are subject to fines and other penalties.

People that are involved in accidents caused by drivers without car insurance may need to rely in part on their own insurance policies for help. Carrying what is referred to as uninsured motorist coverage on your policy will ensure that you have the ability to do this.

What about underinsured drivers?

Some drivers may carry the minimum amount of insurance required yet you as the victim may still not be able to have all of your expenses covered. This can happen when the amount of damage exceeds the at-fault driver's coverage limits. In this case, the driver is referred to as an underinsured driver.

While having insufficient insurance is not against the law, it can be problematic for victims in such accidents, again potentially leaving people to rely on their own insurance for full compensation. Underinsured motorist coverage can be carried just like uninsured motorist coverage and is always recommended for such circumstances.

Options for victims

If you have been involved in an accident caused by a driver either with no insurance coverage or with insufficient insurance coverage, you should seek the advice of an attorney. While certainly your own policy may be able to cover you, there could be options in addition to that. Working with an experienced lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for you.

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