An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Can Help Maximize Your Settlement
“This is nothing compared to the pain I have gone through!” “I was in a horrible accident, and this is all I get?” How do you, as a driver on the road, prevent this from becoming your reality after an accident? At Owen, Patterson & Owen, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers leaves no stone unturned in finding every possible source of recovery for our injured clients. The sad fact is that sometimes there is inadequate insurance to provide a fair recovery for injuries sustained in an accident. What is the solution?
Minimum California Auto Insurance Coverage Really Isn’t Enough
Every driver in California is required to carry the minimum insurance coverage of $15,000/$30,000. This means that if you are in an accident and suffer injuries, you will be able to recover the maximum gross amount of $15,000 per individual who is injured, and $30,000 for a single accident if two or more individuals are injured if the adverse driver only has the state-required coverage. But in today’s economy, is $15,000 (less attorney’s fees and expenses) enough to compensate someone for their injuries? I think not.
You May Be Able to Recover More from the Other Driver’s Insurance
If the adverse driver has higher limits, that amount becomes available to you, depending on your damages. But if that amount does not cover your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering, you want to have adequate uninsured motorist coverage (which also includes underinsured motorist coverage) (“UM/UIM”) as an additional source of recovery. You are then able to seek recovery from your own insurance company for the difference between the adverse driver’s policy limits and your policy limits.
Here is how it works: You get into an accident with someone who has the minimum coverage required by the state of California. Your gross settlement is $15,000. You, thankfully, had the foresight to purchase uninsured motorist coverage with $100,000/$300,000 policy limits. You are able to have a maximum gross recovery of $85,000 under your UM/UIM policy; i.e., the difference between the adverse driver’s policy limits and your UM/UIM policy limits.
Pay Attention to the Declaration Page on Your Auto Insurance Policy
When a vehicle owner first obtains insurance, they may waive UM/UIM coverage. Oftentimes, having just spent significant cash on their new wheels, the box is checked, waiving this necessary insurance. Don’t make this mistake! I urge everyone to look at the declaration page of all applicable insurance policies and make sure you have sufficient UM/UIM coverage in case of an accident. If you need us, we are here for you. Contact an experienced California auto accident attorney at 888-OPO-WINS or at firstname.lastname@example.org.