Why Every Driver Needs Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Why Every Driver Needs Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage & Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

As Santa Monica personal injury lawyers, it’s our job to maximize case value for our injured clients. In our practice, we see all kinds of cases, such as those involving people injured while visiting a business (premises liability) and people injured by a defective product (product liability). But no case is more common than automobile accidents and no situation is more unfortunate than when there is little or no insurance coverage.

Woman by Car - Car Accidents - Santa Monica

Example: No Insurance Coverage

Assume two drivers are involved in a rear-end collision at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA. Doris and her passenger, Paul, are rear-ended by Robert. Doris broke her leg and Robert suffered a concussion and extreme neck pain.

Robert has no auto insurance, and Doris has $50,000.00/$100,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. Assume Robert owns the vehicle he was driving, is fully at fault for the accident, was not driving for business purposes, and has no assets (such as a home, boat, etc.). In this unfortunate situation, an experienced personal injury attorney will tell you there is no money to collect despite Doris and Paul’s significant injuries.

Even though Doris has $50,000.00/$100,000.00 in bodily injury coverage, it does not apply in this situation. That coverage only applies when Doris is the full or partial cause of the accident, and it is for the benefit of the person(s) Doris injures. Because Doris did not cause the accident, her passenger, Paul, cannot benefit from this coverage either.

Example: Minimal Insurance Coverage

Again, assume the two drivers are involved in a rear-end collision at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA. Doris and her passenger, Paul, are rear-ended by Robert. Doris broke her leg and Robert suffered a concussion and extreme neck pain.

Robert has the California minimum required auto insurance coverage of $15,000.00/$30,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. Doris has $50,000.00/$100,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. Assume Robert owns the vehicle he was driving, is fully at fault for the accident, was not driving for business purposes, and has no assets (such as a home, boat, etc.). In this slightly less unfortunate situation, an experienced personal injury attorney will tell you there is a maximum of $30,000.00 to collect for the accident as a whole, and neither Doris nor Paul can recover more than $15,000.00 each despite their significant injuries.

For the same reasons as discussed in the previous example, none of Doris’ insurance coverage will apply for the injuries suffered.

Why Every Driver Needs Uninsured and Underisnured Motorist Coverage​

In both examples discussed above, Doris’ insurance coverage was irrelevant for the injuries she and her passenger suffered. However, this type of coverage does exist and should be purchased by everyone who can afford it: it’s called Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist coverage, more commonly referred to as UM/UIM coverage. Although it would appear those are two different types of coverage, they are always bundled together.

As that name implies, this coverage kicks in when there is not enough (UIM) or no (UM) coverage on the vehicle that was responsible for causing the accident. Little to no coverage literally translates to little or no recovery for your injuries, however significant they may be. That’s why the experienced personal injury lawyers at Sina Rez Law strongly recommend all drivers, whether in Santa Monica, Venice, Brentwood, Westwood, Mar Vista, Marinal Del Rey, West LA, to call their insurance agent today and get a quote to add UM/UIM coverage.

Now, let’s change that example a bit by adding Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist coverage.

Example: Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance Coverage

Again, assume the two drivers are involved in a rear-end collision at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA.  Doris and her passenger, Paul, are rear-ended by Robert.  Doris broke her leg and Robert suffered a concussion and extreme neck pain. 

 

Robert has no auto insurance coverage and Doris has $50,000.00/$100,000.00 in UM/UIM coverage.  Assume Robert owns the vehicle he was driving, is fully at fault for the accident, was not driving for business purposes, and has no assets (such as a home, boat, etc.).  In this situation, an experienced personal injury attorney will tell you there is a maximum of $100,000.00 to collect for the accident as a whole, and neither Doris nor Paul can recover more than $50,000.00 for their significant injuries.  It’s entirely possible that Doris and Paul’s injuries warrant a larger recovery, but they will be limited to Doris’ policy limits. 

 

Many people are shocked to hear how many drivers are on the streets of in Santa Monica, Venice, Brentwood, Westwood, Mar Vista, Marinal Del Rey and West LA with no insurance coverage.  That’s why it’s imperative that you protect yourself and your passengers by adding UM/UIM coverage.  The experienced personal injury lawyers at Sina Rez Law in Santa Monica are trained in recovering under our clients’ UM/UIM policies. 

Speak with an attorney today before your rights expire.

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Speak with a top-rated Santa Monica Personal Injury lawyer today to understand your rights before they expire. Time is of the essence.

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