What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Do I Need It?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage was created by and is fully governed by the California insurance code with the intention of being used to compensate for injuries caused by those lacking adequate injury liability insurance. The coverage compensates for the same damages that you could recover against the at-fault driver, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.
While most of your other insurance covers the cost of medical expenses and loss of earnings, they do not cover the damages for pain and suffering. As a result, some might not see uninsured motorist coverage as worth paying for as it would only recover the cost of your pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering are usually the largest portion of an injury claim and are not insured by any other coverage which is where uninsured motorist coverage can come into play.
What Legal Duties Does My Insurance Company Owe Me?
The insurance company owes its insured a "duty of good faith and fair dealing" meaning that the insurer must tell the insured if something they need to evaluate the claim is missing and help the insured to obtain the information. While insurers are supposed to follow these regulations they often do not which leads to insurance bad faith claims against the insurance companies.
What Happens if I Don't Agree with the Settlement Offer Made?
If you do not agree on either liability or damages, then the insured must serve a formal demand for arbitration by mail upon the insurance company. The claim proceeds much like any other litigation with the usual discovery procedures. The hearing is before a single arbitrator agreed upon by both the injured victim and their insurance company.
If I was Driving for my Job, can I Recover Benefits Under Both Worker's Compensation and Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
You can pursue both worker's compensation and uninsured motorist benefits. Usually, you must wait until the completion of the worker's compensation claim to pursue the uninsured motorist claim, but you are able to pursue the uninsured motorist claim afterward.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims involve many unique and sometimes complex issues. It is always a good idea to consult an attorney who is experienced in handling these claims. Kohn Law Office provides free consultation on injury claims, and all cases are handled on a contingency basis where there is no fee unless there is a recovery. If you have questions, we would love to help, so please call us at 760-721-8182.