Getting into a crash with an uninsured driver could have severe consequences. In an Orange County accident, recovering compensatory damages is relatively straightforward if you can show that the other driver was at fault. You file a claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver and then work towards having your claim settled. In doing so, you can also seek the help of an Orange County car accident attorney.
However, things get complicated when your accident and related losses are caused by an uninsured driver. In such a case, you no longer have the option of filing for damages with the driver’s insurance company. If you suffer a crash like this, you may be at a loss as to how you can seek compensation.
The bad news is that you will have a harder time seeking damages to cover your losses if an uninsured driver is involved. The good news is that you will still have plenty of options that may help you pay the medical costs, vehicle repair costs, and other expenses necessitated by the crash. Here is a look at these options.
Car Accident Lawsuit
One of your legal options to recover compensation from an uninsured driver is to file a lawsuit for damages. This brings your claim into the domain of a court and the court can order the uninsured driver to pay you compensation if your right is proved.
However, this is typically not a viable option. This is because a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance is also not likely to have any financial resources to pay for your damages. So it is best to consult a reliable lawyer and investigate whether the at-fault driver has any assets before you decide to launch a lawsuit.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, also known as UIM coverage, is optional coverage for your auto insurance policy. UIM coverage is not mandatory under California auto insurance laws. However, it covers you in the event your vehicle is hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. You may also be able to recover damages under UIM coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
However, UIM coverage will compensate you up to the maximum amount of coverage you purchase with your policy. If your damages from the crash are substantial, UIM coverage alone may not be able to cover them.
MedPay is another optional coverage that is available with California auto insurance policies. As the name suggests, this particular type of coverage helps you meet the medical costs associated with an accident. As with UIM coverage, the insurer is obliged to cover you for medical costs only up to the maximum amount of the MedPay coverage.
It is important to note here that MedPay is no-fault insurance. This means that you will be able to recoup medical costs associated with your crash-related injuries whether or not you were at fault in causing the crash.
Collision Insurance Coverage
Collision coverage is meant to financially protect you in the event that your vehicle suffers damage in a collision. This type of coverage is typically available when your vehicle is damaged by another vehicle, pedestrian, or property such as a wall or a fence. So it helps you pay for the costs of vehicle repairs or replacement in case your vehicle suffered damage in an uninsured driver crash.
Collision coverage is optional for auto insurance policyholders in California and you can opt to have it added to your auto insurance policy.
Exploring Your Options
As noted above, you will not be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver if the driver is uninsured. In such a case, you should know all your legal options in order to have your crash-related losses covered.
Sometimes, crash victims are not aware of all the insurance options they have available. This is where a good lawyer can help. A lawyer can help you look through all the coverage options you can use so that your damages are completely covered.
Hiring a Reliable Orange County Car Accident Attorney
Crashes involving uninsured motorists are tricky in that recovering compensation can be quite a hassle. Here at the Crockett Law Group, we fully understand this. This is why we strive to make the process easier for you by providing you detailed and in-person guidance. Our lawyers also help you tap into all the available coverage options, make sure the insurers don’t raise unfair objections, and enable you to recover damages without losing any time. Reach out to us today to discuss your Orange County crash claim with our lawyers.