Throughout Sacramento, car accidents occur almost daily, many with uninsured motorists. Unfortunately, about one out of every three drivers on our roadways in California is uninsured. Many other drivers are underinsured.
It is illegal for an individual to drive in the State of California without proper car insurance. However, this has not stopped many people from doing so. The Insurance Research Council has reported that in the state of California, approximately 22% of drivers are uninsured. Many of these uninsured motorists drive very unreliable and unsafe cars. Furthermore, many of them get into accidents. Nearly one out of every two automobile accidents is caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What Remedies are There When You are in an Accident with Uninsured Motorists?
If you are involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist, there are remedies available to you. Many automobile-accident victims believe that there is nothing they can do if they are hit by an uninsured motorist. This is simply not true. Even though the individual did not have insurance coverage or perhaps does not have adequate insurance coverage, you can still file a suit against that person and obtain a judgment against him or her. If the uninsured or underinsured motorist has any assets, you can then enforce your judgment lien against the individual.
Additionally, under your own insurance policy, you should have uninsured motorist coverage. Everyone who purchases automobile insurance coverage in California must be offered uninsured motorist insurance coverage as required by law. Unless you have specifically declined it in “writing,” you should have the coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is generally designated on the first page of your automobile insurance policy with the letter(s) “U” or “UM.” Your uninsured motorist coverage is specifically designed to compensate you in the event of a loss as a result of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
It is important to note that you do have to be a driver or a passenger of a vehicle in order to be eligible for benefits under an uninsured motorist policy. Even if you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, or bystander, you are eligible for benefits so long as the injuries you sustained are the result of an uninsured or underinsured motorist. In addition, your uninsured motorist coverage also provides benefits to passengers in your vehicle or others who may have been driving your vehicle with your permission.