You can pursue more than the defendant’s insurance policy limits from your own insurer. You can do this if you have uninsured motorist coverage (UMC) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). The at-fault party’s insurance might be enough to cover your costs. In that case, your lawyer can read and review your insurance policy. This helps them check if you have this coverage and determine next steps.
Although the California Department of Insurance (CDI) regulations do not require you to purchase UMC or UIM, they do require:
- Your insurance provider to offer it
- You to sign a waiver if you refuse it
Calculating Your Recoverable Damages from a Car Accident
California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2 says that you might usually expect to receive recoverable damages from an at-fault driver. This might include lost income, medical care, property damage, pain and suffering, as well as emotional trauma.
According to CDI guidelines, you can use your UMC and UIM coverage for remaining costs. However, you can only use this if the defendant’s insurance coverage gets exhausted.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage pays for damages for you and any passengers in your car if the at-fault driver is uninsured.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pays for the costs associated with your physical injuries if the at-fault driver was underinsured.
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage pays up to $3,500 to repair your damaged car if the uninsured driver can be identified.
However, you might not have to settle for the coverage of the defendant’s insurance policy if it can’t cover costs from the accident. Nevertheless, your accident lawyers in Los Angeles can help you find out your total recoverable damages. At some point, you can get more protection from your own insurer.
Tap into These Added Financial Resources
Your car accident’s costs can grow quickly. If the at-fault driver only has the minimum required insurance, it might not cover your costs. If so, a lawyer may take these steps for you:
- Check the at-fault driver’s insurance policy for coverage limits
- Review your insurance policies to check your UMBI, UIM, UMPD, or UMC coverage
- Find out the maximum coverage under these added resources
You might not understand how multiple insurance policies work together. However, your car accident lawyer can help you put together your policies and the at-fault driver’s policies to maximize your potential compensation.
How Settlement Negotiations Work
When resolving your case with a settlement, your lawyer and the at-fault party or their insurer’s representative might each check the evidence to pinpoint fault and liability.
They might also determine what the claim is worth. They can do this by putting a value to the economic and non-economic parts of your claim. Then, they’ll negotiate for the settlement amount. Afterwards, your legal team can present each settlement offer to you and explain its details. Your case can go to court for final resolution if you can’t reach an agreement.
Documents and Evidence
Your lawyer and the at-fault driver’s lawyer might ask for some or all of these documents or evidence:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- You and the at-fault driver’s insurance policies
- Tax and employment records
- Vehicle damage bills or estimates
Your insurer might ask for these if you are seeking more monetary coverage from uninsured or underinsured motorist protection. In this case, you can give them upon request. You can also include any other documents, photos, or other types of evidence that might support your potential right to financial recovery.
Let Us Help You Maximize Your Compensation
If you got injured in a car accident, you might be able to get financial compensation. Also, you might be able to pursue other sources beyond the defendant’s insurance policy limits if their insurance coverage isn’t enough. Contact Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices now by calling (866) 559-7223 to learn more.