In a typical insurance claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will investigate the crash and offer the injured party/parties settlement awards to cover damages. The victim(s) can negotiate the settlement amount with the company, recover losses, and move on with their lives. California only requires drivers to carry $15,000 in liability insurance. This is not always enough to compensate everything a driver has lost. In a case where the at-fault driver has not purchased coverage in an amount that will satisfy the victim’s losses, the process changes.
There are two types of optional coverage a driver can purchase to protect him or herself in the event of a crash with an uninsured driver. There is uninsured motorist coverage (UMC) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). If you have purchased this coverage, you can typically seek compensation through your own insurance policy after an accident with an underinsured motorist.
The other driver’s insurer will cover losses up to a maximum, and then your own insurance company will cover the remainder. Note that you don’t have to be a driver to use UIM coverage. If an underinsured driver struck you while you were walking or riding a bike in San Jose, you may also be eligible for recovery.
If you do not have UMC or UIM coverage, you may have a means of recovery through a personal injury claim. If the other driver was negligent, you could pursue damages through a lawsuit. The same is true if another party contributed to the crash, such as a vehicle part manufacturer, roadway maintenance team, or third party. Another reason you may need to contact an attorney is if you were at fault or partially at fault for the accident, in which case UIM coverage may not qualify to cover your damages. A consultation with a car accident attorney in San Jose can open the door to recovery options you might not know about.
Henshaw & Henry excels at personal injury actions after car crashes in San Jose. After a collision with a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other damages, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can tell you what to do directly after the crash to help your case, and help you explore your options. Don’t assume you have to pay out of pocket for a car accident you didn’t cause. Let our attorneys investigate your case and give you sound legal advice about what to do. Call (408) 599-1305 to speak with a car accident lawyer in San Jose today.