[COLUMN] Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

WITH so many drivers in California driving without valid insurance coverage, it is important to make sure that your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage.  Your insurance agent is the best source to inquire about in obtaining this coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage have several similarities.  For both, coverage applies only if a vehicle with insufficient liability insurance injured my potential client.  In this situation, a potential client may be able to receive Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from their own policy.  In this case, the insurance they receive will bridge at least some of the gap left by the insufficient liability insurance of the at fault party.  Accordingly, it is important that your attorney look to see if these coverage are available.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage also have significant differences.  Uninsured motorist coverage requires the potential client to have been injured by a vehicle with no available or active liability coverage.  There are many reasons for liability coverage to not be active, one main reason is for none-payment.

By comparison, underinsured motorist coverage requires that the potential client’s Underinsured motorist limits be greater  than the liability limits of the at fault vehicle that injured the client.  (Ins. Code § 11580.2, subd. (p)(2).)

Meaning, that if the potential client has $50,000 in Underinsured Motorist coverage, it is recoverable only if the liability limits of the at fault vehicle that injured the potential client are less than $50,000.

Underinsured motorist coverage also requires that the potential client has exhausted all available liability coverage before claiming coverage.  (Ins. Code, § 11580.2, subd. (p)(3); Wedemeyer v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America (2008) 160 Cal. App.4th 1297, 1303.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a critical, and sometimes overlooked source of help for potential clients who have been injured by vehicles with insufficient auto-liability coverage.

Allow the lawyers at the Law Offices of Tavakoli & Associates navigate your potential uninsured and underinsured motorist claims after a vehicle accident that has caused you injuries.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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If you have further questions, an experienced Injury Lawyer at the Law Offices of Tavakoli & Associates will be able to help you navigate the issues and provide you with the aggressive representation you need and deserve.

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Atty. Payam Tavakoli

Payam Tavakoli is an attorney in Los Angeles practicing civil ligation. As a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and State Bar of California litigation section, he has personally handled and litigated hundreds of cases in California courts (state and federal), including pre-trial settlements as well as jury trials and court trials. His firm consists of staff and associates dedicated to several departments such as personal injury. His personal interest, knowledge, and involvement in the field allow him to be active, yet selective, in representing a qualified number of cases. For more information, please visit http://tavakolilaw.com.

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