Placeholder canvas
Close Menu

Call us for a free case
evaluation 626-844-7102

Exploring Legal Options for Uninsured Motorist Claims

uninsured motorist

Every driver in California is required to have the proper liability coverage. Yet, many do not. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that nearly 17% of drivers in California are uninsured. Put another way, around one in every six vehicles you pass is likely to be driven by an uninsured motorist. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision is never easy—especially if the other driver is uninsured. At the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, we have extensive experience taking on these claims. Here, our Pasadena uninsured motorist accident attorney provides a comprehensive overview of your legal options. 

Why it Matters: California is a Fault-Based Motor Vehicle Accident State

As background, it is crucial to understand why uninsured motorist accident claims are different. 

California is a fault-based state. Broadly speaking, this means that the person (driver or otherwise) who caused the accident is responsible for the damages. It is a system of legal responsibility that directly impacts how compensation is claimed after an accident with an uninsured motorist. Every crash in Pasadena, CA, should be thoroughly investigated by an experienced attorney. If an uninsured motorist is identified as the at-fault party, all options must be explored to ensure that the victim is able to secure the full and fair financial compensation that they rightfully deserve. 

Three Primary Options for Compensation After a Crash With an Uninsured Motorist

A Claim Directly Against the At-Fault Driver (Often Difficult)

You always have the right to bring a personal injury claim directly against an at-fault party—regardless of whether or not they have the proper insurance coverage. With this type of claim, you are effectively asking the driver to pay for your damages or injuries out of their own pocket. While an option to consider, this route to financial recovery is often challenging. In most cases, uninsured motorists have very limited financial resources. If they do not have enough money or assets, it will be hard, if not outright impossible, for you to get any compensation from them. Still, there are exceptions. There may be some uninsured drivers who have assets to cover the damages that they caused through negligence. 

A Claim Through Your Own Policy (UM/UIM Coverage)

For most people involved in an uninsured motorist accident claim in Pasadena, the more viable option is to make a claim against their own insurance policy. Specifically, their uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. To be clear, this part of your policy is designed exactly for situations like these ones. UM/UIM insurance helps cover your costs when the at-fault driver cannot pay for the damages. The coverage can include medical bills, car repairs, and sometimes even compensation for pain and suffering. Unfortunately, in some cases, your own insurer can be difficult to work with. A top-tier Pasadena, CA, car accident lawyer can help you navigate a UM/UIM claim. 

A Claim Against a Negligent Third Party

Several different parties may share the legal responsibility for the same accident. As such, it is important to consider the option of holding a third party accountable. Even if an uninsured driver bears much of the blame for causing the accident, other negligent parties may have contributed as well. For example, perhaps there was another driver who was also negligent, a company that did not maintain their vehicles properly, a government entity responsible for road maintenance, or a manufacturer of a faulty car part. If such a third party contributed to the crash, you could file a claim against them. If you have any questions about bringing a claim against a third party, an experienced Pasadena auto accident attorney can help. 

Note: These options should not be considered mutually exclusive. If you were hurt in a collision with an uninsured motorist, an experienced Pasadena, CA, car accident attorney can help you explore every potential option to help you secure the maximum financial recovery, including for your vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. 

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2018 - 2024 Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz. All rights reserved.