Your Rights When You Have Been Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver
Even though California laws mandate that vehicle operators carry minimum levels of insurance, too many drivers are on the roads without the required coverage, and the incidences of accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers is significant. Typically, when you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you turn to your own insurance company, which in turn seeks damages from the wrongful party’s carrier. But what if the other party only had insurance to cover the loss of his or her own vehicle, or had no insurance at all? What are your options?
Determine Whether You Had Coverage for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
Most automobile insurance companies offer riders, which can be purchased for an additional premium, that provide certain levels of coverage in the event the other driver was either without insurance or had inadequate insurance to cover your losses. This coverage is customarily optional, so you will need to look at your policy to determine if you have coverage. Don’t rely on your agent to tell you about the coverage. Your insurer has a vested interest in paying as little as possible to settle your claim. Ask an experienced attorney to determine the extent of your coverage.
Determine Whether There Are Other Potentially Responsible Parties
There may be other contributing factors in your accident. Perhaps the other driver’s vehicle malfunctioned due to a poorly designed or manufactured component. You can seek damages from anyone within the chain of distribution of a defective or dangerous tire, brake, steering wheel or other automobile component.
There may have been defects in the roadway, signage or traffic lights that contributed to your accident. Potholes, gravel on the road, a defective drainage system that flooded the road—there are many potential causes of a car crash.
Was the Other Party Intoxicated?
If you were injured by a drunk driver and you can show that he or she was intoxicated and had been served alcohol by a bar, restaurant or other establishment, you may have a dram shop or social host liability claim. Typically, this requires that the person serving the alcohol either knew that the person was drunk, or served enough alcohol to reasonably conclude that the person was inebriated.
Contact the Law Offices of J. Lewis & Associates
To discuss your legal needs with an experienced Riverside motor vehicle accident injury lawyer, contact our office online or call us toll-free at 9516820488. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Se Habla Espanol