In California, when you pay for Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM), you also receive Underinsured Motorist coverage (“UIM”) in the same package. UIM can be critical in personal injury cases. So many drivers maintain only the required minimum auto liability insurance ($15,000 in California for a single accident victim and $30,000 for multiple victims), it’s likely that a driver who causes an accident will be underinsured. When an insurance policy is that small, it typically isn’t able provide enough compensation to cover a personal injury victim’s damages. And in multiple-vehicle crashes, it’s likely that the at-fault driver won’t have enough coverage to compensate multiple victims.
To make a UIM claim, you’ll have to prove that the policy covering the at-fault driver is depleted. When you purchase higher UM/UIM limits, you have more options if you end up pursuing a personal injury claim. When an at-fault driver is uninsured, you can pursue a UM claim against your insurer to recover your full compensation amount. If the at-fault driver is underinsured, you can exhaust that driver’s policy and move onto the available balance of your own UIM limits.
Have at least $100,000 of UM coverage, and $250,000 of UM coverage if you can. More is better. Higher amounts ensures that if your personal injury damages warrant a claim against your own insurer, you’ll know in advance that the policy can cover your compensation needs. If you’re in any auto crash that results in a serious personal injury, discuss your case as soon as possible with an experienced California personal injury attorney. A good personal injury lawyer can help you win compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney will also advise you about your legal options, protect your rights, and fight aggressively to win the compensation you genuinely deserve.