1. Why Should I Hire an Attorney from the Start if the Person Who is at Fault has Insurance?
You should consult a competent Attorney because the Insurance Company for the person at fault does not owe a third party (you!) a duty of good faith and fair dealing under California Law. More often than not, the insurance company wants to rush you and compromise your claim for a lot less compensation than California law allows so they have to pay less money. You should be careful when dealing with insurance companies who often look for any excuse to blame you for the incident or undermine the seriousness of your predicament. Having an experienced and caring personal injury attorney from the start will allow you to assess the true value of your claim and to recover what is fair and just under the law. It is important not to sign any documents or give any statements without consulting an attorney first.
2. What is the Basic Premise of California Personal Injury Laws that apply when someone is injured?
3. What is the Regular Process of a Personal Injury Case?
4. What Types of Damages Are Covered Under California Personal Injury Laws in Case I get Hurt because of Someone Else's Negligence?
5. What if the Person Who Negligently Hurt Me Does not Have Insurance (or not enough Insurance)?
If you have suffered injuries from a car accident, motorcycle accident, bike accident or as a pedestrian, and the responsible party does not have insurance or has a small insurance policy, you are able to recover a high value settlement or verdict as long as you have uninsured motorist coverage under your own auto policy.
It is not unusual for people to have an accident with a car where the other driver just runs away or does not have insurance. What should you do if you encountered this circumstance? You could pursue the uninsured driver but most people who drive without insurance, do not have much to recover from or could file for bankruptcy if you obtain a judgment against them.
There is an easy solution to this dilemma if you (or someone you live with) have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your (their) own auto insurance policy. The UM insurance company pays when the other driver does not have any insurance. Without any penalty to you and without your insurance rates going up, you are able to make a claim against your own insurance company for the damages you suffered as a result of the accident. Never worry about making a UM claim as it is not a gift from your insurance company to you. For years, you have been paying this type of premiums just to be covered in case an accident happens and the other person is uninsured or underinsured. Now that the accident has happened, it is expected that you would use your UM coverage. Again, be assured that your insurance premiums will not go up as a result of making a UM claim as many states, including California, prohibits the insurance companies to increase your premium if the accident was not your fault .
If you were an innocent passenger, you may also use the Uninsured Motorist insurance of the owner of the vehicle you were in, without any penalty whatsoever to the owner. Most of the time, the UM coverage of your auto or the automobile of the person you reside with also kicks in if you were a pedestrian or bicycle rider.
The interesting thing about Uninsured Motorist coverage, is that unlike the responsible party’s insurance policy if they had one, your own insurance company owed you a duty of good faith. This means that they are not supposed to nickel and dime you on your settlement. If your own insurance company wrongfully handles your UM claim, you may be able to bring a separate action against the insurance company for the bad faith handling of your claim and collect punitive damages.
Nina P. Brahman
Experienced Trial Attorney
For more than 28 years, Attorney Nina Brahman has dedicated her efforts to providing competent representation and affordable legal advice to individuals and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties in Southern California.
Ms. Brahman’s greatest assets are her sincere care for her clients, her extensive courtroom experience and her dedication to achieve the best possible results in their legal cases.
Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and All California Counties.