Uninsured Motorist Coverage Has Some Very Important Procedural Requirements To Recover Damages From Your Insurance Company
What is an uninsured motorist? Simply put, an uninsured motorist is a driver of a car, truck or motorcycle who is driving when there is no liability insurance for the driver, the vehicle involved in the collision or the insurance coverage is denied in the accident For an uninsured motorist claim for bodily injury, the Insurance Research Council of the California Department of Insurance reports that 25% of all drivers in California are uninsured. Vehicles that are 15 years or older are most likely to be uninsured, to the tune of 40%. 16% of all accidents involve uninsured motorist. With this high rate of uninsured motorists on the road, knowing the procedures to follow for making an uninsured motorist claims is critical to preserving your rights under your own insurance policy.
In California, Specific Requirements Must Be Met to File a Claim Through Uninsured Motorist Coverage
There are certain requirements for making both uninsured motorist property damage claims and bodily injury claims. These requirements differ slightly, but if not followed can prohibit any recovery from your own insurance. The procedures for bodily injuries (personal injuries) are found in California Insurance Code §11580.2. The procedures for uninsured property damages claims differ in California Insurance Code §11580.26. For both claims, the first thing required physical contact between the uninsured vehicle and either an insured vehicle or individual. As for uninsured motorist personal injury claims, the following rules apply:
1) The insured or someone on his or her behalf, within 24 hours, must report the accident to the authorities where the accident occurred or to the California Highway Patrol if the accident occurred on a highway.
2) The insured or someone on his or her behalf, within 30 days, files a statement or claim with the insurance company that they have a claim for damages against a person or persons whose identity is unascertainable and set forth facts to support the claim.
There are differences when it comes to making an uninsured motorist property damage claim. While actual contact is still required, the driver of the uninsured motorist or the license plate number of the vehicle must be identified and reported, otherwise, the insurance company can deny the claim for uninsured motorist property damage benefits. The reporting of the property damage must be reported within 10 business days to his or her insurer or agent.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You File Your Claim
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, act promptly to report the accident and advise the insurance company. Also, get legal counsel early to help you avoid making mistakes which can cause you to lose your rights to an insurance policy for which you have paid. If you miss claiming your rights in the insurance proceeds, they have just handed the insurance company a gift of your money.
The Inland Empire Law Office has offices in Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga, and our car accident attorneys are dedicated to providing the best possible legal representation to injured accident victims in the High Desert and throughout Southern California. To learn more about your potential claim, fill out the form on this page or call 909-481-0100 to request a no-obligation consultation.