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100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

What will happen if the responsible driver cannot pay?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

After a serious motor vehicle accident, a victim will want to make the responsible party pay for their losses. Many times, doing so is not only just, but also financially necessary. Injury victims need compensation to pay bills and cover their income while recovering. Victims may also have suffered non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

While all drivers in California are supposed to carry insurance, many ignore this law and do not have coverage for the accidents they cause.  Unfortunately, there are also those who leave the scene of injury accidents and never get caught. There are also some cases in which a driver may not realize they do not have insurance or recognize, too late, that their company will refuse to pay a claim. Others may have some insurance but not nearly enough to pay for the damages they caused through their careless driving.

California offers uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage

Californians are able to purchase uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their own automobile policies. Uninsured motorist coverage is available after accidents when the person who causes the accident has no available insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage may be available if the driver does not have enough insurance or available assets to pay.

A victim will have to file a claim for this coverage with their own insurance company. While the insurance company should pay for any valid claim, this in practice is not always what happens. For a number of reasons, a company may delay payment or even deny the claim. After this happens, a victim and their family should evaluate what legal options they might have against their own insurance company. A skilled attorney can offer advice on their legal options.

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