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What If I Was Hurt by an Uninsured or Under-Insured Driver in My Commercial Vehicle?

By Glendale Personal Injury Attorney on October 15, 2022

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage in California is designed to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. This coverage can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident.

Underinsured motorist coverage is useful when the other party has insurance but does not have enough liability limits to cover for your damages and injuries. Therefore, having higher underinsured motorist coverage can protect your interests in the future when the responsible driver has minimum liability limits.

In California, the typical family automobile policy would cover not only the vehicles defined in the declarations to the policy but also the newly acquired vehicles. Although there are some variations in the definition of a newly acquired vehicles, a typical clause defines it as:

An automobile, ownership of which is acquired by the named insured who is the owner of the described vehicle, if the named insured notifies the company within 30 days following the date of its delivery to him or her, and if it either replaces an automobile described in this policy or the company insures all automobiles owned by the named insure at such delivery date.

Important components in this clause that may also appear in other definitions are the following:

  • The automobile must be “acquired by the named insured” who is the owner of the described automobile;
  • The named insured must give notice within 30 days; and
  • Either the vehicle must replace an automobile described in the policy, or the company must insure all automobiles owned by the named insured on the delivery date.

New drivers who have just purchased a new car must be aware and be on notice to add their newly purchased vehicle to the policy before operating the vehicle. Although, in some instances, as discussed above, a named insured may have valid coverage on his newly acquired vehicle for a specific time; adding the vehicle to the policy at the time of the purchase would be the best course of action to ensure valid policy and coverages.

If you don’t already have a policy, you’ll need proof of liability coverage before legally driving or registering your new car in California.

California Minimum Liability Car Insurance Requirements

In the state of California, all drivers are required to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to operate a vehicle legally. The minimum liability insurance requirements are as follows:

Auto Insurance Liability

  • $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
  • $5,000 for property damage

If a driver does not have the minimum liability insurance and is involved in an accident, they may be subject to fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Additionally, if the driver is found to be at fault in the accident, they may be held financially responsible for any damages or injuries incurred by the other party.

To avoid legal or financial penalties, all drivers in California need to ensure they have the minimum liability insurance before operating a vehicle.

Insurance Company Policies

There are many people who purchase auto/commercial policies without understanding their coverage. Insurance companies may mislead their customers by not providing enough information about the coverage or providing incorrect information. This can lead to customers being unable to make claims when they need to or not getting the full coverage they paid for. Understanding your policy before purchasing it is essential to ensure you are getting the coverage you need.

If you have a house or a property, the equity in your property is the amount that you would get after paying off your loans and mortgages. Having low limit auto insurance policies on your automobile would place your real properties that you own at risk. Therefore, you must consider reviewing your assets and understand your auto insurance coverages in detail before purchasing auto policies. Paying less for your insurance premiums by having low-limit auto policies does not necessarily protect your assets and your interests if you are involved in an auto accident.

Hire a Lawyer to Explain Your Insurance Policy

After a car accident, consult with an experienced attorney to understand your insurance policy and options. Your lawyer can help you understand your coverages and steps to protect your interests. Your Glendale car accident lawyer can also pursue a personal injury claim against the driver if you have been injured.

Contact Aratta Law Firm (818) 550-1111 for an immediate consultation.

Posted in: Personal Injury