Agoura Hills Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer
Traffic in Southern California can be quite insane but it usually follows a system of sorts. You won’t get very far if you hesitate, so it’s really important to stay alert and take your opportunities when they come along. Agoura Hills is a little more laid-back than the heart of Los Angeles, but still has that agro vibe on the freeways. Thankfully everyone is required to carry a certain amount of liability insurance. However, that doesn’t mean everyone necessarily follows the law. What happens if you’re hit and injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver?
Fortunately there is a backup for those types of scenarios, which aren’t as uncommon as you might suspect. If you ever are injured by an uninsured (or underinsured) motorist, it’s a good idea to work with an Agoura Hills uninsured motorist lawyer before pursuing your claim. These cases are complicated and you want to make sure that you are getting the most money possible for your injuries. Walch Law is who you want fighting for you. Call them today to learn more.Uninsured Motorist Coverage: What’s Required in California
If you drive an automobile or motorcycle in California, you’re required to carry a base level of liability insurance in the event you’re at fault for another party’s injuries. Liability insurance for property damage to another party’s vehicle may be waived, although it could be quite expensive to pay out of pocket if a claim is filed against you (what if you totaled someone else’s Ferrari, for example?). This requirement is meant to ensure a greater degree of accountability on California’s roadways, given the frequency of traffic accidents.
Of course, not everyone follows the law as they should. So if you’re rear-ended and seriously injured by an uninsured motorist, what happens? Drivers lacking adequate insurance may be ticketed and fined if they’re unable to show proof of insurance during routine traffic stops. But if they’re at-fault for an accident, they may face even steeper fines, the impoundment of their vehicle, and license suspension.
But that doesn’t help you. This is why California also requires motorists to carry the following minimum coverage for accidents caused by uninsured/underinsured motorists:
- Bodily injury: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
- Property damage: $3,500 minimum (may be waived if rejected in writing)
This means you’ll be filing an accident claim with your own insurance company if the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks enough coverage. Given the complexities involved, however, you may want to speak with an Agoura Hills uninsured motorist lawyer first.Determining Fault for an Agoura Hills Uninsured Motorist Accident
Car accidents almost always result from one or more party’s negligence, which refers to a party’s failure to act in a reasonable manner with respect to a given situation. If someone rear-ends you, for example, they most likely breached their duty of care (or legal requirement to act in a reasonable manner). Either they were distracted, failed to leave a safe following distance, or otherwise drove in an unsafe manner. If this breach causes an injury accident, then they may be held liable for negligence. To be liable is to be financially responsible for compensating the plaintiff (injured party) for their losses.
Accident claims typically are settled out of court through negotiations with insurance companies. However, you still need to be able to demonstrate the other party’s negligence by proving the existence of the legal elements of a negligence claim:
- The at-fault driver (the defendant) owed a duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- The defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), meaning the injuries would not have happened if not for the defendant’s negligence
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury
According to California law, insurers may deduct from the balance any amount paid to the plaintiff by the at-fault party (such as out-of-pocket payments) or their insurance company (in the event they’re underinsured). For example, if your claim is for $100,000 and the at-fault party pays $15,000 out of pocket—leaving a balance of $85,000—your insurer may subtract the $15,000 you’ve already been paid from that balance and reimburse you just $70,000. An attorney can help you avoid this.Talk a Top Agoura Hills Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Just because someone decided they couldn’t be bothered to carry liability insurance, as is required by state law, doesn’t mean you have to pay for their mistake. But you may need professional legal help with your claim. Call the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation today and get the compensation you deserve for your uninsured motorist claim. Robert and Gary Walch have been winning these cases for over four decades and know how to get you paid the most money possible following your accident. Call them now to set up your obligation-free initial consultation and learn why they are the law firm for you.