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What can a California personal injury lawyer do when there may not be enough insurance to fully compensate a client?


California statutes require a vehicle owner carry at least $15,000 of insurance. With the rates of insurance escalating, many people carry the minimum insurance; an amount set more than 25 years ago and unchanged since that time.

You and your family can protect themselves from uncompensated injury and damages. Obtain uninsured motorist coverage. It is very inexpensive, sometimes only several dollars per 6 months and if the other driver does not have insurance or minimum insurance, you are able to use your uninsured motorist coverage. This way you and your family are protected from that person who does not carry sufficient insurance or has no insurance at all.

If you need help with an uninsured motorist claim, call an experienced lawyer in california that can help with your case.

While 20 years ago $15,000 would protect a larger portion of the population when an accident occurred, it is hardly enough in cases where someone is significantly injured. An emergency room hospital visit, ambulance and MRI can be as high as $5,000 to $7,000. Therefore $15,000 is going to be inadequate under such circumstances.

So what should a person do if they are faced with what may be minimum insurance and who wants to give a percentage to an lawyer? You should! Let me show you how a qualified personal injury lawyer adds value.

First any lawyer that is faced with a minimum policy case must consider whether it is ethical to collect the full fee, particularly if the injuries are severe. If an lawyer does not at least discuss your concerns at the initial meeting, then you should consider looking for a more qualified attorney.

There are a number of ways to gain additional recovery than the car owner’s accident insurance policy. FOUR are the most often uncovered:

FIRST: The driver’s insurance should be thoroughly investigated. For instance does the driver have an excess policy? Is the driver carrying other types of insurance? Does the owner of the vehicle have an excess rider that covers persons driving their car? We have routinely uncovered more insurance than was first told to our potential clients, by asking the correct questions early in the case.

SECOND: Was the other driver in the “Course and Scope of any employment”. This is a specific term of art and does not simply mean that the person was on the clock at the time of the accident. If the other driver uses his car to transport materials or go to outside appointments, even if he or she is not going to a specific appointment at the time of the accident, the employer may be responsible since the employer benefits from having the employee driving his or her own car. Transporting tools on a construction job, or salesman who have samples in their car are all successful examples of coverage established by us in cases where there was originally thought to be no or little insurance.

THIRD: Does the driver of the other car have any assets that should be considered before letting that driver out of any claim? Many people own homes outright and can contribute to a settlement or judgment by taking a long-term loan on their home. The choice is always that of the client, but the client should be told of all locatable assets before deciding that they do or do not want to pursue more recovery.

FOURTH: Do you have underinsured motorist coverage? This is coverage that you purchased, (inexpensively by the way if you check your bill) that you might claim against if your claim exceeds the other driver’s coverage. As long as the accident is not your fault, you are entitled to make a claim without your rates being altered. California statutes require however that you collect the full amount of any other insurance from the other party before you are entitled to make an underinsured motorist claim and you must carry greater uninsured motorist coverage limits than the other driver’s insurance limits.

Even in the most dire of circumstances, we have had great success getting more money into the pocket of the client than the doctors or hospitals by advising of limits of insurance and negotiating the reduction or elimination of those medical bills hovering over a client.

You should always consider a personal injury lawyer whenever you are facing trouble because of limited insurance. We are almost always able to get greater sums into the pocket after all is said and done than the client would be able to do. Feel free to call us at 1 888 752-7474 for a free, no pressure, consultation.

Yours truly Jim Ballidis