The Person Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance

As the title suggest, this is for the most part, never a good thing.  However, with the right amount of planning and knowledge, you may still be able to recover for the injuries that you have suffered.

I’ve Just Been in a Car Accident and the Person At Fault May Not have Insurance or Sufficient Insurance

The first thing you need to do is seek medical treatment if you are hurt.  Nothing is more important than that.  Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, you can begin to figure out what to do next.  The first step would be to start looking for a qualified car accident attorney as it is almost never recommended to go up against the insurance companies alone.  The next thing you’ll want to do is find your own insurance information, specifically your declaration page, which states what coverage(s) you have been paying for every month.  What you will be looking for is whether you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Let’s assume that the person who crashed into you doesn’t have any insurance at all.  Assuming you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you’ll be able to make a claim against your own insurance up to the limits that you have previously agreed to pay for.  This can be as low as $15,000 and up to $1 million or more.  No, this should not affect your insurance premium and you shouldn’t hesitate to proceed this way since that is exactly why you’ve been paying your monthly premium for.  Depending on the severity of your injuries, this can make the world of a difference between you not being able to be compensated at all for your injuries, to having you be fully compensated, assuming you have sufficient coverage.  While even your own insurance will fight you (preferably you and your attorney) every step of the way in order to pay you the least amount possible, it is important to have and pay for such coverage.  No they are not on your side, not good neighbors and you’re certainly not in good hands.  If you have the means, at a minimum you should carry $100,000 in coverage.  This can sometimes be as low as $7 a month depending on the insurance company.

How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Now let’s assume that the person that crashed into you only carries the minimum state legal limits of $15,000.  Let’s further assume that you’ve accumulated $40,000 in medical bills and have had to endure hand surgery to fix your wrist that you broke on your steering wheel during the crash.  Getting $15,000 from the other person’s insurance is in no way shape or form going to make up for what they’ve taken from you.  Here is where Underinsured Motorist Coverage comes in.  Hopefully you’ve planned ahead and elected and have been paying for at least $100,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  Once your attorney is able to recover the $15,000 from the at-fault insurance company, your attorney will then be able to attempt to recover for you as much of the difference between $15,000 (which you have already recovered) and $100,000 (or whatever limits you’ve been paying for).  Here that would $85,000 to attempt to make you whole again.  As you can see, there are options for you out there, so its important to keep calm and seek out the appropriate help.

There are many pitfalls along the way and intricacies which can limit and at times prevent you from being able to recover from your own insurance despite paying for the coverage if the right steps are not taken.  As such, you should seek an experienced attorney to assist you.

If you need help or have questions with regard to your recent car accident,  the attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

Trouble Getting Your Car Repaired After An Accident?

People work hard for their cars.  Whether its a part-time job while still in school to get that first used car or the luxury car you’ve worked so hard for in your adult life, cars are special.  Getting cars repaired or paid for can be the difference between staying in good standing at your school or job and thus, it is important to deal with the insurance companies efficiently and correctly.

Picking a Reputable Shop

In California, you have the right to select your shop of choice and you DO NOT have to use one suggested by the insurance company.  The first thing that will usually happen is that the insurance company of the person who hit you will send out a person to investigate the damage.  that person will then come up with an estimate (usually minimal and incomplete) and will give you a copy of that estimate to take to a shop of your choice and sometimes they will give you a check for the amount of the estimate.  With that said, it is important to find the right place that will do the work right and seek out verifiable damages.  When you take your car to the shop, they will then do a full inspection (put the car up on a lift) and find damage to the vehicle missed by the initial inspection.  From that point on, the shop will deal directly with the insurance company so that the insurance company can verify the additional damage and approve the costs of fixing it.  You do not want a body shop in Tijuana handling this.

How Will You Get Around While Your Car is in the Shop?

While your vehicle is in the shop, you have the right to a rental paid for by the insurance of the person that hit you.  Most insurance companies will not pay for insuring the rental vehicle, so you should review your own insurance to see if a rental vehicle is covered to prevent you spending money unnecessarily.   Don’t forget that you’re entitled to a vehicle of the same quality.  What if you have a second vehicle that you can use?  You are entitled to the loss of use of your vehicle while it is in the shop.  This is generally arrived at by figuring out what the daily rental value of your car is.  For example, if you drive a 2015 Nissan Altima, the rental value might be $30 per day.  If your car is in the shop for 10 days, you would be able to assert a claim for $300.

The ins and outs of when the vehicle is declared a total loss will be dealt with in a future post.

If you need help or have questions with regard to your damaged vehicle,  the attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.

Concussion or Loss of Consciousness From a Car Accident

A blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  These injuries can happen in many different ways, but many people sustain TBIs during a car crash.  It is not uncommon for people in a car accident to hit their heads on the steering wheel, window or dashboard.  The troubling thing is that some people are misinformed and believe that all concussions cause a loss of consciousness, and thus, if they didn’t lose consciousness they assume they’re fine.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Concussions and loss of consciuosness can lead to nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, confusion, head aches both severe and mild, behavioral changes, and forgetfulness following the injury.  What is especially concerning is that some of these symptoms may not arise until several days, weeks and sometimes even months after the car crash.  As you can imagine, this can become problematic when attempting to show that the car accident was the cause of the injuries and symptoms that a person is now suffering from.  However, most important is the need for treatment as the symptoms previously mentioned, if left untreated and sometimes even with treatment, can have hugely detrimental effects on the person’s relationships, career, mental health and life in general.

Early Detection is Important

In recent years, new techniques and advances in technology have allowed these injuries to not only be recognized but detected early on.  The most severe the brain injury the more easily it is detectable; however, most brain injuries come in the form of mild traumatic brain injuries “MTBI.”  As such, it is important to have a proper medical evaluation done to rule out such an injury.  After a car accident, people are happy to be alive and soaring with adrenaline so it is not always clear to them whether they may have suffered a concussion or loss of consciousness.  Thus, if you or someone you know is experiencing similar symptoms following a car accident be sure to seek help.

Every symptom is worth treatment and merits relief from it.  The attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.