Underinsured Motorists

Underinsured Motorist Claims Attorney Serving Orange County, California

While every driver is legally required to carry certain limits of liability insurance, they may not have enough to cover all losses in the event of an accident. If you are injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you need to be protected.

If you have questions or concerns about insurance issues, turn to me, personal injury lawyer Rivers J. Morrell III. Based in Orange County, I apply more than 40 years of experience when representing injured people in cases involving underinsured motorists. I pride myself on my knowledge of the insurance industry and understanding of the legal language that is often included in insurance policy documents. I can sit down with you after your accident to explain how your own insurance works and how we can take action against the negligent driver’s insurance company.

You should have insurance coverage called underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). Often paired with uninsured motorist coverage (UM), UIM coverage provides for you in the event that a driver’s insurance coverage did not cover all of your losses. Your own company makes up the difference between your losses and what the other company paid, provided your limits are set high enough.

Losses Exceeding the Maximum Insurance Benefits Provided

In certain instances, your losses may be more than the amount of money that insurance benefits provide between your insurer and the negligent driver’s company. For example, you have been injured and your losses are valued at $50,000. The person who caused the accident has coverage in the amount of $20,000 and you hold a UIM policy that allows up to $30,000. Your insurance company would get credit for the other person’s $20,000 against your own $30,000 policy limit. This means that your total recovery would be $30,000 ($20,000 from the other person’s insurance and $10,000 from your own), but overall, $20,000 less than the value of your losses.

The policies do not “stack” one on top of the other to provide $50,000 total, instead your recovery is limited to the maximum amount of your own policy. This is why we recommend that every California motorist should maximize the amount of UM/UIM coverage available on their automobile insurance policy. It is some of the least expensive insurance you can purchase, and provides relief in multiple scenarios that regularly occur here in Southern California.

Hit-And-Run and Pedestrian Accidents

If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, even if you are a pedestrian, your own UM/UIM automobile insurance coverage will cover your losses including medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for the pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.

Many of our clients are surprised at the treatment they receive from their own insurance company when it is time to submit a UM/UIM claim. They have faithfully paid their premiums all these years, and when they need coverage they are treated poorly and have difficulties getting a response, let alone prompt reimbursement for their losses.

We step in on their behalf and represent them to ensure that their own insurance company upholds the terms of the policy and provides the maximum recovery possible. In many cases, this requires mediation or arbitration, complex legal processes where you will require skilled and effective legal counsel. If necessary, we will take them to a trial to ensure that you recover for your covered losses.

Free Consultation With Me, a California Underinsured Motorist Accident Attorney

My office, the Law Firm of Rivers J. Morrell, III, offers a free consultation so you can discuss your case with me without cost or obligation. Call my Orange County office at 949-273-2693, or contact us online.  There is no cost to you out of pocket, as we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis.