VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hi everybody, my name is Robert Mansour, and I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area. One of my areas of practice is personal injury, and I want to spend a couple of minutes with you this video segment talking about the importance of uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is perhaps the single most important piece of auto policy coverage you can have on your insurance policy, and here's why. If you get involved in a car accident with another party, there is a 20 to 25 percent chance that party had no insurance, either because they forgot to pay their premium or they just don't want to pay for insurance, or they just don't believe in that, whatever the case may be.
Now technically you can go after that person in court, sue them. You have to win the lawsuit in front of a judge, or a jury, and then you get a judgment, and then you have to enforce that judgment.
Now to get a judgment, at least, now in California you're looking at a year to two years in court, and that assumes you even win. Then you have to get that judgment, and go enforce it. So you have to hire a lawyer, or a collections company to go after this person, and recover the money that you are owed.
What if you have something called uninsured motorist? That would be my preferred method because it's much faster, and that's what you're paying for. You're paying for that benefit, so you might as well use it.
If you can't get insurance from the other party, you can at, least, go to your insurance company, and recover under your UM policy, uninsured motorist. Basically, you'd be presenting your case to your insurance company rather than to the other fellow's insurance company.
The other thing that's important to note about uninsured motorist is that most cases it's equivalent to something called underinsured motorist. That means the other party has insurance, but it's not enough.
Let's say, the other party has $15,000 of insurance which is the minimum currently required in California, and your injuries happen to exceed $15,000. Well, in that case you can turn to your insurance company for the excess, but here's the thing. If you only have $15,000 of uninsured motorist, and you recovered 15 from the other party they negate one another because your insurance company gets credit for whatever you were able to get from the other party.
In the first example, they have zero so you can get up to 15 from yours, but in the second example they had 15, so you better have more than 15 on your side of the equation, and that's why I always tell people get as much as you can.
Let's say you have $30,000 of UM coverage. That means you can recover an additional $15,000 from your own insurance company. Let's say you have $100,000 of uninsured motorist coverage, or under insured motorist coverage, that means you can recover an additional $85,000 because you got $15,000.00 from the other party, you have a $100,000 policy. Your insurance company gets a credit of $15,000 because you were able to get that from the other side, and therefore you have $85,000 available to you.
Again, of course, you have to assume that your case is worth well over $15,000 for any of this to apply, but it's a very important piece of insurance coverage that you should have.
Some people think they have it, but they actually don't. People tell me all the time, "Oh, I have full coverage." I say, "Well, do you have UM coverage?" They look at me, and say, "Well, I don't know what that is."
So make sure you review that with your insurance policy broker, or your insurance agent, or your insurance company. Take a look at something called your declarations page. That will list all the different insurance that you have. You want to make sure that you have this thing called uninsured motorist, and try to get more than 15 if you can afford it.
Thank you very much for watching. This has been Robert Mansour broadcasting from Los Angeles. Thanks again.
Call our office at (661) 414-7100 for help with your personal injury case. Robert Mansour serves Santa Clarita, Valencia, Newhall, Canyon Country, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, and surrounding communtieis.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,