As a Los Angeles auto accident attorney who handles underinsured and uninsured motorist cases, this is a question I receive pretty often.
Underinsured motorist cases are unique because the plaintiff/claimant recovers from two separate insurance companies. These cases occur when the driver responsible for a collision doesn’t carry sufficient insurance coverage to cover the injuries he/she caused to another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
Here’s how a typical underinsured motorist claim works.
The plaintiff must first present a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
After the at-fault driver’s insurance pays the full policy limits, the plaintiff then presents an underinsured motorist claim to his/her own auto insurance carrier for the balance.
If there’s a dispute between the claimant and his/her insurance company as to the value of the claim, the policyholder claimant can demand arbitration.
Underinsured motorist claims are unique because it’s one of the rare occasions an insured has some leverage against an insurance company.
That’s because the insurance company owes strict fiduciary duties to its insured drivers.
As you can tell, uninsured and underinsured motorist cases in Los Angeles can be tricky. Whether it’s a hit-and-run, a bicycle versus auto, or an auto versus pedestrian, these cases require unique skill and diligence.
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