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Uninsured/Underinsured Accidents

Modesto Uninsured/Underinsured Accident Lawyer

Fighting to Get Car Accident Victims the Compensation They Deserve

At the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis, our Modesto uninsured/underinsured accident attorney can help. We have the legal know-how and experience to assess all your legal options and come up with the strategy that works best for you and your specific case. If you have been hit by a driver who has no car insurance, or a policy that is too low to cover all of your expenses, we will fight to get the compensation you deserve.

A car crash can be a terrifying and stressful ordeal. When you are hit by a negligent driver, suddenly you are forced to bear the burden of medical bills, car repairs, taking time off work to recover, and other painful and expensive tasks you didn’t have to worry about before.

These can become far more complicated when you realize the motorist who caused your car accident doesn’t even have car insurance. How are you supposed to pay your bills? If you have been hit by an uninsured driver in California, we can help.

To speak with an experienced uninsured or underinsured accident lawyer about your options for compensation following a car crash, call (209) 528-0404. The initial consultation is free!

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage in California?

Auto insurance is necessary as it helps pay for injuries or property damage that can occur when you own and drive a vehicle in California. Under California law, you must carry auto insurance in case you are involved in an accident and injure someone else or damage their property.

The California law states that all drivers and vehicle owners must always be able to prove financial responsibility, plus they must carry proof of financial responsibility in their vehicle at all times. If you do not carry automobile liability insurance, you can be fined, your driver's license can be suspended, and the authorities can impound your vehicle.

What is the Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists?

Uninsured and underinsured motorists are usually grouped together in insurance claims and personal injury cases due to their many similarities, but there are some key differences between the two.

An uninsured motorist (UM) simply doesn’t have car insurance. Uninsured motorists who cause car accidents cannot pay for medical bills and other costs for the person they hit due to their lack of insurance, so the accident victim must pay their expenses out of pocket.

An underinsured motorist (UIM) has car insurance, but their policy limits are too low to cover expenses for serious injuries and property damage. In California, the minimum policy limit is $15,000. Many motorists choose to stick with the minimum, even though $15,000 doesn’t even come close to paying for serious car accident injuries in most cases.

What Happens if You Get Hit By Someone Without Insurance?

Fortunately, California drivers have the option of taking out additional insurance on their own to cover accidents with uninsured and underinsured motorists. Appropriately called uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) auto insurance, this coverage kicks in when a driver is hit by a negligent motorist who lacks their own insurance.

In California, your auto insurance company is required by law to offer you UM/UIM coverage. If you choose not to buy it, you must sign a waiver showing you were offered the coverage and decided to turn it down.

The following coverage is available on a UM/UIM car insurance policy:

Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): UMBI pays for any injuries that you and anyone in your car sustains when there is an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Underinsured motorist (UIM): UIM covers a limited amount of costs for bodily injuries if you are in a car accident with a motorist who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for damages.

Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): UMPD pays for up to $3,500 of damage to your car from an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Not only does this coverage help drivers who have been hit by people without insurance, but it can also apply to hit and run accidents. This means that if a motorist hits you and then flees the scene, you may still be able to receive coverage from your UM/UIM insurance policy even if you don’t know the identity of the motorist who caused your car accident.

If you think such insurance isn't worth it, consider this—the estimated percentage of uninsured drivers alone in the United States is almost 13%. That means that one in eight people on the road has no auto insurance policy. Adding UM/UIM insurance coverage to your car insurance policy can go a long way towards protecting you and anyone else who rides in your vehicle.

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  • “Very knowledgeable in his craft.”
    I came to the Law Office of Dean Petrulakis after being referred from a friend. I was previously working with another firm who had done very little to help me, let alone communicate with me. Mr. Petrulakis took time to speak with me over the phone and after consideration of the difficulties related to my case, he agreed to take my case. I was very impressed and appreciative of the genuine concern and compassion he relayed. He is very knowledgeable in his craft, and equally kind and personable. He and his assistant Jennifer were amazing communicators who kept me well informed without delay. My case was handled quickly, professionally, and exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis to everyone/anyone who has been injured and needs representation.
    - K's A.
  • “HIGHLY recommend him for any injury needs”
    “Dean has definitely helped us with a case on our hit and run. My husband and I are so thankful for his fast action and professionalism. Great staff. HIGHLY recommend him for any injury needs. Thank you Dean!”
    - Former Client
  • “The best in our area by far!”
    “Thank you helping us when we needed you. The best in our area by far!”
    - Former Client
  • “Dean Petrulakis and his firm were invaluable in helping me through a difficult time.”
    “Dean walked me through the process and made it easy.”
    - Former Client
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    “When I hired the Law Offices of Dean Petrulakis, I received more than what I imagined.”
    - Former Client
  • “Dean is amazing and very professional!”
    “Dean will do everything in his power to get the results you want.”
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