Articles Posted in Car Accidents

In our article entitled “What do I need to know if an uninsured driver injures me or if I am the victim of a hit-and-run collision?” we explained what uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is, and how it applies in a hit-and-run collision or when the driver that caused the collision does not have auto insurance. In this article, we explain the difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

 

Whereas the uninsured motorist coverage portion of your auto insurance policy is used when the driver who caused the accident did not have insurance (or fled the scene of the accident before they could be identified), underinsured motorist coverage is used when the driver that caused the collision does have insurance, but the amount of coverage available under their auto liability policy is less than the amount of the losses that you have suffered as a result of the collision.

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Damage PhotoIn this article, we discuss property damage that is the result of an automobile collision, and answer some of the most common questions people have relating to their vehicle’s repair.

1. Do I need an attorney?

The answer depends on whether there are injuries involved. Generally speaking however, if there are only issues of damage to your car as a result of the collision, you do not need an attorney. Furthermore, an attorney will probably not take the case if the only damages are those to property.

2. What about insurance?

One of the reasons we pay for insurance is so we do not have to come out of pocket when accidents happen. In the event of an accident you will want to use either your insurance or the other party’s insurance. Your policy likely has a deductible. This may vary from $500 to $5,000. Typically the lower the deductible, the cheaper the premium for the policy. In the event you decide to use your insurance, you will be responsible for your deductible. Any check you receive for the repair will be less your deductible. If you choose to use your insurance and pay the deductible, your insurance company will bring a claim against the third party’s insurance or directly against the third party if they did not have insurance. This is called “subrogation”. Once the two parties settle, you will receive back the deductible amount that you paid up front.

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fast-car-1561464Have you been in an auto accident and the investigating officer finds that while the accident is primarily the fault of the other driver, you also were a contributing factor?   That is, your speed also contributed to the accident.  The officer writes in his report that you violated  California’s basic speed law.  You think, “Wait a minute! I was only doing 40 in a 45 mph zone, and now the guy’s insurance company wants to find me 30% at fault for the collision?”

Let’s start with the definition of California’s basic speed law as found in Vehicle Code Section 22350.  It states:

“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

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