Injured as a Pedestrian? Your Auto Insurance May Help
California law requires all vehicle owners to have minimum auto insurance policies in the event that they cause a collision. This is called “liability” coverage, and is meant to protect any people they hurt.
However, there are several optional plans that can also come into play after a crash. Collision and comprehensive coverage can help a driver get their vehicle repaired. Uninsured (UM), underinsured (UIM), and personal injury protection (PIP) can be invaluable in getting the injured driver coverage for their medical bills. The best part? What most people do not realize is that these policies do not only apply when you are in a vehicle.
What Options Are Available to Pedestrians?
If you were injured by a negligent driver while out jogging on an Orange County street, you should not be the one responsible for paying for the accident. That driver’s liability insurance policy should provide coverage for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, while the other driver’s insurance policy may act as the primary source of compensation after a pedestrian accident, your own insurance company can provide other forms of compensation in certain scenarios.
For one, if you have personal injury protection (PIP), or MedPay, you can receive immediate medical coverage for your injuries. This is considered no-fault insurance, meaning the moment you have to see a doctor, this policy provides compensation for your injuries without any deductible or the need to file a personal injury claim. This is a valuable policy to have, as it can get your bills paid while your claim against the driver is pending. MedPay is optional, but most insurance companies include it in recommended policies, with coverage ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
The other two policies that can apply to a pedestrian accident are:
- Uninsured Motorist (UM): UM coverage applies when a policy holder is struck by a driver who does not have liability insurance – an uninsured driver – as well as when a policy holder is injured in a hit-and-run accident, where the driver remains unknown.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM): UIM coverage applies when an at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay the full costs of a car accident victim’s injuries. Most drivers only have the minimum policies in California, which include $15,000 in injury coverage for one person, $30,000 in injury coverage for more than one person in an accident, and $5,000 for property damage. If your claim is worth more than the at-fault driver’s policy limits, then you can file a UIM claim with your insurance company to make up the difference.
Both UM and UIM are optional in California, but insurance companies are required to offer it to policy holders and can only remove it from a policy if the driver waives his or her rights in writing. As a result, most drivers automatically have it added to their policies.
If you were struck by a car as a pedestrian, then you may be able to utilize these policies to get full compensation for your injuries.
Getting Compensation Through Your Insurance Provider
As beneficial as these policies are, it is important to remember that all insurance companies, even your own, are driven by profit. That means that if you try to file a UM or UIM claim, your insurance company may try to:
- Argue over the full costs of the accident
- State that you suffered an injury prior to the accident
- Try to blame you for the accident
- Deny your claim
However, you should not give up hope. A skilled personal injury attorney can provide the aggressive representation you need to get compensation after a pedestrian accident, whether that means filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance or your own.
Talk to an OC Injury Lawyer About Your Claim
At Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie, our Orange County personal injury attorneys believe in providing compassionate, thorough, and results-driven representation to our clients. We take the time to learn exactly how your injuries have impacted you – we call this “the full cost of the accident.” Then, we go to work calculating how much compensation you should receive, collecting evidence to support your case, and handling all communications with both the other driver’s and your insurance company. We do not settle for anything less than the best for our clients.
To discuss your case in a free consultation, call Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 today.
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