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What happens if an underinsured motorist injures you?

California differs greatly from other states in the fact it does not require drivers to carry liability insurance. However, a motorist still needs to show financial responsibility if he or she causes a car accident. This fiscal responsibility can take the form of a surety bond, a DMV-issued self-insurance certificate, a cash deposit of at least $35,000 on file at the DMV or an automobile liability insurance policy. 

Some estimates report that roughly 15.2% of drivers on California's roadways do not have any kind of insurance policy. That translates to nearly one in six drivers without insurance, which means your chances of ending up in a car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver are greater than you likely realized before. This means that you need to pursue adequate preparation. 

What to do before a collision

California allows drivers to purchase uninsured motorist insurance. This is an additional policy you can add to your current one. If you end up in a collision involving an uninsured driver, your insurance company should compensate you for any expenses that come up. This is an optional coverage, but you should seriously consider getting it. It will truly come in handy if you find you ever need it. 

What to do after a collision

If you have this insurance policy during an accident, then you would simply follow the same protocol as any other car accident. If you do not have this coverage, your only hope is to have the other driver, if he or she was at fault, to pay for any damages. This may require you to file a claim with the court system. Medical expenses can add up quickly, and you do not want to end up going into debt for something that was not your fault. It is best to plan and be ready for anything when you are on the road. 

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