Does Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim Affect Your Insurance Rates?

by Staff | June 7th, 2021

Although California law requires every driver to have insurance, many drivers fail to comply. Whether they cannot afford the monthly rates, forget to renew their policy, or drive without a license, the result is the same. Having an accident with an uninsured motorist means you must file a claim with your insurance policy rather than theirs.

Many drivers worry that filing an uninsured motorist claim can increase their insurance rates. In California, legally, it cannot.

Too Many Uninsured Drivers on the Road

In 2019, 16.6% of California drivers didn’t have insurance. While not a majority, this high percentage makes it likely you’ll encounter an uninsured driver while on the road. If they hit you, their lack of insurance makes it difficult to get compensation.

If you have uninsured motorist insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance company to pay for damages to your car and any injuries you sustain. Experienced California car accident lawyers can guide you through the process of filing a claim and can negotiate with your insurance company if you encounter problems.

Often, insurance companies take a long time processing claims or deny them for unjustifiable reasons. The team at Berg Injury Lawyers can ensure that you get the compensation you need from your insurance company as quickly as possible.

Prop 103

If you cause an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, that could cause your rates to go up. However, if someone else caused the accident, even if they are uninsured, Californians have protection against rising rates. Passed in 1988, Proposition 103 makes it illegal for insurance companies to raise your rates or drop you after filing an uninsured motorist claim.

However, many insurers have continued to do so illegally. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you avoid any illegal rate increases and expedite the claims process.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver

If your costs exceed the maximums of your policy, or you don’t hold uninsured motorist insurance, you may want to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. However, many uninsured drivers don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it. This means that although you may win your lawsuit, you won’t receive any money. Additionally, uninsured drivers face fines and possible jail time in California, so it could be challenging to receive your settlement from the driver.

Your lawyer may advise you to include third parties in your lawsuit as well, if possible. These parties may include people like other drivers involved in the crash or the car manufacturer if you believe a defect caused the accident.

The sooner you speak with a lawyer about your accident, the better. Personal injury lawsuits can also take months or years to go through court, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. While your legal team will endeavor to reach a settlement outside of court, they may need to go to trial if the insurance company or driver refuses to cooperate.

Work With Berg Injury Lawyers

Even if you don’t need to file a lawsuit, having an experienced lawyer on your side when dealing with your insurance company can help streamline the process and ensure you get the total compensation you are entitled to.

It’s common for insurance companies to offer their customers low-ball settlements, hoping they will accept. Your lawyer can advise you on their offer and determine whether it’s enough to cover your costs. If your insurance company delays or reduces their offer, your lawyer can represent you in negotiations with them to maximize your compensation.

Call for a Free Consultation

With our No Fee Guarantee, you can trust the legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers. We won’t get paid unless you do, so you don’t need to worry about shelling out money when you’re already suffering after an accident.

Car accidents are stressful enough without the complication of an uninsured motorist. If you or a loved one is suffering after an accident with an uninsured driver, call Berg Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free consultation. We’ll review your case and determine what your next steps should be to get you the compensation you deserve.