If you are hurt in an auto accident and the other driver has no insurance or not enough insurance, you can make a claim for all of your damages against your own insurance, provided you carry uninsured or under insured motorist coverage (UIM).
Because an estimated 3.4 million California drivers are uninsured, UIM coverage is some of the most important insurance anyone can carry, and it is relatively cheap to carry a sizeable UIM policy (such as $100,000 or more).
If you carry liability insurance, the law requires your insurance carrier to provide UIM coverage as well (unless you opt out in writing). You may be covered under the UIM policy of someone else residing in your household even if you do not carry auto insurance.
UIM cases differ from most personal injury cases in that there is no jury trial – if it cannot be settled, the claim is resolved through a binding arbitration before a neutral arbitrator. Recoverable damages include medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering.
Although your insurance carrier is required to handle your UIM claim in good faith (i.e., evaluate your claim fairly), insurance carriers often will not offer fair settlement value until we have fought them in litigation. UIM cases typically require several different types of experts in areas such as accident reconstruction, medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and economics.
We have extensive experience in this area and know which experts to retain on your behalf to prepare the case for maximum settlement or a successful arbitration.
- A friend recommended Chuck Geerhart. It was an excellent recommendation.
As a British journalist, recently based in San Francisco and without medical insurance, things seemed pretty messy after I found myself in an airport shuttle, driven by a lunatic, who struck a parked cab. I had to go to hospital, who diagnosed a head injury – as, later, did a neurologist – but the shuttle company’s insurance company continually balked at paying the bills.
A friend recommended Chuck Geerhart. It was an excellent recommendation. He was a great lawyer to have on my side, persistent in his battles with the insurance company, supportive of his client and a pleasure to work with, resolving the claim with the minimum of fuss.Susan
- Chuck made sure I was fairly compensated for this life altering injury.
I was working as an air traffic controller at SFO when a notoriously faulty elevator slammed to a stop between floors, throwing me against the wall and rupturing discs in my neck. I had to have major surgery on my neck. The City and the elevator maintenance company denied liability, until Chuck Geerhart obtained copies of all prior repair records which showed the elevator was continually resetting due to a power supply issue.
During the discovery phase of the case, to protect my privacy rights, he filed a motion with court to block a subpoena issued by the defense that sought to obtain my complete confidential employment file and complete health history in violation of the law. We ultimately settled the case for $1,000,000 after mediation.
I feel that Chuck did a great job making sure I was fairly compensated for this life-altering injury.Denise
- Chuck Geerhart dealt with my case in the most humane way I could imagine.
I was fortunate to have been referred to Chuck Geerhart when I was dealing with a very painful and tragic case of abuse by religious leadership, which was stretched over five years.Frank
Chuck Geerhart dealt with my case in the most humane way I could imagine. He was intelligent and strategic in his approach, always very communicative; an attentive ear, fearless and confident support for someone who was very confused and seeking answers where there were only walls. He always involved me in the process, sharing crucial information with me and allowing me the time and space to decide and move forward. He treated me like a partner, which helped me recover the power that was taken away from me.
At the same time he provided the professional expertise which I needed in order to win the case. The process of winning this case was as empowering as the actual outcome. It was a healing experience in itself. I am very happy with the support and guidance I got from Chuck as well as with the monetary result from such a serious injury. It has truly helped me move on in a good way.