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May 3, 2018


Automobile accidents can happen to anyone. You’re driving through an intersection when suddenly your car is hit by another vehicle, causing extensive damage to your car and bodily injury to yourself. But what happens if the motorist at fault is uninsured? How do you receive adequate compensation for the damage and injury caused by the accident?

It literally pays to consider these questions because uninsured motorists are everywhere. If someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident in the United States, odds are roughly one in seven that the at-fault driver is uninsured. And the numbers just keep rising. The Insurance Research Council reports that the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists has risen dramatically over the past decade. In 1999, 12.7 percent of motorists were uninsured; this number is expected to jump to 16 percent in 2010.
Uninsured Motorists in California.

Uninsured motorists are of special concern to residents of California. Over a quarter of the drivers on California’s roads are uninsured. This means your chance of being involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist in California is shockingly high. Indeed uninsured or inadequately insured drivers cause nearly one out of every two car accidents.

California law requires anyone who operates a motor vehicle on the public streets or highways to bear some form of financial responsibility. For the majority of drivers the financial responsibility requirement is satisfied by maintaining automobile liability insurance. Drivers must show evidence of automobile insurance coverage in order to register their motor vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Uninsured motorist coverage is a part of almost every automobile policy sold in California. In fact, your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you explicitly decline it in writing.


When you purchase uninsured motorist coverage as part of your policy, it grants coverage to you and all members of your family who reside in your household. Uninsured motorist coverage also typically includes any children who do not reside in your household.

Uninsured motorist coverage also covers other passengers in your car, as well as other people driving your car with your permission. What’s more, uninsured motorist coverage will make you eligible for benefits even if you weren’t an automobile driver or passenger. You also will be eligible for benefits if you are involved in an accident as any of the following:

  •     A pedestrian
  •     A bicyclist
  •     A motorcyclist
  •     A bystander

As long as the motorist who caused your injuries was uninsured and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you are eligible for compensation from your insurance company.

However, there is no minimum coverage amount by law. Many policies have $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident as the coverage limit, though. The specific terms of each policy determine the actual coverage.


There are three types of vehicles that fall under the category of “uninsured.” These are:

  1.     Vehicles that are not covered by insurance in a state that requires automobile insurance;
  2.     Vehicles used in hit-and-run incidents, where the identity of the driver is unknown; and
  3.     Stolen vehicles.


If you are in an accident with a motor vehicle, make sure you do these 10 things:

  1. Most importantly, if you or a passenger is able to, use your cell phone’s notes feature to record statements of anyone at the scene, especially the driver you believe to be at fault.
  2. Seek medical attention. If you are injured, immediately visit an emergency room. Emergency room reports of your injuries will be essential in determining the amount of compensation you may receive from an insurance claim. Make sure medical reports are as detailed and accurate as possible;
  3. Remain at the scene of the accident;
  4. File a police report;
  5. For each driver involved, write down the driver’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver’s license number and the expiration dates of their driver’s license and vehicle registration;
  6. Take pictures of all driver’s license, registration and insurance cards;
  7. Take pictures of the accident scene;
  8. Take pictures of the other vehicles, including their license plates and vehicle identification numbers;
  9. For each vehicle involved, write down the make, model, license plate number and vehicle identification numbers; and
  10. Write down the names and contact information of any and all witnesses.

Your insurance company expects you to provide them with as many details about the accident as you can. Because it is often hard to retain accurate memories of an accident, it’s important that you keep a running log of the details related to your accident.


Filing an insurance claim for an accident in California involving an uninsured motorist can be an often complicated and frustrating experience. Insurance adjusters usually have no specialized legal or medical training and therefore are likely to underestimate the amount of compensation due to you for your injuries and damages.

That is why it is important for you consult with an attorney trained in the rules and regulations governing automobile accidents involving uninsured drivers. Only an automobile accident lawyer can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for injuries sustained in an accident involving an uninsured driver. If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident involving an uninsured driver, contact your local automobile accident attorney today.

Find more like this: Personal Injury

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“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

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“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

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“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.


“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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