Coronado, CA asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for California

Q: does releasing uninsured motorist destroy right to claim under my umi policy

5 Lawyer Answers

Theodore Allan Greene

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's difficult to understand your question. What / why are you "releasing uninsured motorist"? I would strongly urge you to get an attorney well versed in personal injury matters (assuming you were injured) because you could do something to jeopardize your case. And the insurance companies love it when someone is NOT represented and they can get away with as little as possible. It's their job to do that.... Good luck to you

William John Light

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Depends what your policy says and the circumstances in which you "released" the uninsured motorist. Get a copy of your policy, a copy of the traffic collision report, a copy of the release agreement and any other documentation, then have an attorney review it. Any of us will give you a free consultation.

Dale S. Gribow

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: MORE INFO NEEDED.

NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN BY RELEASING UM?

IF THE PARTY AT FAULT DOES NOT HAVE INSURANCE YOUR LAWYER WILL PURSUE A CLAIM/ACTION AGAINST YOUR UM POLICY.

HOWEVER, BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING TO SCREW UP YOUR CLAIM, PLEASE CONTACT A LOCAL LAWYER FOR A REVIEW OF ALL THIS. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A NAME I WOULD BE HAPPY TO GIVE YOU SEVERAL..

Justin R. Heim

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Seal Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As the other attorneys have indicated, I believe more information would help answer your question. You should consult with an attorney beyond this thread to make sure that you do not jeopardize your claim.

If an uninsured motorist has struck you, you generally do not "release" them. If an "underinsured motorist" (someone with less liability insurance than the damages in your case) struck you, then there very likely could be a release signed. Therefore it is crucial to address this distinction before proceeding any further. Was the driver who hit you uninsured, or were they underinsured?

If the driver was uninsured, you would likely need to take the necessary steps to "prove" to YOUR insurance carrier that THEY did not have insurance. The best way to do this is to gather a copy of the police report otherwise known as a traffic collision report. You will also want to make sure that you file a DMV SR-1 form within that first year of the collision and also file a DMV SR-19. The SR19 will be sent back to you confirming whether or not the other driver has any liability insurance on file. Once you have done all this your own auto insurance will likely accept the claim under your uninsured motorist benefits. Presuming that upon the completion of this process you settle the claim with your insurance carrier, the release signed will be a release as to your insurance carrier, not the other driver. Your insurance then may pursue the other driver for the money they paid out to you.

This all unfolds a little differently in an underinsured motorist claim. I highly recommend that you contact a car accident attorney near you to ensure you protect your rights and don't create any coverage issues.

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post, or website, should be taken as legal advice for any individual or case situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Timur Akpinar

Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: In general, signing a release ends the claimant's rights to pursue a given claim further, whether it be under a UM, BI, or other policy.

Tim Akpinar

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