San Mateo County Personal Injury Attorney Reuben Donig: The same losses are covered by your uninsured motorist policy as you are able to collect from the other side. You’re entitled to collect all of your economic and all of your non-economic damages. Economic damages means your past and future medical expenses, your past and future income losses, your past and future other out of pocket expenses, if you’re going to need long time healthcare or long time assisted living, if you’re going to need to have a maid as a result of being unable to take care of your house, or a gardener. All of these out of pocket expenses are damages, economic damages. And, you’re entitled to collect them from your uninsured motorist policy just the same as if you were making a claim against the driver who caused your injuries.
And, you’re also entitled to collect your non-economic damages. Your pain, your suffering, all of the reasonable compensation that will fully and appropriately compensate you for the harm, the non-economic harm, the unwelcome lifestyle changes, the pain that you have experienced and will experience, and the effect of those pains. If you lose the use of an arm, and you liked to play a musical instrument, the piano, and you can’t play it anymore, that’s a huge loss to a great component of your life. And, you’re entitled to be compensated for that. If you’re unable to sleep well at night due to pain; if you’re unable to be close or intimate with family members or your spouse; if you’re unable to socialize as before; if you’re unable to enjoy activities as before, recreational or do household chores. All of those things have to computed and calculated in some fair and reasonable fashion to compensate you for your non-economic damages. You are entitled to recover those economic damages from your uninsured motorist policy, so long as the amount of your claim does not exceed the policy limit that you’ve purchased.
Attorney Reuben Doing: It applies when you’ve been injured by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance which would include a hit and run driver or who doesn’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you. One of the most common misconceptions that people have is that they think they’re only covered by their uninsured motorist policy when they’re involved in a car accident in their own car or in the covered car. That’s just simply not true, that’s not the case. If you’re walking across the street and you’re hit by a uninsured or under insured driver, your uninsured motorist coverage will apply. If you’re on a bicycle and a car hits you, your uninsured motorist coverage will apply. If you’re sitting on a sidewalk cafe and a car jumps the curve and causes you injury, your uninsured motorist coverage will apply. It applies not just when you’re in your car; it applies anytime another driver operating a motor vehicle causes you injury and damages.
(Attorney Reuben Donig specializes in personal injury law and premises liability, including auto and car accidents in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County and San Francisco County. Visit him at www.doniglaw.com if you have a question you’d like to ask).