It’s estimated that 1 in 7 drivers here in the United States do not have automotive insurance for their vehicle. This might seem surprising to some of our readers, especially here in California where auto insurance is mandatory for all vehicles operating on roads within the state. But sadly, uninsured drivers exist and they can present major problems to other drivers.

The purpose of insurance is to provide coverage in the event that a vehicle is damaged or is involved in an accident. If another driver was involved, vehicle owners exchange insurance information. Depending on who is at fault and how much the negligent driver’s policy covers, the accident victim may be compensated for damages as well as injuries.

This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play. Offered by a number of providers — including Esurance, Progressive and Nationwide — this type of auto insurance makes sure that you receive compensation for damages to you or your vehicle even if the other driver is uninsured.

But even though our state laws require both drivers to stop after a crash, many of our Los Angeles readers know that this doesn’t always happen. Hit-and-run accidents happen all the time across our state, oftentimes leaving victims wondering about the compensation they believe they should receive.

Once again, this is where uninsured motorist insurance comes into play. Because there is no other driver with which to exchange insurance information in a hit-and-run accident, this type of policy assumes that the other driver is uninsured and pays out accordingly for both injuries and death.

Whether you’re a victim or a deceased victim’s family member, fighting with an insurance company about compensation after an accident should be the least of your concerns. That’s why many people, after a serious or fatal accident, usually seek the help of a skilled lawyer who generally handles the messy legal work so you don’t have to.

Source: Esurance, “Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages aren’t necessary: debunking a car insurance myth,” Accessed Oct. 17, 2014