California law requires that drivers purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance. Liability insurance protects others in the event that the driver causes a crash that results in injuries and/or damages. The minimum liability insurance requirements in California are:
- $15,000 in coverage for injury or death to one person
- $30,000 in coverage for injury or death to two or more people
- $5,000 in coverage for damage to property
Drivers may choose to purchase coverage in amounts greater than the minimum coverage. However, the above amounts are the minimum insurance coverage a driver can have and legally operate a vehicle in California. Drivers who do not have the minimum liability insurance coverage can face fines, vehicle registration suspension, and vehicle impoundment.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
As discussed above, liability insurance coverage protects others in the event of a crash. Liability insurance does not pay for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, or other expenses in an accident. Because many drivers chose to operate a vehicle illegally without the required liability insurance coverage, it is important to consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage.
In the event you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, your uninsured insurance coverage steps into the place of the other driver’s insurance. If the other driver caused the accident, your insurance company should pay your damages under your uninsured motorist coverage up to your policy limits. If your uninsured motorist coverage does not pay 100 percent of your damages, you may then consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to hold him or her personally liable for the balance of your damages.
Do I Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage. If you are injured in a crash caused by another driver who does not have sufficient coverage to pay your damages in full, your underinsured motorist coverage will pay the balance of your damages up to your policy limits. In other words, underinsured motorist coverage is a way to protect yourself in catastrophic accidents where the other driver may have minimum insurance coverage.
For example, if you sustain a spinal cord injury that requires surgery and extensive physical therapy, your damages will quickly exceed the minimum liability coverage of $15,000. In most cases, you can sue the other driver, but you are not likely to receive any money unless the person has substantial assets. An underinsured motorist insurance policy can give you the protection you need if you are injured in a crash.
Call A Fresno Accident Attorney for More Information
If you have been injured in an accident, call our office for a free consultation with a Fresno accident attorney. Even if you are dealing with your insurance company for an uninsured or underinsured insurance claim, it is always in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. We have your best interest as our top priority.
Call Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444. You may also chat with a representative online or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.