Motor vehicle insurance pays for car repairs and hospital bills after a crash, at least up the policy limit for the applicable policy. The California insurance system requires liability protection from every driver, and people can choose to pay for higher levels of coverage, as well as additional forms of protection.
Technically, you pay for a policy that will reimburse other people for their costs if you are to blame for a collision. When you are not at fault for a crash, the driver who caused the collision is the one whose insurance will pay for the costs.
The liability insurance system helps prevent drivers who are not at fault from incurring expenses due to insurance claims. After all, any sizable claim will likely increase how much you pay for your coverage. The problem with this system is that it leaves you dependent on the insurance the other driver carries.
Drivers who focus on costs and not coverage may have frighteningly low coverage
The amount of insurance that California requires for someone to drive a vehicle is surprisingly low. A driver can have as little as $5,000 in property damage coverage. When it comes to personal injury coverage, the state only requires $15,000 if one person gets hurt and a minimum of $30,000 of coverage for everyone affected by a single collision.
If your injuries require surgery or if your vehicle suffers more than just minor damage, the other driver’s insurance policy may leave you with huge bills that you are suddenly responsible for paying yourself.
The civil courts can provide you with compensation
When a driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage, they are vulnerable to claims in civil court. Provided that you can show that they broke the law or were negligent at the wheel, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover the money you have had to spend to repair your vehicle or pay for your medical care. Lost wages can also contribute to the overall value of a personal injury claim.
Holding an at-fault driver accountable for a serious motor vehicle collision may require knowledge of the legal system and of how insurance works in California.