Motor vehicle collisions can be very expensive. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a vehicle or render it unsafe, forcing someone to buy a new vehicle. Any of the people in the vehicle at the time of the crash could suffer significant injuries, resulting in both medical bills and time off of work.
The average person probably expects car insurance coverage to protect them after a crash, but insurance doesn’t always fully cover those hurt in a crash. Sometimes, the person who causes a wreck doesn’t have insurance. Other times, the low insurance requirements in California may leave them with uncovered expenses.
California’s minimum coverage could leave you with big bills
To legally drive, California residents have to comply with state insurance requirements. Anyone can purchase more robust insurance than the state requires, but many people will carry only the minimum required to keep their costs low.
The driver who caused your crash might have just $5,000 worth of property damage coverage. That may not even be enough to make repairs to your vehicle, let alone replace if it cannot be made safe to drive again. The state requires $15,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage, which will increase to $30,000 of coverage if two or more people are injured.
Someone with expenses beyond the insurance of the other driver could make a claim against their own policy if they carry coverage for uninsured/underinsured drivers. They might also have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit. Learning about how insurance works after a car crash in California can help you ensure that you aren’t stuck being responsible for significant bills.