Driving anywhere in California can be tricky, especially during the holidays when traffic is heavier than other times of the year. If you drive in California, you are required to have minimum liability car insurance coverage. California is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accidents.
Therefore, if you cause a crash, you are responsible for the payment of any damages incurred by others injured in the accident. Liability insurance pays those damages up to your policy limits. In California, the minimum policy limits for bodily injury are $15,000 for injury to one person and $30,000 per accident. Drivers must also have a minimum of $5,000 in coverage to pay for property damages.
Other Types of Car Insurance You Might Want to Purchase
Even though you might not be required to purchase additional car insurance coverage, you might want to consider other types of insurance to protect yourself if you are injured in an accident. Below are three types of car insurance you may want to discuss with your insurance agent. In many cases, the potential benefits outweigh the cost of the insurance coverage.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
We want to believe that all drivers obey the law regarding insurance requirements. However, this is not always the case. If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you could be responsible for thousands of dollars in damages. However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company pays for your damages as if it covered the at-fault driver.
Underinsured motorist coverage works similarly. Even a minor injury could easily result in more than $15,000 in bodily injury damages. If the driver has minimum insurance, you can only recover $15,000. Any medical bills or other damages above the minimum coverage would be your responsibility. Underinsured motorist coverage pays the difference between what you receive from the other driver and the total of your damages.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
When you are injured in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company will not pay any amount until you are ready to settle the claim. If you are out of work for several months and you incur thousands of dollars in medical bills and other costs, you will not receive any money until you sign a release and settlement. However, you do not want to settle the claim until you are sure you have recovered fully from the injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can help pay medical bills and lost wages while you are waiting to settle your claim. Your PIP insurance pays a portion of these damages, regardless of who is at-fault for the crash. Therefore, even if you caused the crash, you could still file a claim against your PIP insurance coverage.
GAP insurance is very important if the loan on your vehicle exceeds the value of the vehicle. You are only entitled to receive compensation for the value of your vehicle. This could be a problem if you have a loan on the vehicle or the other driver has minimum property damage coverage.
GAP insurance pays the difference between what is owed on the vehicle and the fair market value of the vehicle. GAP insurance can prevent you from owing a substantial amount of money on a vehicle that has been totaled.
Call a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for a Free Appointment
If a negligent or careless driver caused you to be injured, we want to help. For a free legal consultation with a Sacramento car accident attorney, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.