State-mandated insurance is part of what makes driving accessible for working-class and middle-class Americans. Without insurance protecting people from liability and reimbursing them for the damages suffered and crashes, individual transportation might be too financially risky for the average person.
Motor vehicle liability insurance protects people from being personally responsible for the expenses related to a car crash and also from financial hardship related to a recent wreck. You trust your own coverage to reduce your liability and therefore your risk of facing a lawsuit and a judgment that could endanger your personal property for your future income.
You rely on another driver’s coverage when they are to blame for the wreck that leaves you injured or your vehicle undrivable. Unfortunately, you may learn after the crash occurs that the person at fault does not have enough insurance to pay your costs because of the state’s low requirements.
California has many underinsured drivers
Some drivers in California let their policies lapse either intentionally or due to a mistake, like forgetting to mail a check. While only a few drivers in California do not have proper insurance, there are many more people driving with only the minimum coverage required by the state.
The person who causes your crash might only have $5,000 in property damage coverage or as little as $15,000 for bodily injury coverage. If your costs exceed what their insurance will pay, you may have to look at other options for compensation.
You can protect yourself ahead of time
Every insurance company offering coverage to a driver registered in California should provide the option of adding uninsured and underinsured motorist protection to their policies. If you have that coverage in your name, then you don’t have to worry as much about encountering one of those drivers who won’t be able to compensate you properly for a crash.
It may also benefit you to understand California’s personal injury laws, which allow you to take someone to court if they cause you physical injury or property damage that has financial consequences. Those who discover that the person responsible for the recent collision does not have insurance to secure professional help if they want to obtain full reimbursement for their losses.
Learning more about your protection and rights after a California car crash can reduce the likelihood of your household needing to absorb those costs.