Understanding Auto Insurance Coverage
Because another driver took his eyes off the road for a few seconds, you end up with a totaled vehicle, serious injuries and unpaid leave from work. In a perfect world, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage would pay for your damages, but you find out his policy falls short. You also learn from his insurance adjuster that you must share partial liability for the collision, which further diminishes the amount of compensation you can collect. You need the help of an accident injury attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Glossary of Auto Insurance Coverage Terms
- Liability insurance covers some of the other driver’s damages if you are at fault in a car accident. The minimums coverage required for California drivers includes $15,000 for the injury or death of one person, $30,000 for the injury/deaths of two or more people, and $5,000 for property damage.
- Comprehensive insurance pays for non-collision damages to your car. For example, it would pay to repair a dent caused by a fallen tree. Comprehensive insurance is not required in California, but you must have it if you have a car loan.
- Collision insurance covers the cost of damage to your vehicle due to a collision. The law does not require it, but your loan officer does.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for an accident caused by someone else with inadequate coverage. It is optional.
You are responsible for keeping current proof of insurance available whenever you are driving. If a police officer stops you and you cannot provide your proof of insurance, you could be fined:
- $100 to $200 for your first offense
- $200 to $500 for your second offense within three years
The law enforcement officer can choose to impound your car until you can show proof you are insured.
Measures That Make Auto Insurance Coverage Affordable
In California, insurance companies must offer a 20 percent insurance premium discount to drivers who have met specific safety standards for the previous three years. The state also offers a low-cost auto insurance plan for drivers meeting certain guidelines. If you can get a vehicle and a driver’s license, you can get insurance.
At-Fault Insurance Issues
Even with a full understanding of your auto insurance coverage, you may find out how little you know about liability and damage recovery after a car accident occurs. California is an at-fault state, and in theory, each party in the accident could share partial blame. If you are hurt in the accident, or someone is killed, issues of liability become extremely important due to the sheer scope of the damages involved.
Typically, insurance adjusters assign liability based on the police accident report, witness statements and the statements of others involved. For example, the adjuster may determine that both you and the other driver share liability on a 50-50 basis. As a result, you would be able to recover only half of your accident-related costs from the other party’s insurance company. If you do not agree with the liability determination, you should speak with a personal injury attorney for legal help.
Contact Rizio Liberty Lipinsky for Auto Insurance Coverage Advice
As a car accident injury victim, you should not have to suffer financial losses due to someone else’s negligence or harmful intent. The lawyers at Rizio Liberty Lipinsky are experienced in determining liability, negotiating for you with auto insurance adjusters and getting you the full damage award you deserve. Call 888-292-8888, or fill out our quick contact form to arrange a free consultation today.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.