California law requires every motorist to purchase and maintain minimum amounts of automobile insurance. This insurance allows you to pay for another party’s property damage and medical expenses after causing a car accident. California law minimum requirements are:
- $15,000 in bodily injury or death coverage per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury or death coverage per accident
- $5,000 in property damage coverage per accident
But what happens if you were the one involved in an accident and the at-fault party either has no insurance or only has the minimum required policy which does not cover your medical bills or property damage? In such cases, your own underinsured/uninsured coverage can take over – if you have opted into this coverage.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
California has one of the lowest insurance policy requirements in the country. After an accident, it is common for the liable party not to have sufficient insurance coverage to cover your losses. For example, if your car is totaled in the crash, it is unlikely that a minimum $5,000 property damage coverage will pay for the full value of your vehicle. Similarly, if you are seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses, it will also mostly likely require more than $15,000 in medical bills. The solution will be to file for compensation under your own underinsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured insurance can pay for your damages that are not covered by the at-fault party’s minimum coverage. Underinsured insurance will pay you up to your policy’s maximum coverage, which may be $30,000, $60,000, $100,000, or more, depending on how much coverage you have purchased.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Although every motorist is required to have insurance, it does not mean they do. There are many motorists who feel they are above the law and simply do not purchase even the minimum car insurance policy as required. If you are involved in an accident where the at fault party does not have insurance, the solution will be to file a claim with your uninsured motorist claim and seek compensation up to your limits.
If you have opted out of your uninsured motorist coverage, you will be left without any recourse in paying for your property damage or collecting for your medical expenses and pain and suffering.
The bottom line is that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a very important part of your auto insurance policy. This coverage will cover your expenses in the event of an accident caused by another party.
Contact an Experienced Fresno Accident Attorney
If you or a loved has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation.
The Stockton accident attorneys at the Srai Law Offices advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call (209) 323-5558.