If you have been in a car accident, you should know that California law specifies a “fault” insurance system. What does this mean? It means that people injured in a car accident are free to file several different types of claims to receive damages. Any injured party (be they driver, passenger, or pedestrian) may seek compensation via 1) filing a suit through the at-fault driver’s insurance company; 2) filing a claim through your own insurance; or 3) filing a suit for personal injury against the at-fault driver, rather than his insurance company.

Perhaps the best way to understand this is to compare it with another system that many states have, the “no-fault” system. Under no-fault, people who are injured in a car accident must deal only with their own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. This applies to medical bills and lost income. This is not the case in California, however.

What kinds of injuries can be covered through the fault system? Any claim filed against any party can be undertaken to receive damages for losses. They can include medical bills for injuries sustained in the accident, property damage to cars or other property involved in an accident, or lost income if you were unable to work.

Any motor vehicle driven in California must, by law, have liability insurance coverage. This stipulation is related to fault, because it is designed to make sure drivers will be able compensate injured parties for personal injuries or property damage.

The minimum amounts of coverage required by law are

  • $15,000 if injury or death to one person occurred (another driver, passenger, pedestrian, etc.).
  • $30,000 if injury or death to more than one person occurred, and
  • $5,000 if damage to property occurred.

Please contact us if you need to discuss a car accident.

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