Auto insurance is a legal requirement for drivers and car owners in Bakersfield. Many people are only aware of how auto insurance policies operate once they are involved in crashes with other vehicles. After an automobile accident, you must comply with several intricate rules set forth by your insurer or the insurer of the party who was to blame.
Requirements for California Car Insurance
In California, all drivers must carry a minimum car insurance coverage. This includes liability coverage, which pays for damages and injuries that you cause to others in an accident. The state requires drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person and $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $5,000 in property damage coverage.
Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in California
In addition to liability coverage, California requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. The state requires drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person and $30,000 per accident.
Comprehensive and Collision Insurance
While liability and uninsured motorist coverage are required by law, you may also carry additional coverage to protect your vehicle. Comprehensive and collision insurance are optional coverage types that can help pay for damages to your car in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your car caused by non-collision events, such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Collision insurance covers damages to your car caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
California Personal Injury Protection and Medical Pay Benefit Insurance
In addition to the coverage types mentioned above, California has two optional types that can help pay for your medical expenses in the event of an accident: personal injury protection (PIP) and medical pay benefit insurance. PIP coverage pays for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses incurred due to an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Medical pay benefit insurance is similar to PIP coverage but only covers medical expenses.
California as an At-Fault State
It’s important to note that California is an at-fault state regarding car accidents. This means that the driver determined to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries caused to the other parties involved. If you are found to be at fault for an accident, your insurance company will pay for the damages and injuries up to the limits of your coverage.
If the damages and injuries exceed your coverage limits, you may be personally responsible for paying the remaining amount. So you want to hire top car accident lawyers in Bakersfield to fight for your rights and build a solid defense if you are deemed responsible for the accident.
Comparative Negligence Law in Personal Injury Compensation
In some cases, both parties involved in an accident may be found to be at fault. In these situations, California follows a comparative negligence law, which means that each party is responsible for paying for their damages and injuries based on their degree of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident, you would be responsible for paying 20% of your damages and injuries.
Working With the Insurer in the Compensation Claim
When you file a personal injury claim, your first point of contact will likely be an insurance adjuster. This is the person who is responsible for evaluating your claim and determining amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. The adjuster may work for the insurance company of the person or entity that caused the accident, or they may work for your own insurance company if you have coverage for the type of accident in which you were involved.
Vital Evidence that you need to present
Help strengthen your case and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation, it’s crucial to provide the adjuster with as much evidence as possible. Some of the critical pieces of evidence you should gather include the following:
- Police Report: If the accident involved a car, you should obtain a copy of the police report. This document will provide essential details about the accident, such as the incident’s location, time, and circumstances. It will also include information about any citations or charges that were issued.
- Photographs and Video: Take pictures and video of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle or other property. You should also take photos of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident, as this can help document the extent of your injuries.
- Medical Records: It’s essential to keep track of all medical treatment you receive due to the accident. Make sure to keep copies of all medical bills, prescriptions, and other documentation related to your injuries.
Dealing with a personal injury can be a complex and overwhelming process, but having the right insurance coverage can provide much-needed financial support. By understanding how insurance works in a personal injury case and gathering the necessary evidence, you can increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal injury claim, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.