How California Auto Insurance Works When You Have Been in an Accident
After you purchase your auto insurance, you rarely give it a second thought, other than to pay the bill. But, after you have been in a car accident, you will need to know how your insurance works and what it covers.
California is a “fault” state. This means that unless you have a special type of coverage, your insurance will not pay for your injuries or property damage. You will need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
California is also a pure comparative fault state. If there is an accident and one driver is 95% at fault and the other driver is 5% at fault, they could both sue each other and recover compensation for their injuries. However, their damages would be reduced by their percentage of fault. The driver that is 95% responsible for the accident would have his or her damages reduced by 95%.
You can technically recover damages for your injuries even if you are 99% at fault for the accident.
Optional Insurance Coverage
There are several optional types of additional insurance coverage that offers greater protections to policyholders in car accidents. You can get insurance that will pay you for any property damage to your vehicle, even if you are at fault for the accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies work in a similar way for drivers that are hurt in a car accident. If you have a PIP policy, your insurance company will pay for your treatment for your injuries, even if you caused the accident.
While all drivers are required to have insurance, many drivers fail to take the responsibility seriously. If you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault and does not have any insurance, you may not be able to recover anything for your property damage or your injuries unless you have an uninsured motorist policy.
A related type of coverage is underinsured motorist coverage. This is used when the policy limits for a driver are not enough to cover all the damage the driver has caused. Many companies combine uninsured and underinsured motorist policies into a single product.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an experienced San Jose personal injury lawyer. You only have a short time to file a claim to get compensated for your injuries. Call Janoff Law today at 408-286-2300 to schedule a confidential consultation.