Serious car crashes can break bones, cause brain injuries and sever spinal cords. Motor vehicle collisions are not just a leading cause of death. They are also a top cause of many of the most serious catastrophic injuries that people experience.
Thankfully, every driver in California should have liability insurance on their vehicle that protects them from financial responsibility if they cause a crash. You rely on that policy carried by the other driver if you get hurt in a collision. Unfortunately, many people in California could have far more medical costs than what insurance will pay.
State minimums lag behind typical medical costs
Although there are possibly some changes in the works, currently California only requires $30,000 worth of bodily injury coverage in a crash where one person gets hurt and $60,000 of coverage if two or more people suffer injuries. Such coverage can leave major gaps, especially if multiple people suffer moderate or severe injuries in the wreck.
Although many drivers choose to carry more insurance than that, the California state car insurance requirements are far below even the medical care costs for serious injuries like brain and spinal cord injuries. Drivers may not have enough coverage to pay for someone’s hospital bills, let alone the lost wages they need to somehow replace.
What happens when insurance falls short?
If the person who caused the crash that injured you does not have sufficient insurance to fully cover your expenses, you may need to look into alternative options. Some drivers can bring claims against their own policies if they have the right coverage. Others who can show that the crash was the result of illegal driving habits or negligence may be able to file a civil lawsuit.
Occasionally, there could even be a third party, like a vehicle manufacturer, with at least partial liability for the collision. A civil lawsuit won’t have the same strict limits to compensation that an insurance claim will, which can make such claims very useful when someone suffers a catastrophic injury.
Looking into all of your options for compensation can help you after a major car crash caused by a driver with a bad insurance policy.