The Risks of Carrying Minimum Liability Coverage in California: Why It’s Never Enough

By: JML Law | December 27, 2018.
The Risks of Carrying Minimum Liability Coverage in California: Why It’s Never Enough

We get it. If you are shopping for an auto insurance policy, you want to save cost as much as possible. In fact, when choosing an auto insurance plan, many of us are thinking (often, wrongly), “I am such a cautious and attentive driver that I will most certainly never get into a car accident, so why to bother with those expensive car insurance plans?”

In reality, when shopping for a car insurance policy, it is highly advised to carefully consider your options and avoid purchasing the cheapest one. After all, it’s cheap for a reason. You need insurance coverage that will provide sufficient coverage if – God forbid – something happens to you, your family members, or others in a car accident.

Still, many of you are probably wondering what those minimum liability coverage insurance plans mean, and whether they can be a good option if you know for a fact that you are a “careful” and “attentive” driver and never get into motor vehicle crashes. Today, we invited our Los Angeles car accident lawyer from JML Law to explain whether the minimum coverage can satisfy your needs as a driver in California.

No, you are not always covered if you have auto insurance in California

One of the most common misconceptions about auto insurance in California is that “As long as I have insurance coverage – any insurance – my insurance company will always cover me if I am ever injured while driving.” Well, how about no?

In reality, whether or not you are covered by your insurance company depends on the type of coverage that you have chosen. It is true that by California law, motorists in the state are required to have liability insurance. But here’s something many of you do not realize. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyer explains that this coverage is not actually for the driver’s injuries. This mandatory coverage covers the injuries of other people involved in the accident that you (the driver) cause.

Why minimum liability coverage is not enough

Did you know that the vast majority of all motorists in California are carrying minimum liability coverage? They are choosing it for obvious reasons. It’s the kind of coverage that meets the legal requirements and it’s the cheapest option. But can the cheapest insurance policy in California satisfy your needs? Far from it.

The cheapest insurance coverage in California typically includes coverage for $5,000 in property damage and $15,000 for the injury or death of a person if there is only one victim. If there are two or more victims, on the other hand, personal injury coverage increases to $30,000.

Typically, the minimum liability coverage will be enough to cover car accidents resulting in minor injuries. “For accidents with more serious injuries and damages, meanwhile, the minimum liability coverage will most likely not be enough to cover all of the medical expenses, not to mention loss of income, loss of earning capacity, pain, and suffering, among other damages,” warns our experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles.

Needless to say, if the victim of a car accident that you cause dies, $15,000 will definitely not be enough to cover the medical expenses incurred prior to the death as well as funeral and burial expenses on top of the loss of income, loss of moral support, pain and suffering, and many more.

The same goes for car accidents in which a victim sustains a severe injury such as brain injury. In that case, $15,000 will hardly be enough, which may prompt the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against you to recover any additional damages straight from your pocket.

It is always a good idea to consult with a Los Angeles car accident attorney to find out what the best auto insurance coverage is for your particular circumstances. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at JML Law by calling at 818-610-8800.

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