Car insurance serves two purposes. It protects those at fault for a crash and the people not responsible for it from financial losses.
Unfortunately, the required insurance company coverage that drivers must carry to drive in California is rather low. Especially in scenarios involving significant damage to a vehicle, the coverage available on a basic policy may not be enough to fix, let alone replace, your vehicle. In fact, you may have to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket because of a crash that someone else caused.
What does California mandate?
Someone with the minimum insurance required in California could drive around with only $5,000 in property damage coverage. That coverage could be far from enough — especially if your vehicle suffered extensive damage or is a total loss.
You could make a claim against your own policy as well if you carry underinsured motorist protection. Your policy could help cover some of the cost to buy a new vehicle or fix the damage caused by the crash. If you don’t have that coverage yourself, or if you still have uncovered costs, then you may need to consider bringing a legal claim against the other driver in the California civil courts.
Personal injury lawsuits aren’t just for medical bills
Contrary to what the name suggests, a personal injury lawsuit isn’t just an option for someone who gets hurt because of another party’s misconduct or negligence. Those with property damage losses could also have grounds for a claim.
Negotiating the best possible insurance claim and filing a civil lawsuit may both be necessary for those dealing with a totaled vehicle and mediocre insurance after a California car crash.