While they might be the most interesting or easy to understand things in the world, insurance laws can have profound impacts on people. In order to fully understand your rights when you are in an automobile accident, having at least a basic knowledge of your state’s insurance laws can be critical. For instance, do you know whether California is a no-fault state? Do you know what it means to be or not to be a no-fault state? We will go over this in more detail here.
Is California a No-Fault State?
When a state operates under a no-fault law, all drivers of the state are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. The intent behind PIP coverage is to provide injured drivers ease of access to health insurance type benefits. Those not in favor of no-fault laws tend to argue that this no-fault coverage can not only be expensive but may be rendered wholly unnecessary in the event that a driver has health insurance benefits.
You see, in a no-fault state, you are obligated to first make a claim through your own insurance policy PIP benefits if you are injured in a car accident. This is true no matter who is at fault (hence, the name “no-fault”). Like health insurance, PIP policy benefits will provide coverage for your medical expenses and related expenses stemming from the accident and regardless of who is deemed to be liable for the accident. Some no-fault states will allow a party injured in an accident to pursue a damages claim against the at-fault party. However, these states require that the party pursuing the claim against the person who caused the accident to be able to prove that their injuries exceeded a specified dollar amount or, in the alternative, that the injuries they sustained are included in qualifying catastrophic injuries listed in state law.
California, however, is not considered to be a no-fault state. California does not require drivers to carry PIP coverage. The state does require drivers to carry $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage as well as $5,000 in property damage coverage. While drivers have the option to carry Uninsured or Underinsured motorist coverage, it is not required. It could, however, prove useful should you be hit by a person with just the minimum required insurance coverage or by a person who does not have any insurance at all.
As an at-fault state, those injured California drivers are permitted to file a claim against the party responsible for causing the accident right from the start. The claimant must be able to prove, however, that the other party was in fact responsible for causing the accident for the claim to be successful and receive compensation from the liable party. In the event that an injured party can prove fault and that the accident caused his or her injuries, the claimant will be entitled to receive payment to cover the costs associated with medical care, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic damages caused by the accident.
Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a California car accident, SoCal Injury Lawyers are here for you. We understand the insurance law intricacies and fight to pursue your right to financial recovery so that you can focus on your health and well-being after an accident. Contact us today.