If you sue, there may be no maximum liability for third-party bodily injury. Most motorists in California have auto insurance, but these policies have coverage limits. If your accident-related damages exceed the coverage limits on the liable third party’s policy, you may sue.
If you choose not to sue, you may be limited to collecting compensation up to the policy’s coverage limits. A car accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve, whether that means filing an insurance claim or pursuing a lawsuit. Call KJT Law Group today at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation.
What Is the Minimum Required Third-Party Bodily Injury Coverage in California?
The California Department of Insurance (CDOI) explains that the minimum bodily injury liability limits are:
- $15,000 to cover the injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 to cover the injury or death of two or more people in an accident
In addition, every motorist in California must carry $5,000 to cover property damage they cause others’ vehicles.
What Losses Does Bodily Injury Coverage Account For?
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries or death an at-fault motorist causes another person. While this coverage is meant to prevent the at-fault motorist from facing personal liability for the harm they cause, these minimum insurance coverage limits are not always enough to cover accident-related losses.
Note that some motorists may purchase bodily injury liability coverage beyond these minimum required limits. In such cases, injured parties might have access to greater than $15,000 or $30,000 in coverage.
Does California Require at-Fault Parties to Cover Injuries from Auto Accidents?
California is a fault or “tort” state in terms of auto insurance. This means that the party responsible for causing an accident (who is most often a motorist) is responsible for victims’ injury-related damages.
For this reason, bodily injury liability coverage is a vital form of insurance for motorists in California (and those they injure).
What If an Injured Motorist’s or Passenger’s Losses Exceed Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Limits?
There is a realistic chance that an injured motorist or passenger will have injury-related losses exceeding $15,000 or even a higher coverage limit. The National Safety Council (NSC) explains that, on average, an accident causing apparent injury costs the victim $40,000 in economic damages alone.
In this case, you may consider suing the at-fault motorist or another liable party for your accident-related damages. By pursuing a lawsuit, you may have no cap on the amount of compensation you can receive.
How to Know If You Should Sue a Liable Party for Accident-Related Damages
If losses that relate to bodily injury cost more than the insurance coverage limits, you should consider a lawsuit. Otherwise, you may pay out of your own pocket for losses that you have not caused.
A car accident attorney from our team can review your case and explain whether a lawsuit may be worth the effort. If it is, our team will lead the legal process while you focus on your recovery.
Injury-Related Damages That May Result from a Motor Vehicle Accident
Bodily injury liability coverage may account for several injury-related losses, namely medical care. However, injuries from an auto accident may cause far more harm than medical bills alone. Recoverable damages from an auto accident may include:
The primary type of loss related to bodily injury, an auto accident victim may face bills for:
- Emergency transportation from the accident scene
- Emergency treatment
- Medical imaging
The more significant your injuries are, the more costly your medical bills will likely be.
Once doctors have diagnosed and treated your injuries, rehabilitation may be the next step. If you need physical therapy or any other type of rehab, a lawyer from our firm can seek compensation for the cost of rehab and transportation to your appointments.
Pain and Suffering
One benefit of lawsuits is that you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, which insurance does not cover. Pain and suffering includes:
- Injury-related pain
- Psychological distress
- Emotional anguish
- Anxiety about operating or riding in motor vehicles
- Lost quality of life
- Sleep problems
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Pain and suffering is unique to each accident victim. Our firm will consult mental health professionals to understand the nature and severity of your pain and suffering.
Treatment for Psychological and Emotional Hardship
If you need medication, therapy, or any other treatment for your pain and suffering, we will include the cost of care in your lawsuit.
Motor vehicle accidents often cause damage to:
- Cell phones, vehicle entertainment systems, and other electronics
- Jewelry and accessories
- Other property
These are damages that our team considers when representing motor vehicle accident victims.
Injuries and psychological harm from motor vehicle accidents can prevent victims from working, which may cause the victims to lose:
- Earning power
- Retirement contributions
These damages may prove very costly. An attorney from our firm will seek compensation covering these and each of your other accident-related damages.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Seek Compensation for the Accident?
An attorney from our team will:
- Review all insurance policies related to your accident
- Determine how much bodily injury coverage you deserve from the liable party’s policy
- Calculate the cost of your damages and compare the cost against insurance coverage
- Advise you about whether to pursue a lawsuit
- Handle every step in your claim or lawsuit
An attorney’s services will allow you to focus on your health. They will advise you on any settlement offers you receive and take your case to court if necessary.
Call KJT Law Group Today for Your Free Consultation
KJT Law Group understands California’s insurance rules and the shortcomings that sometimes prevent victims from recovering fair compensation through insurance. You can rely on us to fight for what you deserve.Call KJT Law Group today at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation about hiring a personal injury lawyer.