The average adult in California may have a negative attitude about personal injury lawsuits. It is quite common for people to assume that going to court is largely unnecessary except in the most extreme cases.
For example, people may question the necessity of a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash because California law requires that every driver carry liability insurance. People might expect that filing an insurance claim would be the only necessary step required for an individual with major property damage losses and injuries after a crash to secure payment for their costs.
However, lawsuits related to motor vehicle collisions are a common cause form of civil litigation in California. What makes crash-related personal injury lawsuits so common?
Insurance can’t cover major crash costs
Many people who end up filing a personal injury lawsuit in California may have begun with an insurance claim. Unfortunately, what California requires motorists to carry to legally drive on the road is far from an accurate representation of what a crash might cost.
Every driver needs to have at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. California law also requires bodily injury liability coverage. If a crash leaves one person hurt, a policy may provide as little as $15,000 in compensation for both medical expenses and lost income. Collisions with two or more injured parties usually have a minimum coverage amount of $30,000 available to split among all affected parties. A full payout of $15,000 might not even be enough to pay to have someone’s arm put in the cast and to cover three months of lost wages and physical therapy expenses, let alone cover the costs of a more serious injury.
A personal injury lawsuit is an option when there isn’t enough insurance and there are provable losses triggered by the collision. People who don’t cause crashes shouldn’t have to accept the expenses generated by one. Lawsuits provide a direct means of holding someone accountable both for causing a wreck and for having inadequate financial protection.
There’s nothing frivolous or inappropriate about requesting a reasonable amount of compensation based on provable financial costs generated by a car crash. Realizing how the California insurance system may leave crash victims without enough coverage may help people overcome their personal bias and properly consider filing a lawsuit after a major collision.