How Auto Accident Minimum Liability Coverage Affects California Drivers
Auto accidents happen every day in San Francisco, and they have wide-ranging effects. Not only is there damage to automobiles, but personal injuries to pay for as well. You may think that your California auto insurance policy fully “covers you” in case of a motor vehicle accident. If the other driver was at fault, you may think that their car insurance will take care of all your medical bills. While California requires drivers to carry minimum liability coverage, the coverage amount has not changed in 50 years. If you depend on insurance minimums, rather than working with the best San Francisco car accident lawyers, you may find that coverage for an auto accident comes up woefully short.
California’s 1967 Insurance Liability Limits Are Outdated
It’s no surprise that costs have increased in the past 50 years. When rates were set by the California legislature in 1967, injury claim coverage was set at a minimum of $15,000 per person, and capped at $30,000 per occurrence. That may have been minimally adequate at that time, but you would need $107,000 in today’s dollars to get that same value of coverage. Without the help of a skilled car accident lawyer, you may find yourself with a claim that the insurance companies view as paid in full — yet barely begins to address the actual expenses you incur in treating car accident injuries and regaining your health.
Are Liability Limits in California Likely To Change Soon?
There are arguments against raising the minimum liability coverage that mean it is unlikely to change soon in the state of California. Some argue that insurance must remain affordable, so most drivers can comply with the law. Other people may be out of touch with the reality of medical costs. To some people, $15,000 may sound like enough money to cover most car injury settlements. Whatever your views on these arguments, none of them will pay the bills if you are the victim of a car accident in the San Francisco Bay Area with anything more than minimal medical consequences.
How Can I Protect Myself if I’m in a Car Accident?
We always advocate defensive driving and doing your best to avoid an accident.
Consult with a reputable insurance agency when purchasing coverage.
Purchase all the “uninsured/under-insured motorist” coverage you can afford, to help protect yourself.
Take notes and photographs if you are in an accident.
Keep track of paperwork such as a police report, if one was filed with your local Bay Area police department.
Keep track of doctor’s reports and medical bills.
Find the best car accident lawyer in the Bay Area to handle your case. An experienced SF attorney can help you get the best car injury settlement possible. The consultation is free, and a good attorney will tell you if her or she cannot add value for you.
Ask Expert Car Accident Attorneys in San Francisco
Callaway & Wolf Law Firm is dedicated to helping those who have suffered the physical and mental pain of a car accident in San Francisco. Every client receives the full focus of our attention, and benefits from our specialized knowledge in the practice areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, brain injuries, bicycle accidents and car accidents. Click to request a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, or call us at 415-541-0300.
Boone Callaway is a personal injury & medical malpractice lawyer in San Francisco who has been working with clients in the Bay Area for over 25 years. Mr. Callaway is one of only a few personal injury litigators in San Francisco who is a Super Lawyer, AV Rated and is also a member of ABOTA – American Board of Trial Advocates.