Under California law, all vehicles which are operated or parked on a roadway
anywhere in the state are required to be covered by some type of financial
responsibility. While it is possible to supply financial responsibility
by placing a cash deposit with the Department of Motor Vehicles, purchasing
a surety bond or obtaining a certificate of self-insurance from the DMV,
the vast majority of car owners in the state choose to purchase auto insurance
at the minimum rate or perhaps more.
State law requires car owners to carry liability insurance which serves
to protect the driver against legal action in the event that he or she
is sued for personal injury or
wrongful death after being involved in a
car accident. The absolute minimum amount of coverage for a passenger vehicle is $15,000
for injury or death caused to one person and $30,000 for injury or death
caused to more than one person, in addition to a minimum of $5,000 for
property damage. Some drivers choose to purchase larger amounts of coverage,
such as $25,000 for a single accident victim and $50,000 for all victims,
$50,000/$100,000 or even as much as $250,000/$500,000.
What does this mean to you after you have been injured or lost a loved
one in a serious motor vehicle collision? It means that you can potentially
file a claim for as much as the other driver's liability insurance
will cover in order to obtain financial compensation for your medical
expenses, your lost wages and the pain, suffering and emotional distress
which you have been forced to experience. Unfortunately, there are many
cases in which the value of the plaintiff's claim is greater than
the limit on the defendant's insurance policy. When this happens,
it may be possible to satisfy the remainder of the claim by suing the
driver for a judgment which can be used to obtain a wage garnishment or
a lien on personal property.
Don't Try to Settle with the Insurance Company on Your Own
The fact that the other driver's insurance policy is written to provide
a certain amount of coverage does not mean that the insurance company
will willingly pay that amount to you when you file your accident claim.
On the contrary, they are likely to do everything they can to minimize
the value of your claim, or even to deny it outright. This is one of the
many reasons why it is vital to hire a San Jose personal injury attorney
to represent your case and fight for your right to the compensation you are due.
Contact us now at Habbas & Associates for a free initial consultation to discuss
your accident and review the case to determine how much you could stand
to receive in a settlement from the insurance company. We have a proven
track record of success in negotiating with insurance companies, and we
are prepared to take your case all the way to a jury trial if necessary
to get the results you deserve.