When Can an Attorney File a Claim with the Victim’s Car Insurance Company?

two-guys-shaking-hands-insurance-paperworkAfter a car accident, the victim usually files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In California, the at-fault driver is financially liable for the victim’s damages.

However, you may have purchased additional coverage for your own damages within your insurance policy. When is it appropriate to file a claim against this coverage?

The Sacramento car accident attorneys of The Arnold Law Firm can discuss financial responsibility in car accidents and whether filing a claim with your own insurance company is relevant. If you were injured in a car accident, you can discuss your options for pursuing compensation in a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

California Law on Financial Responsibility for a Car Accident

California is a tort state, also known as a fault state. This means that in a car accident, the person who is found to be at fault is liable for damages.

California requires that drivers carry minimum insurance coverage, though drivers can purchase higher amounts if they choose. State minimum car insurance coverage are as follows:

  • $15,000 for injury or death of a person
  • $30,000 for injury or death of multiple persons
  • $5,000 for property damage

This minimum coverage is quickly exhausted in the event serious injuries were sustained. If multiple people were involved in the collision, the at-fault party’s coverage may not be sufficient to fully pay your claim.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

California auto insurance providers are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which provides you with coverage if the at-fault driver’s coverage limits are not enough to pay your expenses. However, you are not required to purchase this insurance.

If you hold uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance provider for accident-related damages. This coverage can provide compensation for medical bills, vehicle damage, and some other expenses, up to the limits of your policy.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Drivers can also carry collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a moving vehicle collision, usually involving another vehicle or an object, such as a fence or tree. Comprehensive insurance covers non-collision damage (as defined by your policy), such as a tree falling on your car, hail, vandalism, or theft.

Many drivers carry additional motorist coverage, because they financed their vehicle and this coverage is required by the lender. Even if a lender does not require physical damage/collision coverage, insurers are required to offer it.

Why You Should Contact a Lawyer

Generally, accident victims who hire an experienced lawyer recover more compensation than those who do not.

One of the main reasons is an experienced lawyer has extensive knowledge about pursuing insurance compensation. The lawyers at our firm are prepared to explore the details of your own coverage to determine if you can file a claim with your auto insurance provider.

Call Our Trusted Attorneys for Help After an Accident

If you were injured in an accident, navigating the insurance claims process can be quite difficult on your own. Work with an experienced attorney with a history of results. We help our clients focus on their recovery by managing the legal process on their behalf.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation with our licensed Sacramento car accident lawyers. We charge no upfront fees, and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.

Call (916) 777-7777 or complete our Free Case Review form.