Car Accidents and Insurance Issues
Car accidents injuries in California are generally covered under a comprehensive liability insurance scheme. Insurance companies compose a for profit industry as part of a larger system that uses various means to protect person and property by spreading risk. Under most of their policies exist limits that would determine what the insurance can cover and what it cannot. The law says that every person operating within the state of California must have automobile insurance to cover damage they cause to others. The policy limit required for both bodily injury and property damage is the biggest insurance issue facing many victims of car accidents. Such limits, however, are one of the various factors that affect money recovery in a car accident. Another one of the big issues is uninsured motorists.
When a person who causes an accident does not have insurance or does not have adequate coverage, it is hard to be made whole. In these instances, the comprehensive system has failed the injury victim. Nevertheless, both issues can be solved by the individual through the purchase of additional coverage in the event they fall victim to an uninsured/underinsured negligent motorist. Let's take a deeper look at some car accidents and insurance issues
Auto Accident Insurance Policy Limits Issue
The biggest insurance factor affecting recovery in a personal injury claim is the policy limits issue. Insurance companies word their policies for liability differently and depending on the wording of the contract, the limits are determined. The minimum limit for bodily injury in California is $15,000/$30,000. Here, distinguish between per person limit and per occurrence limit. The amount of coverage insurance policies provide differs on these limits. The amount of coverage provided for “each person” is less than that provided for “each accident or occurrence." The first number is the smallest amount per person limit. The second number is the smallest amount per occurrence or per incident. It means that for each accident, the policy must cover $15,000 for each person up to $30,000 per accident. No single person can collect more than $15,000.00 under the policy and even if there are several people injured through one negligent act, cumulatively they cannot collect more than $30,000 from the policy. Clearly these small required limits create issues where catastrophic injury or death occurs, or where there are more than 2 victims involved.
One should also distinguish between bodily injury damage and property damage The former usually includes damages for care and loss of services and the personal nature of loss of consortium. The latter refers to the damage or loss of property only. Most personal injury law firms do not represent those who only suffer loss or damage to personal property.
Some policies do not define “per person” damages. These are usually large policies carried by companies and non-profit organizations. It is usually a large sum like $1,000,000.00 per incident. This means that each victim may collect up to $1,000,000 but in no event can there be a cumulative payout over the 1 million dollars. In recovering tort damages, and based on some liability policies, the spouse of an injured person can claim loss of consortium and recover for their damages. However, this will be under the per occurrence limit.
When it comes to insurance policy limits, language is very important. Liability policies use the two limits explained above in a very vague way. Hence, there is room of interpretation as well. Per person limit may be understood as each individual who suffered from injury or it can include the person suffering damages as well as all other claims resulting from the bodily injury including loss of consortium.
Problem of the Uninsured Motorist Driver
More important information on car accident and insurance issues involves a layout of how lack of coverage can affect bodily harm recovery. A comprehensive scheme exists to make sure that there is a recovery for those who fall victim to traffic collisions. In some instances, the tortfeasor has ZERO, nothing at all. If they do not carry insurance, they may have no assets to pay the damaged party. Thus the purpose of the system becomes defeated. For example, if someone causes a car crash and has no insurance, the person hurt has no where to go. There are no assets to sue for and there is no insurance to pay out. Major problem of the uninsured motorist.
A remedy for this situation and in situations where there is inadequate coverage is through procuring uninsured/underinsured coverage. For extra money, a person can protect themselves by having their own insurance company step in and pay up to a certain limit in the event the at-fault party has no insurance or their insurance is not adequate.
Uninsured/Insured Motorist Driver Personal Injury Lawyers
You still might need a lawyer if you are facing one of the above insurance issues involving a car accident and have your own insurance to cover you. Just because you have coverage does not meant even your adjuster is going to pay out a fair settlement. Proving the liability, and nature and extent of bodily harm, can be quite difficult in any event. This means that a car accident personal injury lawyer may be needed to come in and help by arbitrating a dispute with your carrier. The Napolin Law Firm has extensive experience handling these types of disputes. Pick a firm that has you covered in all instances. Call Napolin today and get a free consultation with trial injury lawyer.