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Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in California

Every state throughout the U.S. has unique auto insurance coverage requirements, but one thing is true for each: It is illegal to drive without car insurance in all 50 states.

California Laws require motorists to not only carry car insurance on each of their vehicles but mandate a minimum amount of coverage for each car, truck, or SUV, to protect the driver — and other drivers and their passengers — while traveling our busy roadways.

At Redkey Gordon, our car accident attorneys in Stockton, California understand how devastating a car accident can be for those who are injured by another’s driver’s negligence. When the physical and emotional fallout from a car crash is compounded by news that the other driver did not have auto insurance, our clients face a very tough recovery.

Our personal injury attorneys in San Joaquin County and Amador County provide solutions for injury victims by providing the resources they need to pursue the legal options that apply to their unique accident and injury circumstances.

What is the Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Requirement in California?

California drivers must carry auto insurance coverage amounts for at least:

  • Minimum of $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage
  • Minimum of $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability coverage
  • Minimum of $5,000 minimum for property damage liability coverage

As an alternative to obtaining coverage from an insurance company, drivers may also provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond for $35,000 from a licensed business in California.

What Factors Determine My California Auto Insurance Rates?

Like health or homeowner’s insurance policies, car insurance rates vary widely from person to person, as providers determine coverage and premium amounts based on the policyholder’s unique circumstances.

The factors that determine your overall monthly or annual rate auto insurance rates in California can include:

  • Age
  • Driving record and accident history
  • Location of the vehicle
  • Sex
  • Traffic violations and accumulated points
  • Type of vehicle being insured

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in California?

California is an at-fault state, which means when a car accident occurs, the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company must cover the damages of any injured parties that were hurt in the crash.

If you are driving a vehicle without car insurance, you will face the penalties outline by our California laws, including: 

  • First offense: $100 fine, plus added fees and penalty assessments
  • Second offense: Fines between $200 and $500, plus added fees and penalty assessments if the offense occurs within three years of the initial penalty

In addition:

  • Your vehicle can be impounded
  • Your license can be suspended
  • You can be held personally liable for injuries and property damage costs that occurred during a collision when you are proven at-fault for the crash

Insurance cancellations are reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which will initiate the process of suspending your vehicle’s registration for up to six months. 

What Happens If I Hurt in An Accident with An Uninsured Driver in California?

If you were hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist in California, the at-fault party is still personally liable for all damages, medical costs, damage to public property, and other third-party costs associated with the crash.

Unfortunately, just because he or she is liable for the damages, does not mean they are going to immediately write a check for your overall expenses.

The stress and worry about how you are going to pay your medical bills or be compensated for lost wages and miscellaneous expenses you have incurred can become overwhelming and keep you from healing.

Our California car accident attorneys can provide the legal representation you need to either pursue the uninsured driver for your complete financial compensation or turn our focus towards your insurance coverage and pursue your policy for the uninsured motorist coverage contained therein.

If you have been hurt in a car accident, contact our Stockton personal injury attorneys at Redkey Gordon Law Corp today by calling (209) 680-3083 or (209) 267-1685 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal solutions available for your unique case, so we can pursue the best financial recovery available for your needs.