Personal injury law is a broad area of the law that can include many different kinds of accidents and injuries, including car accident cases and other motor vehicle collision claims. While car accident cases are certainly one type of personal injury case that a person might file in order to seek financial compensation for a serious injury, people often hear that auto crash cases are different from other types of personal injury cases. To be clear, there are a variety of distinctions among each type of personal injury case, from the theory of liability to the essential elements an injury victim must prove in order to win a damages award. Yet car collision cases are distinct in that they almost always begin with an auto insurance claim as opposed to a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, although many of these cases ultimately end with a civil lawsuit. Our Carlsbad car accident attorneys want to provide you with more information about the key distinctions in a motor vehicle injury case.
Deciding Which Type of Auto Insurance Claim to File
Unlike many other types of accidents in Carlsbad and throughout Southern California for which injury victims must file a lawsuit against a liable party in order to seek financial compensation, car crash cases already have an established system for seeking compensation through California’s auto insurance laws.
For auto insurance purposes, California is what is known as a “fault” state or a “tort” state. What this means is that a person who is injured in a motor vehicle collision as a result of another driver’s negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel will typically have the option of filing a third-party claim through that negligent motorist’s auto insurance, or a first-party claim through their own auto insurance. California law requires all motorists to have minimum liability insurance coverage at the following amounts: $15,000 for injury or death to a single person in an accident, $30,000 for injury or death to two or more people in one accident, and $5,000 to cover property damage. Why is it important to know about a driver’s liability insurance coverage when deciding whether to file a third-party or a first-party claim?
Generally speaking, a third-party claim is often beneficial to an injured person since that injured person will not need to pay a deductible up front to file a claim through their own insurance. However, if a motorist who is at fault for the crash only carries the minimum required amounts of coverage and causes damages in excess of the amount of liability coverage carried, the injury victim can run into the problem of insurance limits and the inability to obtain full compensation. Even with a first-party claim, this issue may exist. Yet if and when an auto insurance claim does not provide an injured person with the compensation they deserve, a Carlsbad car accident attorney can assist with a car accident lawsuit to seek damages.
Contact Our Carlsbad Car Accident Attorneys
If you have any questions about filing a car accident claim or suing the at-fault driver for damages, one of the experienced Carlsbad car accident lawyers at our firm can begin working with you on your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about moving forward with your claim.
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