Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2019 at 6:15 am    

California requires all drivers to provide proof of financial responsibility for vehicles operated within the state. Most individuals purchase car insurance coverage to meet the requirements for financial responsibility. The state has set minimum coverage amounts for liability insurance that each driver must purchase.

The current car insurance requirements for California drivers are:
  • Bodily injury coverage (liability coverage) in the amount of $15,000 for injury or death to one individual
  • Bodily injury coverage of $30,000 for injury or death per incident
  • Property damage coverage in the amount of $5,000

The bodily injury and property damage coverage are not the only two types of car insurance you can purchase. There are benefits of increasing the coverage amount and purchasing additional car insurance coverage. However, some of the terms may not be familiar, especially for first-time drivers.

Our Sacramento car accident attorney discusses some of the common car insurance terms you should know before you are involved in an auto accident.

Car Insurance Terms You Should Understand Before a Traffic Accident

Required Car Insurance Coverage
  • Bodily Injury Coverage or Liability Insurance — This type of car insurance compensates victims for their injuries and damages when you cause a traffic accident. The insurance company is only liable for the policy limits. Therefore, to protect your personal assets, it may be wise to purchase higher amounts of liability insurance than the state requires.
  • Property Damage Liability Insurance — Property damage coverage pays for the damage to other vehicles when you cause a motor vehicle accident. This insurance coverage may also pay for damage to other items of personal property that is damaged in the crash. It does not pay for your property damage.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage
  • Collision Insurance Coverage — Collision coverage pays to repair damage to your vehicle if you hit another object. It also pays to repair your vehicle if you cause a traffic accident. Lenders typically require collision insurance when vehicles are used as collateral for loans.
  • Comprehensive Insurance Coverage — This type of coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from other perils, such as fire, theft, falling objects, and most natural disasters. Lenders also require comprehensive insurance when you use your vehicle as collateral for a loan.
  • Deductibles — Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your pocket before your insurance provider pays any benefits under a collision or comprehensive insurance policy. In most cases, people choose high deductible to lower the premium for insurance.  Unfortunately, this choice may hurt them after an accident if they do not have the funds to pay the deductible.
  • MED Pay — Medical payment insurance coverage pays medical expenses if you are injured in a crash, regardless of who is at fault.  It can be very useful even when another driver causes the crash because you can get help with medical bills immediately instead of waiting until your car accident claim settles.
  • Personal Injury Protection — PIP is another type of no-fault insurance that can be very helpful. They type of car insurance pays for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages after a traffic accident, regardless of fault. It may also pay for other expenses, depending on the policy.
  • Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage — UM and UIM coverage is very important, even though it is optional. UM insurance pays for your damages if an uninsured driver causes the crash. UIM insurance pays for damages caused by another driver who does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay all damages.

Talk to Your Car Insurance Agent

There are other options available in addition to the above types of coverage. It is important to discuss your needs and your budget with your insurance agent. It is typically best to purchase as much car insurance coverage as you can afford to protect yourself, your family, and your personal assets.

Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for Help

For a free consultation, you can contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.

Client Testimonials

Elizabeth Ochoa Testimonial

I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and its dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Dawniel Ewing Testimonial

I have nothing but great things to say about this firm. They have been extremely helpful and professional when dealing with my case. Anytime I needed anything or wanted to be updated they responded immediately. They made me feel like they cared. Highly recommend them!

Michael T. Testimonial

I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T. Testimonial

The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T. Testimonial

I highly recommend The Tiemann Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla Testimonial

From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B. Testimonial

Here's the thing... Nobody really thinks much about lawyers until they need one.  Well, we needed one!  The Tieman Law Firm came through for us in a big way. They were professional, courteous, thorough, and had excellent staff as well.  Highly recommended...

Star Fire Testimonial

It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S. Testimonial

No one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly Testimonial

I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Matt H. Testimonial

I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye Testimonial

Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Lendzey Garcia

I was in a very bad/ major car accident I originally had an attorney who wasn’t trying to help me out much or take any of my calls so I called Tiemann and told them my situation. They made it an AWESOME and Smooth transition over to them and took on both cases I had. I just settled on my big case and am beyond great full. For them and their team! I highly recommend them. To add on to this a little On how much they will work with you, I moved to Montana in the middle of all Of this and it was not an issue!