How can I protect myself and my family?
- March 7, 2017
According to the California Highway Patrol, buckling and securing your family is the most important thing that you can do before you get on the road. Once everybody is bucked and secured in, your defensive driving skills should take over.
Remember defensive driving?
If you have a driver’s license, it’s highly likely that you took a defensive driving course at one time or another. It involves another layer of safe driving beyond following the rules of the road that can help keep you from being caught off guard. That might involve actions like:
- Controlling your speed, even if you’re going below the limit
- Anticipating what other drivers might do and not what they should do
- Being aware of weather and road conditions at all times
- Avoiding electronic distractions like mobile devices
Don’t just ride on minimum liability insurance coverage
Remember that at least 14.7 percent of all California drivers have no insurance at all. At least another 14.7 percent are riding on a bare bones minimum liability policy as required by California law. Those limits are:
- $15,000 for injury to one person in an accident
- $30,000 total for injury to more than one person in an accident
- $5,000 for property damage
Minimum coverage won’t pay your medical bills
With limits that low, California has perhaps the worst mandatory insurance laws in the country. A displaced femoral or tibia fracture suffered at the fault of an uninsured or underinsured motorist is going to put you in the emergency room, operating room and a hospital room for a few days. Then there are the lost time from your job and rehabilitation expenses. Total damages suffered by you or a family member are likely to exceed $50,000. Minimum liability coverage isn’t going to cover any of that because its made to protect the other guy in an accident when you’re at fault. Your doctor and hospital bills are your problem. Your injuries and medical bills will be your family’s problem too if you’re not sufficiently covered.
Uninsured motorist insurance
Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) can protect you and your family if any one or all of you are injured in a motor vehicle collision that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Most of these policies cover you and residents of your household who are immediate relatives for bodily injury caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run motorist, even as bicyclists or pedestrians.
This coverage offers you a plateau of coverage that’s over and above your policy limits. It comes in increments of $1 million, and it’s surprisingly inexpensive. The first million might cost $250 per year, and every million beyond that is about $100. It’s triggered when your policy limits have been exhausted, and they’re not sufficient to cover damages beyond those limits. A mere five second distraction from a mobile device can cause devastating injuries to another driver. That extra layer of coverage is likely to cost you less than a dollar a day.
Your car’s operating condition
Poor maintenance can endanger you, your family and other people that you share the roadway with. Important components of your car like tires, brakes, steering and lights always need to be in good operating condition.
We want to see all of you safe from the time that you leave your home until you return. If you or a family member has been injured through the fault of another driver anywhere in California, contact us right away. We’re dedicated, experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles. A case consultation and evaluation won’t cost you a penny, and if you retain us, no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.