Personal injury lawsuits can really do a number on your finances. When you are hit by another driver, usually you will rely on their insurance to pay for the damages to your car as well as any medical fees. If the driver is uninsured, you will probably go after the driver with a personal injury lawsuit, but no matter what, it will cost you plenty of time and energy.
Some states are better than others when it comes to personal injury and safety. WalletHub.com rated all 50 states plus the District of Columbia in order from the riskiest states that will hit your wallet the hardest (#1) to the most lenient states that may save you money but not protection (#51). To judge the level of safety, the site looked at the level of auto insurance required for drivers.
Auto accidents are one of the leading causes for many personal injury lawsuits, and not all states require drivers to have enough insurance to cover damages. That means if another car in the state with the least strict laws hits you, there’s a good chance you will end up paying for your own damages, unless you chose to go after that driver in a personal injury lawsuit.
So what is the riskiest state to drive in? That would be Florida. Florida laws are very relaxed when it comes to making sure its drivers are insured. Of all the drivers in the state, an estimated 23.8 percent do not have enough insurance to be considered legal. In second and third place is Oklahoma and New Mexico respectively.
So where does California rank? Unfortunately, California is tied for fourth place with Mississippi. Motorists need $15,000 to cover bodily injuries or death of one person, $30,000 for bodily injury or death of multiple persons and $5,000 for property damage. The state’s rate of uninsured drivers is at 14.7 percent.
Comparatively, Maine, the safest state, has all but 4.7 percent of its drivers insured, a full 10 percent below California’s rate. The state’s legal amount of insurance needed sits at $50,000 for bodily injuries per person, $100,000 for bodily injuries for multiple people and $25,000 for property damage. Additionally, all motorists need Medical Payments Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Bodily Injuries.
But how does insurance relate to a personal injury case? Why should it matter how much a person has for insurance so long as he or she is insured. Let’s say you are driving to work one morning and another driver t-bones your car, totaling your recently purchased vehicle and breaking your left arm and leg. Do you really think $15,000 will really be enough to cover all of your medical expenses? What if a passenger in your car was also badly injured? Would $30,000 cover that?
More than likely, the answer is no. The best course of action is to prepare yourself before you have to consider filing one. Some drivers carry Uninsured Motorist coverage, which will pay for all medical expenses plus lost wages if an uninsured driver hits you as in the scenario described above. This type of insurance is not mandatory in California, but it is in Maine, which is part of the reason why Maine ranked so high on WalletHub.com’s list.
It is unclear now whether or not California will ever make Uninsured Motorist coverage mandatory, but it would sure help in personal injury lawsuits. In the mean time, driver carefully and consider adding this coverage to your policy.
Moseley Collins is a personal injury attorney serving those badly hurt throughout Northern California. There is absolutely NO FEE to discuss your case and there is absolutely no fee unless we win and get you the money you are entitled to. We are on your side and know what to do to get you compensation and justice.
980 9th St, 16th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 444-4444