As the hectic holidays pass, life may seem to get back to normal for many people in and around the state. It is also a time that many Southern Californians make New Year’s resolutions, in anticipation for 2012.

Regardless of whether or not your resolutions involve your health, finances, or family, there is one decision that every driver should vow to make that will incorporate all three of those categories.

That is making the decision to review your auto insurance policy to ensure that you would be completely protected in the event of a Southern California car accident injury.

No one should get behind the wheel of a car without having a policy in place. Not only is it against the law in California to drive without insurance, but it is also means putting you and your loved ones at risk for being unable to pay your medical bills in the event that you are injured in an accident.

The best way to review your policy is to sit down with your agent and go over the coverage that you currently have and compare it to any life changes that may have occurred over the course of the past year.

One commonly misunderstood aspect of the policy is Bodily Injury coverage. This coverage protects you in the event that you are deemed the at-fault party in a car accident. While no one likes to think that this will happen to them, accidents do happen, and a lawsuit can be brought against you.

The State of California requires that every driver carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in coverage. It may seem OK to just have state-minimum coverage, until you look at what could happen if you are sued for the accident.

You are responsible for covering the costs of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even loss of consortium, in excess of your policy limits. If you do not have enough money in your bank account to cover these costs, the injured party has the right to go after your home, vehicles, or any other assets you may have.

For example, if you only have $15,000/$30,000 coverage and you seriously injure a family of five in an accident; it will not take long for their medical bills alone to reach the $30,000 limit. If each family member needs $100,000 worth of medical care, and your home is worth $500,000, you are running the risk of losing your house.

This may seem like a drastic example, but unfortunately, California car accidents like this happen every day, which is why it is best to have at least $250,000/$500,000 bodily injury coverage.

For more information on how you can protect yourself, contact the experienced Santa Monica car accident lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers by calling 800.989.6385. Not only will they provide you with a free copy of their book, Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, but they will also provide you with a consultation at no cost.
Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982