Car accidents in California have the potential to cause significant and life-altering injuries to their victims. It is possible that you will be eligible for financial compensation if you have been involved in an accident. The regulations governing car accidents in California will have an impact on any legal claims that you may decide to bring. It is critical that you understand your responsibilities as a driver, how fault is established, and how these factors can affect your ability to obtain compensation after an accident.

After determining that you want to pursue compensation through a lawsuit, it is best to retain the services of a personal injury attorney who is familiar with California’s complicated laws and procedures. Call Citywide Law Group today to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Financial Responsibility Requirements in the State of California


Minimally Acceptable Automobile Insurance Protection


If you want to register an automobile with the state of California, you must provide proof of financial responsibility first. Purchasing car insurance coverage is the quickest and most convenient way to meet your legal obligations as the owner of a registered automobile.

In California, certain minimum insurance coverage requirements must be met before a vehicle can be registered. These bare minimums, which are mandated by California Insurance Code 11580.1b, assist in ensuring that any costs associated with an accident, personal injury, or property damage are adequately covered by insurance. All drivers in California are required to maintain a minimum of 15/30/5 coverage on all registered vehicles, which includes the following coverage:

  • One individual can be awarded $15,000 if they are injured or killed.
  • $30,000 for harm or death to more than one person, and $20,000 for injury or death to one person.
  • $5,000 in compensation for property damage.


Insurance documentation must be readily available at all times. When applying for a California driver’s license, you must present proof of insurance when:

  • Requested by law enforcement
  • Renewing vehicle registration
  • Involved in an accident.

It is likely that if you are involved in an accident and fail to give proof of financial responsibility, you will face fines and possibly the revocation of your license.


Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Protection

Under California law (California Insurance Code 11580.2), your vehicle insurance carrier is legally required to provide uninsured motorist bodily injury and underinsured motorist coverage to you and your passengers. The benefits of these insurance policies include compensation for your injuries and property damage in the event that you are involved in a car accident with a driver who does not have insurance.


The cost of damages incurred by you and any passengers in your car when you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver is covered under the uninsured motorist bodily injury policy. The amount of compensation is restricted to the level of your own liability insurance policy coverage.


Underinsured motorist coverage: If you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the entire cost of your damages, this policy may be able to help you make up the difference between the amount of insurance coverage and the number of damages.


You are not obligated to obtain this insurance coverage by law.


Additional Automobile Insurance Coverage Suggestions

California law only requires you to have 15/30/5 coverage; however, it is a good idea to explore purchasing additional insurance plans. It is possible that the bare minimum coverage mandated by the state will be insufficient to cover the entire extent of the injuries and property damage sustained as a result of an accident. If you are found to be at fault for an accident, victims may opt to pursue you for your personal belongings. It is possible to ensure that you and anybody else who may be harmed by an accident is fully covered by purchasing the following types of insurance.


  • Coverage for Medical Expenses
  • Coverage that is comprehensive
  • Coverage in Case of a Collision
  • Coverage for Theft