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Who pays for medical care after a California car crash?

After a major car crash in California, people may incur significant medical expenses. Crashes can break bones, cause traumatic amputations or generate other catastrophic injuries, like spinal cord injuries. Those injuries can cause massive medical expenses and other financial setbacks. Even securing emergency transportation to the hospital can cost thousands of dollars depending on the location of the crash. Emergency trauma care can also be very expensive, as can rehabilitation support and surgery.

People understandably tend to worry about covering the costs generated by car crashes, especially if they do not have good health insurance. Who pays for crash-related injuries?

Car insurance can help

Medical insurance generally does not apply in a scenario where an outside party has liability. Even if people have excellent medical insurance, the car insurance policy of the driver at fault for their crash may have to reimburse their insurance company for any treatment it covers.

Drivers in California must carry liability insurance. However, California does have some of the lowest insurance requirements in the country. A driver only needs $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage if they cause a crash that injures one person. Someone may not be able to pay for surgery and aftercare with that policy, let alone cover physical therapy costs and lost wages. Thankfully, some people do have more generous policies, especially if they operate commercial vehicles. In many cases, car insurance falls short of fully reimbursing people for their losses.

The driver at fault may be obligated to pay

If there isn’t enough insurance coverage available, then the driver who caused the crash may be personally liable for medical costs related to the collision. Those involved in the class caused by someone who broke traffic laws or drove in a negligent manner may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit.

A personal injury lawsuit can reimburse people for medical expenses and lost wages more thoroughly than insurance in some cases. Occasionally, it may even be possible to file a lawsuit against a third party, such as a vehicle manufacturer or another business. A careful evaluation of the situation can help people determine what options are available to them after a wreck.

Ultimately, seeking legal guidance to learn more about California’s insurance and personal injury rules may benefit those recently involved in the car crash.