California Accident Fault Laws

July 30, 2021
Barrios Machado

California Accident Fault LawsCalifornia car accidents can inflict severe and life-altering injuries, often leaving victims financially burdened due to lost income, large medical bills, and even lifelong disabilities. 

To find the other parties liable, however, there must be absolute proof that they were at fault in the accident.

Determining fault in a car accident is a complex process. Because there is often a great amount of money involved, mere accusations will not suffice and you’ll need to show adequate evidence of fault. 

If you’re struggling to determine fault, hire a California accident lawyer to handle your case and help you attain the compensation you’re entitled to.  

Who Pays for Damages Caused by a Car Accident?

Accident victims must be compensated for the damages they’ve sustained. In California, the at-fault driver is required by law to pay for injuries they’ve caused in an accident. 

In cases where multiple parties share liability, each party is liable to pay for a percentage of damages they are responsible for. 

Proof of Insurance is Required to Operate a Vehicle

Any vehicle that is registered in California should be covered by presenting proof of financial responsibility. The simplest way to meet legal requirements to prove you own a registered vehicle is to purchase a car insurance policy.

The law requires you to provide proof of insurance in these cases:

  •    When requested by a law enforcer
  •    When renewing vehicle registration
  •    When involved in an accident

If you are involved in a car accident, failure to present proof of insurance can result in fines and the probable cancellation of your driver’s license. 

Proof of Fault is Required to Collect Compensation After an Accident

Fault must be proven before you can collect compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. 

You and your attorney have to carefully investigate your claim and collect evidence that will establish the other party’s fault. 

This can include:

  •    Bills for damaged property
  •    Photos showing damage to the vehicle, road signs, skid marks, and other
  •    conditions in the accident scene
  •    Police report
  •    Video of the actual collision
  •    A statement made by eyewitnesses

Some cases may require an expert to make a detailed reconstruction of the accident to identify the factors that caused it.  

Negligence Leading to Accident

The other driver is liable to pay for your losses if the court determines that their negligence led to the accident.

Negligence takes many forms which can lead to serious collisions, some of which include the following:

  • Traffic violations include running red lights, illegal lane changes, and failure to yield.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Aggressive driving includes excessive speeding, tailgating, and hazardous driving that puts the lives of other drivers as well as pedestrians at risk.
  • Distracted driving includes texting and use of smartphones (most common), personal grooming, attending to children in the back seat, and eating or drinking.
  • Dangerous road conditions like potholes and other driving hazards are failures of government entities to keep roads safe through maintenance and repair.
  • Malfunctioning or defective vehicle parts that include tires, brakes, and airbags.

In Orange County car accident happen every day a good lawyer can guide you through the complexities of proving who’s at fault and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

It’s very possible to win a larger settlement when you have an expert personal injury attorney to represent you in court. 

Contact a Southern California Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident in Orange County, Los Angeles County or elsewhere in Southern California, seeking the help of an experienced Southern California car accident lawyer is crucial when you need to fight for your rights.

Contact us online or at (714) 515-9696 for a free consultation.

Have Questions? Get in Touch.

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