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How Is Fault Determined in a California Car Accident?

 Posted on August 27, 2020 in Car Accident

Alameda County car accident attorney

If you have ever been in an accident, you understand how the incident can feel like a blur. Car accidents are unpredictable, unexpected, and over in a matter of minutes. Despite the timeline of the incident itself, the accident’s effects can be long-lasting. One or both drivers can end up with a severely damaged vehicle, costly medical bills, and time off work to properly recover from injuries. Additionally, many drivers can suffer from low levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or have an ongoing fear of driving. In order to make up for these financially and emotionally taxing results, the reason behind the accident will be investigated to hold the at-fault, or negligent, party accountable for his or her reckless actions.

Insurance Policies

The state of California requires all of its drivers to have car insurance coverage in case incidents such as these happen. California is known as an “at-fault” state, meaning the driver who caused the accident will cover the other driver’s injury and property damage claims. So, if a motorist hits another car, his or her auto insurance will be used to help pay for the damaged car’s repairs. In order for this to happen properly, the police will determine who is at fault and the victim must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, car accidents do not always have a single guilty party.

Comparative Negligence

California recognizes comparative negligence when it comes to vehicle collisions. This means that both drivers can be partially at fault for an accident. If you think about a car crash, it can be difficult to pinpoint how one single party can be responsible, since each driver’s decisions can contribute to the incident. Maybe one person went through a yellow light while the other driver made a right turn, going in the same direction, while his or her light was red. You could argue that both of these drivers’ decisions contributed to the collision. Because California recognizes comparative negligence, the victim can collect insurance claim funds from the other driver based on the degree of his or her responsibility. If the other driver is deemed 60 percent responsible, his or her insurance company can pay up to 60 percent of the damages while you or your insurance company, considered 40 percent responsible, will pay the remaining amount of damages.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

It may seem like you do not need an attorney by your side during these determinations; however, a reputable personal injury lawyer will help ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Lawyers in this practice area will conduct an in-depth investigation into who is really at fault for the accident. Insurance companies have been known to limit their clients’ liability and blame you for the accident to avoid paying you the proper amount. They also offer quick settlements, which may seem adequate at the time, but often fail to recognize the long-term consequences of your injuries from the accident. A personal injury lawyer will negotiate your case with insurance companies to help you collect your deserved amount and avoid being taken advantage of as a victim of the crash.

Contact a Palo Alto Car Accident Attorney

Determining the fault in a car accident can be difficult and not always fair to both parties. Working with insurance companies is rarely an enjoyable experience and they often take advantage of car accident victims to avoid paying the actual amount they are owed. Fuller Law Firm strongly believes that those who caused a car accident should be held responsible for their actions, whether through their insurance company or money out of their own pocket. Our dedicated Santa Clara County personal injury lawyer has over 10 years of experience assisting California car accident victims recover the finances that they need to move on with their lives. If you have been injured, contact our firm today at 408-234-7563 to schedule your free consultation.






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