Car accidents are becoming more and more prevalent in the streets of the various cities in America. We encounter such accidents almost every day while doing our daily chores like going to work, bringing kids from school, grocery shopping, etc. You can encounter car accidents at any given time on the road as various car accident involves property damages and sometimes fatal injuries to people. It becomes important to determine the liability in such an accident as to who is liable and who is going to compensate for damages incurred in a car accident.
In the circumstance where you are in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you become entitled to take legal action against the person and make him liable to pay for your damages. Damages include all the injuries you suffered, along with medical costs and other miscellaneous expenses. The longer you take in pressing charges against the person, the harder it becomes for you to recover compensation.
As the injuries from a car accident may vary, but a person’s loss of income and pain remains constant. Apart from this, families who have lost a loved one are sometimes left with nothing to help them financially. As determining the fault in a car accident is sometimes tricky and complicated, you need to contact an attorney in Irvine California, to help you in a matter as they have experience in dealing with car accident cases.
With the help of this blog, we will enlighten you on the topic of how you can determine the liability in a car accident and what are things you should know about in determining such fault.
Identifying the Fault
Generally, in a car accident, the police and investigating officer can find the culprit and can correctly determine the fault in their reports. In some situations, the policies fail to determine the liability of a person, i.e., sometimes the police’s fault assessment proves incorrect. It happens mainly when the accident victims are not able to speak. It could happen for many reasons, such as they are quite injured to speak up or are at the hospital because of serious injuries, or the person is dead because of the car accident. In such situations, the investigating officer only gets one version of the accident, and because of lack of evidence, they fail to determine the fault of a person.
Most car accidents in America happen because of negligence thus, making the theory of carelessness the center of car accidents. If the court finds the person because of whose negligence the accident took place, the party will be held liable for the accident and has to pay compensation. You can define negligence as “when a person fails to act with the prescribed degree of reasonable care under a particular set of circumstances.”
For instance, drivers owe a legal duty to drive their vehicle like a prudent man and in a reasonably safe manner to prevent injuries. A classic example of negligent driving is driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, etc.
California is sometimes referred to as a ‘Comparative fault’ state, and the concept is comparative negligence. The concept of comparative negligence means that if a person gets injuries in a car accident in California, he/she may still recover compensation even if the person is partially at fault. In such situations, the person who caused the accident is also entitled to monetary compensation under comparative negligence if he/she has also suffered damage.
As per the comparative rule, the portion of the victim damages is compensated by the other negligent party. The liability is decided by the jury about what percentage of fault does a plaintiff have in causing such an accident and what part does the plaintiff paly in contributing to the injuries of the person. The jury then reduces the amount of compensation on the part of the injured plaintiff.
Things to do after a Car Accident
It is important to know that as per the state law of California, after a car accident, drivers must report the accident. As per the California Vehicle Code, the Section 20008 states that whenever a driver of a vehicle gets into a car accident, he or she has to submit a written report of the accident within 24 hours especially if the accident has resulted in fatal injuries and death. If the police officer is present at the scene of the accident in such a case, he/she will write the report. The report will be on behalf of the agency and not a personal report.
Who will compensate after a car Injury
In California, the person who is at fault for the accident is the one who pays for the injuries, legally speaking. In cases where multiple drivers are involved, they all share the liability according to the percentage of their fault. Once the drivers get involved in a car accident, they must share their information with the fellow driver.
Reporting the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV)
It is mandatory for people who are in a car accident to report the incident to CDMV. You should report it within ten days of the accident.
Evidence to establish fault
If you want to claim compensation from the other party, you have to prove that the cause of your injury is the fault of the person in question. You need to gather evidence backing your claim, such as.
- Bills of every property that has suffered damage
- Pictures of the damaged vehicle, traffic signs, skid marks, and other factors at the scene of the accident
- Police Report
- Statements of various witnesses
In various cases, there might be a requirement for a car accident reconstruction expert. They will help you to analyze the facts of the accident and determine the cause along with other contributing factors.
Law of Limitation in California
In California, all personal injury cases are under the scope of the law of limitation. Law of limitation is a statute regarding the time limit in which the plaintiff can bring a lawsuit in a court of law. After the expiration of the time, the plaintiff cannot bring the lawsuit in a court of law to seek damages, and it leads to the lawsuit becoming forever barred.
Know your Rights
Apart from all the above-mentioned methods, if you still have confusion and don’t know what to do. Try to take help from an attorney as they are trained to help people in matters of car accidents and others only. An expert attorney in your area will help you deal with various legal matters and will also represent you in a court of law.
With the help of the above findings, we can conclude that every state is either a no-fault state or an at-fault state when you talk about financial liability for damages in a car accident. When determining the liability of a person in a car accident California is a fiscally responsible state, i.e., at-fault state.
Needless to say, there are various other benefits of hiring an attorney as the lawyer will help you know your rights and support you in your claim.
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