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What Are California Accident Fault Laws?

Submitted by jam on Mon, 07/25/2022 - 11:33

California is considered a “fault state.” As an at-fault state, that means that the driver who is at fault for the accident is responsible for covering the property damages and costs associated with the injuries of others involved. The other parties injured or who suffered property damages in the accident can file a claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company.

What Is an At Fault State?

In an at-fault state, the driver who caused the collision and their auto insurance provider is liable for paying for both property damage and any injuries sustained by anybody else involved in the collision. The at-fault driver is responsible for medical costs, lost income, physical pain, mental distress, and loss of companionship. You should maintain documentation to confirm the damages you suffered and the total financial loss.

What Is Pure Comparative Negligence?

Pure comparative negligence allows the victim of an accident to recoup some compensation for their injuries regardless of how negligent they were in the accident. Even if they were more to blame for the accident than the other party, they can still recoup compensation for the other party’s percentage of fault in the accident that led to property damages and/or physical and mental injuries that result.

To pursue a personal injury claim in California, you will need to prove negligence. This means showing all four elements of negligence are met – the four elements include:

  • The existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed the plaintiff
  • Defendant’s breach of that duty
  • Plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury
  • Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the injuries that you are claiming

How Does California Being A Fault State Impact My Car Accident?

If you are in a car accident in California, you need to understand how the at-fault aspect and pure comparative negligence come into play. Meaning that the at-fault driver is liable for all damages. This means even if you are partially to blame, if you can prove that the other driver acted negligently and was partly at fault, you can recoup compensation for that driver’s percentage of fault in the crash.

Be sure to maintain evidence and documentation. Keep medical records, medical bills, receipts, proof of lost wages and missed work, a copy of the accident report, and statements from any witnesses. Any other evidence, such as video footage and photos can be very beneficial as well. Documentation to back up your claim is essential.

Get Help With Your California Auto Accident Claim

If you have been in a California auto accident and suffered damages and injuries because of another party’s negligence, you can pursue a personal injury claim. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can gather the supporting evidence and documentation needed to recoup compensation for your damages. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your California car accident with a California personal injury attorney who handles auto accident injury claims.

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