Car Accident Laws in California
Car accident law means the legal rules that identify who are responsible for the property and personal damage arising from a car collision. This field of law comprises of the principles of negligence, as related to this specific type of personal injury cases. Car accident litigation is almost entirely governed by state law like other cases where negligence law applies and the case isn’t different with California.
Even though nuances do exist, car accident victims in California must prove four elements in order for them to recover compensation. The four elements are: harm, duty, causation, and breach. Drivers have a legal responsibility to follow the rules of traffic and to operate their cars in a manner that is reasonable, with respect to duty. This means maintain control, driving a safe speed, exercising awareness, using headlights and blinkers, observing traffic signals, etc.
The existence of a responsibility is generally accepted without so much argument. The plaintiff will normally be required to provide evidence that the defendant did breach that duty, by contrast. Breach can be highlighted by direct evidence, like an eyewitness testimony, an admission of fault, or a traffic surveillance video. Or, the plaintiffs might need to go for circumstantial evidence, like paint smudges, blood alcohol readings, or skid smudges.
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Just because a defendant had a responsibility to operate his or her car in a certain manner, and it’s proved that the defendant did in fact breach that responsibility, the court won’t assume that those circumstances brought about injuries on the plaintiff. Instead, the plaintiff has to prove the causation element. Your La Mesa car accident attorney my be able to prove this through medical testimonies demonstrating that the injuries did not exist beforehand and that they are in line with the nature of the car crash. If the accident and injuries are really bad then you might need to hire a San Diego wrongful death lawyer to protect the rights of your family.
Lastly, the plaintiff must also prove harm. Despite how bad a car driver conducted themselves behind the wheel, a plaintiff can’t bring a negligence lawsuit except when the conduct brought about damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle or person. A “near miss” case doesn’t qualify in California. But, once harm is proven, the plaintiff can be entitled to compensation for grief and pain, lost wages and medical expenses, but your El Cajon car accident lawyer can explain in more detail.
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FAQs about California Car Accident
What requirements must a car accident victim meet in order to sue in California? Do courts here look into soft tissue injuries, what are the limitations that you are likely to face and how does the compulsory financial responsibility law of California affect you? These are questions that California car accident and personal injury attorneys gets asked frequently. Here is a look at some of them and the answers to each:
Question: Does a car accident victim in California have to meet any requirements in order to sue?
Answer: No, once you are involved in a car accident, you file a claim with your Chula Vista car accident lawyer and if it isn’t honored and you think that you were not on the wrong – whether by way of facts of the accident or witnesses – then you could file a case against the other party. It does not matter how small that action is in superior court or small claims court; anyone can sue provided you are able to find out that the other party was negligent and can prove that indeed there were damages that were caused by the negligence of the other party – meaning that someone acted in an unsafe manner or carelessly.
Question: Does the process come with any limitations?
Answer: Yes. There is a certain amount of time known as the statute of limitations, in which one has a set period within which he can bring a car accident lawsuit against another person. For injury claimants in the State of California, one would have a period of approximately 2 years in which you need to file a lawsuit, and the period starts right from the date that the accident occurred.
If that 2 year mark passes, one might not be able to recover anything or file a lawsuit against that person. So, you need to ensure that you look into it immediately or contact an attorney in order to figure out what really needs to be done for your interest to be secured because once that period passes, you really won’t be in a position to recover anything from the other party even if you have a National City car accident lawyer.
Question: What is “the compulsory financial responsibility law” in California?
Answer: The financial responsibility law is a law in California that says car/auto drivers need to have a set minimum amount of insurance. It is referred to as a 15/30 policy, meaning that you need to have a $15,000 sum worth of coverage for every person and another $30,000 worth of coverage in order to get a registration card and license in California.
If you are caught without this insurance coverage, your driver’s license can be suspended and fines related to that might follow you as well. You surely want to have minimal policy limits to ensure that you get to keep your license.
Question: How do courts in the state treat soft tissue injury?
Answer: Basically the system is set up in a way whereby if the case isn’t settled, then one would have to try the case by going to court. A jury would have to make a determination on what the damages are as well as what they believe the case is worth as per the information that is provided. The jury might fail to believe that you injury is serious, or perhaps even worse that you are making it, in case you improperly document your soft tissue injury.
Question: How is a bicycle accident handled?
Answer: If you are riding a bike and are hit by a car then you will definitely need to speak with a San Diego bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The cases can be complicated at times because there are different laws and rules regarding a bicyclist and motorists which is why you will want a specialized attorney that handles those types of cases.
We all understand how serious a soft tissue injury can be. It can affect you for years and years, thus you absolutely want to ensure that it is documented in the best way possible. Once it is documented appropriately by way of treatment, evaluations and doctor reports, the jury or court system will know that this was significant, this was legitimate and you went to a hospital and got treated.
At that point, they are more likely to give it a high value than just going through it and saying, “Yes, everyone says they have got a neck pain or a back ache.”
San Diego Car Accident Lawyer and How You Can Get Help
Car Wreck Law Firm San Diego
San Marcos Car accident lawyers can aggressively assist car collision/accident victims for all automobile lawsuits. A law firm that has successfully represented people involved in serious car accidents for years is one of the best choices to go for. Experienced San Diego car accident lawyers have secured thousands and even millions of dollars as financial compensation for clients from the negligence of other people.
Therefore, if you or a loved one gets injured in a car or motorcycle accident, an expert can greatly help in securing the best compensation from insurance companies.
How a Car Accident Expert Can Be Of Help to Accident Victims
Car accidents occur in San Diego county cities from time to time. And when you are involved in one, getting the assistance from best law firm is very important in helping you with your financial loads and maximizing your compensation. An experienced Vista car accident lawyer can be of help in the following ways:
. Helping you get paid for property damages
. Paying your medical bills
. Helping you avoid financial difficulties when you are not able to work
. Getting compensation for both physical and emotional pain
. Dealing with your insurance company
. Finding the caring and passionate physician for your treatment
. Holding all the involved parties responsible
Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
Even though, there are a host of situations that can cause any car accidents, the following are just the most common causes:
. Drunk driving or Driving under Influence (DUI)
. Automobile defects
. Weather condition
. Bad constructed roads
. Distracted drivers
The benefits of a Carlsbad car accident lawyer are obvious. Hire them whether you are a serious car accident victim or a shared fault accident victim so that they can help you get paid for physical, emotional and financial suffering.
What to Do After You Are Involved In a Car Accident in California
Navigating California highways calls for defensive driving and not aggressive. Despite our best efforts, car accidents happen which is why you will need a Encinitas car accident lawyer. And, when they do, passengers and drivers are forced to deal with state and local authorities, and deep-pocketed insurance companies which oftentimes leave the drivers with lots of unanswered questions. To make clear, the following is a list of general steps that one should take after a car accident:
- Once your car comes to rest, ensure you and your passengers aren’t injured. If a person is injured, call 911 immediately and don’t hang up till the emergency dispatcher orders you to do so. To prevent further injuries from occurring, see to it that you don’t move an injured person unless he or she is in danger of fire or any other emergency circumstance.
- If nobody has been injured and the cars are drivable, move the cars to the side of the road after agreeing on that. If time, traffic and safety factors allow, take a photo of the cars before and after moving them (of course you will have to do this using your most cell phone as most come with internal cameras nowadays).
- Your will be having a high-running, but try to maintain calm and don’t shout at other drivers that have been involved in the accident. Have in mind that everything you say is very likely be documented in the report of the police from the other witnesses or drivers. The California Highway Patrol also advices that you don’t place or accept any blame for the accident from anyone and that leave that determination to the insurance company instead.
- If you haven’t called 911 already, call the California Highway Patrol in order to report the accident.
- After that, obtain the following info from the other driver; driver’s address, name, date of birth, driver’s vehicle license state and plate number; driver’s insurance company, policy number, policy expiration date; vehicle owner’s address and name policy holder’s address and name; and whether the other drivers/passengers received any property or injury damage. Try to exchange this info physically to make sure you accurately copy the info contained on the cards and in the event that the other driver is uninsured or unlicensed, call the police and report that info immediately.
- If there the car accident has any witnesses, ensure to politely ask them not to leave and gather their full name, work/home telephone number, email and address. A witness can boost your re-collection of the accident and diminish the other drivers’ re-collection of the accident
- Many times the accident stress forces people to forget crucial information that can be relevant later which is why your Escondido car accident lawyer will keep detailed records. Thus, take a moment to pen down exactly how the accident occurred before you leave the scene, and remember include info such as: weather conditions, erratic behaviors of the other driver, approximate speeds of all car, how you reacted physically to the collision, if your glasses got knocked off your head, the condition of the roadway, whether the other driver said anything regarding injuries or liabilities or apologized, whether there was a traffic light was out, and whether the other driver had a hat or sunglasses on.
- Report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (you should do this within
10 days if property damage exceeded $750 or a person was injured or killed) and contact your insurance firm to make a claim. Don’t provide any photographs, documents or statements to anyone and don’t sign any medical record or liability waiver releases till you get an opportunity to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Usually your Oceanside car accident lawyer will offer a free consultation.
- Keep a daily journal of how you are faring both physically and mentally, if you got injured in the car accident. Also, from the very first doctor visit or doctor visit, keep a record of all appointments as well as all the medical facilities you attended as a result of the car accident and remember to include the comments from your physician gave regarding your prognosis, injuries, and diagnosis. Likewise, maintain a log of the days that you couldn’t go to work because of the accident causing you pain or due to your doctor visits. Accidents involving motorcycles will need to hire a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer.One of the most common personal injury cases we handle besides car accidents is dog bites. There are a lot of dogs that are very aggressive and if you are attacked by an animal then you will need to call a San Diego dog bite lawyer.
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