What You Should Know About Car Accident Laws in California

Driving a car is fun and exciting, however, it always comes with a responsibility. When a reckless driver starts to operate his car, there’s a possibility that his negligent action (or inaction) can inflict serious injuries to unfortunate victims and costly damages to properties.

California has sets of car accident laws set in place to help drivers understand their responsibilities after the accident. These laws also explain the victim’s rights, what compensation they may get, and requirements when filing a claim to name a few. If you or a loved one sustain injuries from a car wreck, a well-versed car accident attorney in California can help you file a case against the liable party.  

car accident attorney in California

Providing Authorized Proof of Insurance

It’s important that you always have legal proof of insurance available. The law mandates that you give proof of insurance for the following reasons:

  • Asked by police authorities 
  • Renewal of vehicle registration 
  • Involved in the accident (whether you’re a victim or the liable party)

Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility can lead to fines and probable cancelation of your license if you’re involved in the accident.

Car Accident Attorney in California: When the Victim Contributes to the Car Accident

California follows the theory of pure comparative fault. Fundamentally, the principle means that:

  • There are multiple parties involved in the accident, which makes the case more complicated
  • Victims can still get compensation based on the percentage of their contribution to the accident

The rule of comparative fault enables an injured car crash victim to recover damages provided that they are not totally liable for the accident. It helps to assure that all victims can recover at least a part of the damages they incur in an accident.

Distribution of Fault

If there are multiple responsible parties involved in the accident, each of them will be held financially liable to the scope of their own fault. Even if you’re a victim but are partly responsible for your injury, there’ll be a reduction in the compensation that you may get. 

Damages a Car Accident Victim May Receive

The law particularly details that car accident victims have the claim to request economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages pertain to any “objectively verifiable monetary losses” the victim suffered. It includes:

  • Past and future medical treatment expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of property usage (such as phone, gadget, or the car itself)
  • Associated costs in property replacement or repair
  • Burial expenses (in case of wrongful death)

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to the “subjective, non-monetary losses” the victim suffered. It includes:

  • Difficulty or disadvantage
  • Mental or emotional suffering
  • Injury to reputation
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Humiliation
  • Pain and suffering

Car Accident Attorney in California: Restrictions on Victim’s Damage Recovery

In every law, there are some exceptions based on specific situations. Drivers cannot recover damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages for the following reasons:

  • They don’t bear car insurance or meet the state’s financial responsibility provisions
  • He is found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) 

California Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents

A statute of limitations refers to a state law that fixes a time restriction on a possible plaintiff’s right to file a case. These closing dates differ according to the kind of harm a victim sustained or the type of lawsuit you want to file. Filing a claim beyond the specified period devoid you of the right to compensation.

Property Damage: The victim has three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for property damage

Bodily Injury: When you suffer bodily injury, on the other hand, you have two years to file a claim from the date of the injury’s occurrence.

Extensions on the Statute of Limitations

There are some situations that may extend the statute of limitations in California. These circumstances include: 

  • Acceptable retardation in the identification of an injury related to an accident
  • The defendant is nowhere to find in California
  • The defendant is sentenced to jail
  • The victim is disabled or a minor during the time of the accident

When the City, State, or Municipality is the Liable Party

When the accident occurred due to road maintenance that didn’t observe safety measures to prevent crashes and injuries, the city, state, or municipality can be held liable for the financial damages. The victim may file an administrative claim within 180 days only.

Involved in a Car Accident? Get Help from ODG Law

A car accident can have many devastating effects on a victim’s life. So if you or a loved one suffers injury from a car accident, get in touch with ODG Law to help- protect your rights. Our compassionate and knowledgeable car accident attorneys would provide you with a wide coverage of representation. We won’t let anyone take advantage of your situation, especially the insurance company, while you’re recovering from your injuries and regaining your good health 

Schedule a free consultation with ODG Law today. We also work on a contingency fee basis. Dial (818) 975-3080 or email us for your queries.

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