Determining Fault in Car Accidents in CaliforniaUpdated on Tuesday 28th February 2017
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In order to determine fault in a car accident case in California, the parties will look at who is to blame for the occurrence of the accident and how their actions contributed to the event. Our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys has dealt with numerous vehicle accidents and can advise you on a suitable way to approach such a case.
Negligence is a very important component and the one on which fault is determined. Apart from proving that one of the parties was negligent individuals involved in a vehicle accident can also prove that the other party expressly violated the California laws.
A number of sources are relevant when trying to determine who is at fault for a car accident in California or what percentage of fault can be attributed to him or her. Police reports, photos or other evidence from the scene or a simple interpretation of the California Vehicle Code are some of the resources which are immediately used in case of a car accident in Los Angeles or another city.
Establishing negligence in car accident cases in California
Most vehicle accidents take place as a result of negligence. This means that the irresponsible or negligence conduct of one or both drivers caused the accident. As a plaintiff, your goal is to prove that the other driver was negligent. For this purpose, you need to establish that a duty of care existed in the first place and the defendant did not observe it.
The elements of negligence are as follows:
- the duty of care;
- the breach of said duty of care;
- causation: the negligent actions were the ones to cause the injury;
- damages: the physical or material damages were a direct result of those negligent actions.
It is important to prove all of these elements when stating your case in front of the judge and jury. Our team of personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles is able to help you follow the legal steps, according to the particularities of your case and what caused the accident.
Common causes of driver negligence can include:
- not paying attention, like texting while driving;
- failure to yield to other drivers;
- failure to signal or maintain a proper safe distance from the car in front (common in rear-end collisions).
In some cases, a vehicle accident can be caused by using medication while driving or by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These cases require special attention. If you have been the victim of a car accident and the defendant was driving under the influence, you can request the help of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers for adequate legal advice.
Shared fault in car accidents in California
The State of California has a pure comparative negligence rule. This means that the plaintiff can hold its own percentage of fault for the accident but is still able to recover damages. The degree of negligence is determined in court.
Another state law for personal injury accident in California is the statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident.
You can contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys if you need more information on how to prove negligence in a vehicle accident.