How Fault Is Determined After a Car Accident

Anyone who has ever had a car accident knows that it is a confusing and upsetting situation. It is common for both parties to be in a state of shock after a collision. There may not be a witness or, people who were in the vicinity at the time may not be credible witnesses. Whenever you have an accident it is important to exchange insurance information. If there are any injuries, you must call the police. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the accident. You also want to ask the police and any business owners in the vicinity if there are any security cameras that may have recorded the accident. Gathering all the necessary information at the scene will help you, your insurance company and law enforcement to determine fault and help your attorney build your case. California insurance is very expensive and you want to make sure you do everything correctly.

Was Fault Admitted at the Scene?

Admitting fault at the scene does not necessarily seal a person’s fate, but it is never a good idea. Although an accident is an upsetting and emotional time, it is best to just tell the police what happened from your perspective. Likewise, it is best not to accuse the other party of causing the accident, as fault can be determined by weather and traffic conditions. Oftentimes, both parties are somewhat to blame. If this is the case, you will want to find out what the state fault laws are before going to court.

Is it a Fault or No-Fault State?

After an accident you will want to check your insurance policy to see if it is no fault or full tort. California, like most states offers full-tort policies, which means you can sue for all damages. There are twelve states In the US that are considered, “no fault,” this means the insurance company must pay the entire claim of the person that they have chosen to insure. In Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania drivers can choose between a full tort or no-fault policy.

California is a comparative fault state. This means that if a person is partially responsible for an accident with injuries the amount of their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a person is 30 percent responsible for their accident, the amount of their damages would be reduced by fifty percent. Some states have pure contributory negligence laws, which state that you cannot sue for damages if you are the least bit responsible for an accident.

State Traffic Laws

California has some unique driving laws. A person can self-identify their gender on a license, low emission cars can get in the carpool lane with only one driver and when two cyclist crash, they both must stay at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives. It is a state that is dependent on auto transportation and takes its laws very seriously.

Police Reports

Police reports are critical to building a case. One in seven drivers do not have insurance and you want to make sure to have all the evidence you will need to collect damages on your vehicle, even if there are no physical injuries.

How A Lawyer Can Help

A professional attorney can help you to organize your case, subpoena all the right records and make a clear and persuasive argument on your behalf. When looking for an attorney, Make sure to hire a law firm, like the Grossman Law Offices, that can provide you with a lawyer with years of auto insurance and accident experience.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.