If you have been in an auto accident, understanding these California laws early could protect you from problems later.
Pure Comparative Fault
California recognizes the pure comparative fault rule of accident liability. Unless an involved party is understood as 100 percent at fault, California will recognize a shared level of liability among parties until proven otherwise. This means you can recover compensation regardless of the degree of your own fault. However, your compensation would be reduced by the amount equal to your percentage of fault.
This rule can work for your case or against your case depending on your fault percentage. For instance, if you are involved in an auto accident that was caused by someone pulling out of a parking lot in front of you, but a police report shows you were driving a few miles over the speed limit, this could be used against you in court.
In addition, insurance adjusters will likely use California’s comparative fault rule to affect your settlement claim. Without attorney representation, many insurance companies will take advantage of claimants by obtaining unneeded information, such as a recorded statement, for a claim.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Traffic Accident Law Center can help you gather a strong case and represent you so you receive a fair and full recovery from your injuries. Print our Glove Box Download and keep it in your vehicle. If you find yourself in an accident, it will remind you what information to gather at the scene to better protect yourself when filing a claim with your insurance company and/or filing a personal injury claim.
Civil Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations, or a deadline for filing certain civil claims. In California, you have two years from the date of an auto accident to file a personal injury claim. If the accident resulted in death, the time limit to file a wrongful death case starts on the date of death.
If these deadlines pass, it is unusual for a court to consider your case. Most auto accident cases are settled outside of court. However, you should be prepared and leave yourself plenty of time to file a lawsuit if need be. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you understand how California’s statute of limitations applies to your case.
The Traffic Accident Law Center has over 35 years of combined experience representing clients in personal injury cases in California. Check out our FAQ page to learn more about common auto accident questions and our answers. Call us at (619) 882-1111 to schedule a free consultation.