You’re driving home after a long day at work. Everything is going well when, out of nowhere, someone hits you from behind. Before you know it, you are at the back of the ambulance on your way to the E.R. Now you have the consequences of a car accident to deal with.
If you are involved in a car crash that is not entirely your fault, you may be eligible for damages. However, car accident lawsuits, like most legal matters are never straightforward. It is also not uncommon for a seemingly valid insurance claim to fall through the cracks. And as you can imagine, a denied car accident claim or an unsuccessful lawsuit can be devastating, especially if you have huge medical bills and property damage costs to take care of. This reality underpins the importance of understanding the laws that are likely to impact your situation.
California negligence laws
Pretty much every car accident lawsuit is built on the precept of negligence. In other words, the defendant’s breach of duty of care must have been responsible for the accident that resulted in a victim’s injuries and property damage. But, rarely are car accidents 100 percent one party’s fault.
Per California’s pure comparative negligence law, every party bears responsibility for their contribution to an accident. Thus, even if you contributed 99 percent to the accident, you may still claim damages but your compensation award will be reduced according to the portion of fault that is ultimately assigned to you (if any).
California statute of limitations
A car accident will most often leave you devastated, especially if you sustain life-altering injuries. However, you do not have the luxury to file your claim whenever you feel like it. You must act within the statute of limitations period. And in California, this means filing your claim within two years from the date of the accident.
Protecting your interests
If you are involved in a car crash that is not your fault, you deserve justice. Learning more about California car accident laws can help you protect your rights and interests while litigating a car accident matter.