If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may have questions about California’s rules regarding determining fault. Each state varies in how they determine who’s at fault in an accident, so it’s important that you understand your state’s policies regarding automobile accidents. At the Law Office of Scott Righthand, P.C., we’re here to help you understand California law and ensure that you are taken care of after your accident.
Some states are classified as at-fault states while others are no-fault states when looking at claims following an accident. At-fault means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying any damages that occurred for themselves and the other individuals involved. The driver can choose to file an insurance claim or pay the fees directly. The individual not at fault would file a claim through the at-fault individual’s insurance. No-fault means that each person involved in the accident files a claim through their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. Even if an individual was clearly at fault for the accident, each involved person would file a claim through their own insurance.
California is an at-fault state, meaning that whoever caused the accident must pay for any damages. Damage can refer to vehicle repair, necessary medical treatment, and any other expenses that may have occurred as a result of the accident. Some common ways that fault can be proven include:
One way to determine who’s at fault is for the affected driver to prove that the other driver’s carelessness for safe vehicle operation caused them damage. For example, if a driver failed to stop at a red light, therefore causing the accident, the other driver can claim that their failure to drive responsibly resulted in the accident. California refers to the responsibility of a driver to maintain the rules of the road as “duty of care.” In order for the affected driver to place fault on the other driver, they must prove that they neglected their duty of care.
California Vehicle Code refers to the rules of operating and owning your vehicle. Another way to determine fault is to prove that a driver went against this code. There are various codes that a driver must abide by when operating a vehicle. For example, a driver cannot operate a vehicle if their license has been suspended due to a DUI. If it’s proven that a driver violated a code in the California vehicle code, they can be held responsible for the accident.
At the Law Office of Scott Righthand P.C., we’re here to help you understand your rights in a car accident and support you if you’re found to be at fault. Contact one of our expert attorneys today.
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