Auto Accidents and Crashes in California - Know Your Rights

When you get into a car accident in California, it is important to know the rules and laws that govern car accident liability. California is a tort or fault state, which means that understanding how responsibility is determined after a car crash is extremely important. It is also essential to know what to expect in regards to what you can recover and how to protect your rights.

Because California is a fault state, the driver who is at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying the bills. Sometimes fault is straight forward, but in other situations, it can be more difficult to determine blame, such as when your car is rear ended or when the responsible party disputes fault. In such cases, generally fault is determined by examining the evidence surrounding the accident.

The fact that fault rules apply also means you must also ensure you do not jeopardize your right to recover your car accident damages, especially when the other driver is responsible. This means it is important to fully understand how to protect your rights in a California car accident. Filing a lawsuit within California's two year statute of limitations is key to protecting your rights, as is understanding how auto accident recovery is determined and what damages you are entitled to.

Damages may include pain and suffering and lost wages, depending on the nature of the accident. Property damage should also be covered, so if your car was totaled and the responsible party's insurer won't pay the full bill you should fully explore all legal options, including working with your own insurance company and filing a lawsuit, before accepting a settlement.

Other complicated issues can arise, such as when your car was driven by a relative who got into a car accident, or when you are injured or hit by a driver with no insurance. Because of the myriad of legal issues that can arise as a result of a car crash in California, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney after a car accident. Your lawyer can explain all of the California rules to you and can better help you to understand your right to recovery.