Home Law California car accident: A quick look at the laws

California car accident: A quick look at the laws

by Paul Petersen

A huge number of auto accidents are reported in California every year. In 2019 alone, 3,606 people lost their lives in fatal motor vehicle crashes. Such an unfortunate car accident can derail your life entirely. Besides impending medical bills, you may have to lose out on work, and overall financial losses can be massive. If the accident happened because of someone’s neglect or disregard for safety, you can consider asking for compensation. To make the most of your options, talking to car accident attorneys Los Angeles may help. In this post, we are sharing more on car accident laws in California. 

Should you report the accident?

Yes, no matter the circumstances, report the accident and don’t run away from the accident scene. If the accident resulted in death, injuries, or property damage amounting to $1,000 or more, you are required to report the same to California DMV within 10 days. 

The “statute of limitations”

For the unversed, the “statute of limitations” mentions the deadline within which personal injury lawsuits can be filed against the party at fault. In California, you have two years to file such lawsuits, as per the “statute of limitations”. If the accident resulted in death of someone, the family can file the case of wrongful death within two years, but the clock starts counting from the date of death. In case of injuries and property damage, the count starts from the date of accident. You have three years to file property damage lawsuits in California. 

The “pure comparative negligence” rule 

California follows what is known as the “pure comparative negligence” rule. This means that a person can recover compensation from the party at fault, regardless of their own fault. However, their awarded compensation will reduce according to the percentage of share in fault. For instance, if you were given $10,000 in compensation but were also liable for the accident to an extent of 40%, you can still recover $6,000. Also, because of the “pure comparative negligence” rule, you can ask for compensation, even when your share of fault is more than 50%. However, remember that the other party is also likely to bring a lawsuit or file an insurance claim for your action. 

Meet an accident attorney

When it comes to car accidents, things are never simple. It makes sense to talk to an accident attorney, so that you can know the true worth of your claim, if you have one.