Car crashes happen every day. According to data cited by Forbes, more than two million Americans sought emergency medical attention for car accident injuries in 2021 alone. If you were involved in a crash that was not your fault, it is imperative that you know the steps to take to get justice. In this article, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys provide a comprehensive guide to the key things that you should know about navigating a crash that was not your fault in California.
Why it Matters: California is a Fault-Based Motor Vehicle Accident State
Why is fault so crucial in a car accident claim in California? The key reason is that, unlike some other jurisdictions, California operates under an “at-fault” liability system. The party responsible for causing the car accident is also financially responsible for the damages that result. In other words, if you are not at fault for a crash, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Identifying and proving who caused your car accident is paramount.
Documenting a Crash that Was Not Your Fault is Essential
Collecting comprehensive evidence immediately after the crash can significantly influence the outcome of your claim. A proactive, comprehensive investigation of any car crash in California is a must—especially if you know that you were not at fault. Some key pieces of evidence that can support your auto accident claim in California include:
1. Photographs: Always take photos of the accident scene, including the position of the cars, any road signs, skid marks, and any visible injuries you or your passengers sustained.
2. Witness Statements: If there are any bystanders or other drivers who witnessed the accident, get their contact information and a brief account of what they saw.
3. The Police Report: Always call the police to the scene. Their report can provide an unbiased account of the accident and often includes crucial details.
4. Surveillance Footage: Nowadays, many intersections and commercial areas have surveillance cameras. Check if the accident was caught on tape.
You Have a Right to Hold the Negligent Driver (or Other Party) Legally Liable
In California, if you are the victim of an accident that was not your fault, the law is on your side. You have the legal right to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Most often, car accident claims are filed against drivers (and their insurers). However, other parties could also bear legal responsibility for a crash, such as vehicle manufacturers or construction companies. Through a fault-based car accident claim in California, you have the right to pursue compensation for the full extent of your damages, including vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Our Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyer for Immediate Help
At Oaks Law Firm, our Los Angeles car crash attorneys are compassionate, experienced advocates for victims and families. If you were involved in a serious collision that was not your fault, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today to arrange your no-cost, no-obligation consultation. With an office in Los Angeles and other offices across the state, we handle claims throughout California. Let us guide you toward the justice and compensation you deserve.