Who is At Fault in a Crash?
I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. The effects of a car accident can be very serious and often heavily impact peoples’ lives. Some traffic accidents are not caused by reckless drivers and happen due to things like faulty auto parts or hazardous roadways. However, the majority of accidents are caused by driver negligence and determining who was at fault in a car accident isn’t always easy. It is important to understand how fault is determined and how it affects compensation for losses related to an accident, especially if you live in a state with comparative fault laws such as California.
Pure Comparative Negligence
According to California Law, all individuals who are responsible for a crash due to negligence are able to be held financially responsible. This is called pure comparative negligence and means that injured parties are able to place claims for accident injuries even if they are partially responsible for the crash. In these cases, injured people are able to claim a percentage of their accident damages based on their relative responsibility. For instance, if a person were found to be 10 percent responsible for a crash, they would still be able to recover 90 percent of the total damages they suffered. If someone was determined not to be responsible for an accident at all, they would be able to claim 100 percent of those damages.
Generally, insurance adjusters determine which party is at fault. Adjusters base their decisions on collecting evidence that can include police reports, accounts from witnesses, and physical evidence like accident photos and tire marks on the roadway. In more complex cases, such as accidents that involve more than two vehicles, the issue of determining fault may be taken to court where it is decided on by a judge or jury.
What is a Negligent Driver?
Drivers have a duty of care when operating a vehicle and need to make sure that they are not endangering others. Those who do not uphold this duty of care often cause accidents and are considered to be negligent when a crash occurs. A few examples of driver negligence include:
- Making illegal turns
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal before changing lanes or turning
- Driving while distracted
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
After fault is determined, injured parties are able to seek payment for various damages. These damages differ from case to case but often include both economic and non-economic losses. Some of the damages that injured parties are often able to obtain compensation for include:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of use
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Therapy costs
- Loss of income potential
More by Ed Smith, Eureka Car Accident Lawyer
- Pedestrian Dies in Eureka Car Accident
- What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
- Motorcycle Accident in Eureka Leaves Two Injured
Eureka Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Eureka car accident lawyer. Car accidents injuries are often serious. If a crash has injured you or your loved one, call me by dialing (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 to get free, friendly advice. Another good way to reach me is online.
Read my Verdicts and Settlements.
I’m in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group exists for trial attorneys in the United States who’ve won at least one million dollars through a case verdict or settlement.
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See my website to get the top info and reporting in Northern CA for car accident and traumatic injury topics – AutoAccident.com.
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