No one wants to get involved in a car accident, but such accidents and collisions are not rare in Huntington Beach and the rest of Orange County. If you end up getting injured in a crash, you need to follow your legal responsibilities as a driver. For instance, call 911 if someone is injured and inform the local police without delay. You may also want to contact Huntington Beach car accident attorney to evaluate the worth of your claim, as California is an at-fault state. Here are some aspects to know about auto accident laws in California.
Understanding comparative negligence
Car accidents often have inherent complications. What happens two drivers are at fault for the same crash? California follows the pure comparative negligence rule. Either driver can sue the other, regardless of their share in the fault. However, the fault percentage will determine what a claimant gets from the settlement. How does this work? Let’s say you won $10,000 in a car accident claim settlement but were also found to be at 10% fault. In this case, you will eventually get $9,000. The 10% of the settlement that you lost is because of your fault.
The statute of limitations
Like most states, California’s statute of limitations decides the deadline for filing auto accident lawsuits. If you want to sue the other party for their negligence or misconduct, you have to do so within two years from the accident date, as per the statute of limitations. If you miss that 2-year deadline, the civil court will refuse your case in all likeliness. The deadline is the same for wrongful death lawsuits.
Should you report the accident?
Yes. All drivers are required to report an accident to California DMV within ten days if there was death, injury, or considerable property damage (Estimated at $1,000 or more.
Do you need a car accident attorney?
The short answer is yes. While it is not mandatory to hire a car accident attorney, there are benefits worth noting. Firstly, lawyers have the necessary experience and expertise to handle the most difficult cases. They can investigate the accident and ensure that there is enough evidence to prove fault and liability. Also, they can deal with the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement. If needed, they can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Most car accident attorneys in CA work on a contingency fee, which means you don’t need to pay a fee unless they win your case for you.