California Car Accident Laws

If you are involved in a car accident in California, there are certain steps you must take to report the car accident, as well as protect your health and your rights to recover financial compensation for your losses.

First, if a car accident involves an injury or death, then you are required to contact the police to come to the scene of the accident and prepare a written report. On the other hand, if a crash resulted in property damage worth over $1,000, then you must at least report the collision to the California DMV within 10 days.

California is a fault-based state, which means the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the injured party’s losses, such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. Anyone who is a victim of a car accident may either file a claim with their own insurer (who will then file a claim against the other party’s insurance company on your behalf), file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party directly.

However, if the at-fault party claims you were either partially or completely at fault for the crash, California follows a “comparative negligence” rule. This means your award or settlement will be reduced by your percentage of liability for causing the collision.

For example, let’s say your car accident made it all the way to trial. Although the court awards you with $100,000 in total damages, the jury also says you are 20 percent at fault, which means you are only entitled to $80,000 or 80 percent of your damages.

According to statute of limitations, injury-related car accidents must be filed in civil court within two years of the collision or injury. If you only want to file a lawsuit over property damage, then the timeline is three years.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Elk Grove or Fremont, CA, contact Samra Dhillon & Associates today at (916) 571-1550 for a free initial consultation. Let us help you maximize your entitled compensation and ensure you make the best possible recovery from injury!