Driver Responsibilities and Liabilities in the State of California
A car accident can happen when we least expect it – while commuting to work, school, or out with family or friends. Many of these accidents result in minor fender-benders, however, a vast majority are far greater and consequently have serious consequences. Whenever a person suffers a car accident, the accident can lead to long-term emotional distress and severe financial hardship. Fortunately, accident victims may be eligible for compensation when liability can be established. In order to obtain compensation, however, accident victims must take into consideration their rights and responsibilities as drivers in the State of California.
After any form of auto accident in the state, motorists have to abide by the law. Drivers have a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care in order to prevent injuring those with whom they share the road. Accidents are often inevitable, however. When a driver is involved in an accident, the driver often has a duty to report the accident in certain situations. If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car accident, understanding what your legal rights and responsibilities are can help you hold the at-fault party financially accountable for the damages caused by the accident.
You’re Not Alone – Obtain Proficient Legal Support
The Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King is committed to the protection of the rights and interests of its clients. With more than a decade of experience handling auto accident cases, the law firm is well-versed in all applicable local and state laws relating to these types of cases, including tort law and traffic law. The Law Offices of Attorney King have an established track record of successfully helping their clients secure meaningful compensation for their damages. Consider contacting the law firm today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. You can call (909) 297-5001 or complete the confidential contact form here.
Driver Responsibilities in the State of California
Across the state, motorists have a legal duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care in order to avoid injuring themselves and others on the road. As a result of this duty, drivers have an obligation to obey traffic signs and laws, operate their vehicles in a safe manner, and remain vigilant of road conditions.
Moreover, when an accident happens, every driver has a responsibility to stop at the scene and check if anyone was injured in the collision. In fact, based on current law (California Vehicle Code §20008), motorists must stop at the accident scene, exchange contact information, and provide reasonable assistance to those who have been injured. Furthermore, the collision will need to be reported to the California Highway Patrol in a timely manner. A written report of the incident must also be provided, particularly when there were no responding police officers and a police report was not filed.
Additionally, auto accidents must usually be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. When a person was involved in a car accident, the collision will need to be reported to the department within 10 days when: A person was injured in the collision, A person lost his/her life in the collision, and/or The collision resulted in property damage exceeding $1,000.
Liability in an Auto Accident
While some accidents happen due to no fault of the drivers involved, a vast majority of accidents happen as a result of driver error or driver negligence. Negligence, in particular, arises when a person breaches the duty to act reasonably responsible when driving and ultimately causes harm to another. A party who is found to be negligent in an accident is liable for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages.
Economic and non-economic damages are awarded to injured victims for their financial distress suffered as a result of the accident. These damages could be incurred through expenses such as: Medical costs, Loss of employment, Property damage, and Permanent disability.
A damages award can also be obtained for non-economic losses, such as: Emotional suffering, Loss of quality of life, and Embarrassment.
It should be noted that the State of California follows the theory of “pure comparative negligence” in order to determine who is at fault for the accident. For the most part, this means that every party involved in the accident could be held liable for their portion of responsibility in causing the accident.
In sum, drivers who fail to exercise a reasonable level of care when driving could be held liable for the damages caused by the accident. A breach in duty of care could include, but is not limited to: Speeding, Driving while distracted, Driving while intoxicated, Engaging in road rage, and Disobeying posted street signs.
Auto Accident Statute of Limitations in California
In California, personal injury cases are subject to a “statute of limitations”, which is a law that sets a time frame on a potential claimant’s right to bring a case forward. Depending on the case, these deadlines can vary. Generally, however, the statute of limitations is two (2) years from the date of the accident or discovery of the injury.
Protect Your Rights and Interests – Speak to a Well-Versed Attorney Today
When involved in a traffic accident in California, the experience can often be overwhelming. Aside from coping with the injury and loss of property, handling the complexity of a car accident claim can add another layer of stress and frustration to an already difficult situation. If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident, obtaining the support of an experienced personal injury attorney can be incredibly beneficial and could help lift the burdens caused by the accident.
At the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King, the firm excels in handling the most complex traffic accidents in Southern California, including those involving multi-vehicles, commercial trucks, and resulting in catastrophic injuries. The law firm is exceptionally knowledgeable in the state’s traffic laws, local ordinances, and has great insight on comparative negligence rules. The Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King is well-versed in negotiating with difficult and dishonest insurance companies in order to reach a fair settlement on behalf of its clients. At the same time, the law firm is prepared to take the case to court when needed. If you were injured in an auto accident, do not delay and contact the support of an attorney you can depend on. Consider contacting the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King today and schedule your free case evaluation.