Answers To Common Questions About California Car Accidents
Who has to pay when an auto accident occurs in California?
California is an at-fault state. The driver who caused the accident is legally responsible for injuries and property damage suffered by the victim(s). Compensation is paid by the at-fault driver’s car insurance. However, without a lawyer, it is tough to get a full and fair settlement from the other driver’s insurance company.
What if the at-fault driver has no insurance or low coverage? Your own auto insurance kicks in to cover some or all of your losses if you have uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your policy.
What types of compensation can I recover for my auto accident injuries?
It depends on the actual harm you have suffered. Economic damages refers to medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of projected earnings and property damage. Noneconomic damages might include pain and suffering, loss of consortium (marital relations), diminished quality of life and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement.
Can I still recover compensation if I caused or contributed to my accident?
This is a common scenario. California is a pure comparative negligence state. Yes, you can still be compensated if you were partly at fault, but your compensation is reduced accordingly. For example, if your damages are calculated at $200,000 but you are deemed 25% at fault, you could only recover $150,000. Theoretically, you could be compensated even at 99% fault, though 1% compensation would not add up to much.
If I wasn’t seriously hurt, should I still see a doctor?
Yes. Many injuries are not apparent at first or may develop days or weeks after the crash. For example, concussion symptoms may be delayed, or a “sore neck” might actually be a fractured vertebra. A doctor can rule out serious injuries for peace of mind or prevent significant injuries from getting worse. It also helps your personal injury case when your medical records show prompt treatment and a clear connection to the accident.
More Questions? I’m Here If You Need Legal Help.
I am Jared Pursley, a personal injury attorney serving Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and the surrounding North County communities. I understand that many people are leery of lawyers or unsure of their rights. But, skilled legal representation after a car accident can make all the difference, especially when the injuries are serious or liability is disputed.