Traffic Accident Lawyers
Determining Fault in a Traffic Accident
An important aspect of handling a car accident claim is the determination of fault. A car accident may have one or a number of causes, or circumstances that have made the incident happen. Because California implements a fault-based system when it comes to traffic accidents, it will be necessary to discover and prove who or what caused the accident and therefore who should be held legally responsible. The driver or other party who caused the accident can be held accountable for the injuries, economic losses and property damage that the accident caused.
In some cases, fault is clear. In others, it may be difficult to determine at first glance what caused the accident to occur and what party or parties should be held accountable. This is particularly true in complex cases involving large commercial trucks or situations where several vehicles were involved. It may take a thorough investigation and accident reconstruction to determine and prove fault.
If you were injured in a car accident in California, traffic accident lawyers at Pacific Attorney Group may be able to help you. Even if you believe you may have been at fault in the accident, you may be surprised to find that an in-depth investigation reveals that another factor was to blame. A poorly designed intersection or defective auto part, for example, could affect even the most responsible driver’s ability to avoid a collision. If you are certain that the other driver caused the accident, we can get to work in finding evidence of this. No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, our California Traffic Accident Lawyers are prepared to provide quality legal counsel.
Fault vs. No-Fault Insurance Laws
In some states, no-fault insurance laws apply to car accidents. This means that fault does not need to be proven and is not even taken into account when an auto insurance policy pays damages to a car accident victim. A victim’s own auto insurance policy will cover his or her injuries, with some exceptions. When a person is seriously injured or killed in a car accident, even states with no-fault insurance laws will allow victims or families of victims to seek additional compensation through personal injury orwrongful death lawsuits, depending on the case.
In California, your right to sue is protected. Drivers and other negligent parties who cause car accidents are held accountable for their actions. This fault-based system makes determining the cause of an accident one of the most important parts of the legal representation provided by a California traffic accident lawyers. Insurance providers are notorious for doing whatever they can to avoid paying claims, and this may include laying the blame for a collision on the wrong driver’s shoulders simply because that driver did not have proper counsel to show that he or she did not cause the accident.
When you work with a lawyer at our firm, you will find that we will take the time to look into what caused your accident, through police reports, witness testimony and physical evidence. We often involve accident reconstruction professionals who can use computers and other tools to recreate the circumstances of an accident to see how it was caused. Using these resources and the testimony of expert witnesses as necessary, we can then present a compelling case to a judge and jury to show where fault truly lies.
California’s Comparable Fault Doctrine
In a California car accident case, fault may be shared under the doctrine of comparable fault. This doctrine recognizes the fact that more than one party may be responsible for causing a car accident and therefore may share the blame. If an investigation into an auto accident reveals that one driver (driver A) was 20% to blame and the other driver (driver B) was 80% to blame for the accident, driver B may be considered at fault, for 80% of the damages. If driver A suffered $100,000 in economic and non-economic losses as a result of the accident, driver B may be held accountable for $80,000.
Because determination of fault is a complex and important issue under California law, make sure you work with an attorney who has the resources to fully investigate your case. Our traffic accident lawyers represent victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout California and have more than 35 years of experience to apply to our clients’ cases. Call today to see how we can help you.
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