- December 28, 2018
- Laura Morris
Did you know that under California law, you have the right to seek damages if you’re injured in a car accident?
If you drive in the state of California, it’s important that you’re educated about the laws. It’s also important to hire an attorney with experience and knowledge in traffic injury law.
At The Barnes Firm, we have experts on every type of vehicle accident. We’ve helped hundreds of people recover damages over the years.
Here are 5 key points you need to know about California car accident laws.
More Than One Person Can Be At Fault
In California, there are Comparative Fault laws. These laws state that fault may lie with more than one person in an accident. They are in place to make sure anyone who is injured has the ability to recover some damages.
Let’s say, for example, that Dick and Jane get into a car accident. Dick is texting as he drives, and he doesn’t see that Jane ran a stoplight. Both drivers contributed to the accident.
The amount of compensation you can get depends on how much you’re at fault. In our example, Jane is 75% at fault and Dick is 25% at fault. These percentages affect how much they recover in damages and how much they are liable for.
Report the Crash to the DMV
Any accident where damage exceeds $1,000 or where a personal injury occurred, must be reported to the DMV. The accident report form is called the SR-1 and you should fill it out and report it even if you aren’t at fault in the accident.
To fill out the form, you must have certain information. Make sure you get this information at the scene of the crash. You’ll need to include the following:
- When and where the accident occurred
- Who was involved (all drivers, including you)
- Insurance information for all involved
- A description of the injuries and damage
There are Time Limits
File your SR-1 form with the DMV within 10 days of the accident. And it’s advisable to report the accident to your insurance company asap too. But remember, reporting the accident and filing for damages are different things.
There are statutes of limitations in place if you plan to sue for damages. For personal injuries, you have two years from the date of the injury to sue. It’s three years for property damage.
Economic & Non-Economic Damages
As a victim, you have rights. Especially if you’ve suffered an injury that’s caused you pain and time off of work.
There are two categories of damages: economic and non-economic. Both categories are important. Make sure you discuss these points with your attorney to get the most out of your claim.
Here are some of the damages you can sue for:
- Lost earnings
- Repair costs
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
It’s Best to Hire an Attorney
It’s always a good idea to hire an attorney when you go after damages because of an auto accident injury. Attorneys know their way around the traffic laws, and a good attorney has the experience necessary to maximize your recovery.
You can seek damages on your own, but it’s not advisable. You’ll have better odds of getting paid, and you’ll likely get paid more when you have representation.
Know the Facts: California Car Accident Laws
As a driver in California, it’s important to know these key points about the California car accident laws.
Remember, more than one person can be at fault in a car accident. And you must report the accident to the DMV within 10 days, even if you’re not at fault. Don’t waste time to stay within the statute of limitation for damages.
You can seek economic and non-economic damages. And your odds of getting money from your claim go up when you hire an attorney.
An experienced attorney can help you get compensation for things like:
• Medical bills
• lost wages
• pain and suffering
• transportation costs
• and more
Time is critical so don’t delay! Call one of our talented attorneys today to find out more about how you can recoup damages from an auto accident.