Car accidents can have significant consequences and lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Personal injury law allows victims of car accidents to recover compensation for damages caused by another’s negligence. You can seek compensation for your medical bills, vehicle damages, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Every state has different laws and regulations. Therefore, having a legal professional by your side will help you navigate the complicated legal system and make the process much easier for you.
California has unique rules and regulations with regard to motor vehicle accidents. It is highly recommended to speak with an experienced attorney who can preserve your rights if you have been involved in a car or other motor vehicle accident in the state of California. An attorney will also help to assess your case and discuss your options so that you can proceed with your claim to recover compensation.
Statute of Limitations in California
It is important to note that every state has different statutes of limitation for filing personal injury claims. A statute of limitations is a deadline or the period within which you can file a legal claim. Your claim can be rejected at the outset if the statute of limitations has expired by the time you file your complaint. Therefore, it is necessary to know whether your claim falls within the statute of limitations before filing a car accident claim. In California, you can file the lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident or injury. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations allows up to three years from the date of death.
Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you have the legal right to sue a negligent driver provided you can demonstrate monetary and non-monetary damages. You can seek compensation for damages like medical expenses and lost wages but you must do so timely. Consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to begin receiving assistance with filing a lawsuit and proceeding with your claim to recover compensation.
Statute of Limitations if a Government Employee Caused a Car Accident in California
Laws vary from state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. California laws treat the situation differently if a government employee’s negligence caused damages and injuries. Under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), the California legislature intended to protect the state government from liability in certain personal injury cases. The law states generally that “a public entity is not liable for an injury.” There are, however, numerous exceptions to the law that allows injured victims to bring a claim and seek monetary damages under limited circumstances, but a victim must act quickly. In most California Tort Claim Act claims, a claim must be filed within six months of the injury or accident when the accident was caused by the government or its lawful agent.
If you fail to file the claim in time, it will be rejected. Therefore, it is recommended to have a lawyer by your side to assist you with the process and filing requirements. The state agency will have to respond to your concerns within 45 days. Attorneys can take care of all the legalities and improve your chances of a successful claim if you have been in an accident with a government entity.
California Car Accident Laws
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident or crash in California should report the accident within 24 hours. The accident must be reported to the police at the scene where the accident occurred or it must be reported to the California Highway Patrol. You can even call the police at the scene and get the accident reported. Reporting the accident is necessary. You must speak to an attorney to avoid any errors or omissions in your report, and to ensure the facts are recorded accurately. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to get started with the process of filing a claim.
Is it Necessary to Report the Car Accident to the DMV?
California law requires traffic accidents on a California street, highway, or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there was an injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,000. Failure to report the incident to the DMV could even lead to the suspension of your driver’s license. Therefore, you must report the accident timely. An experienced car accident attorney can be helpful for this step. To reiterate, here are the situations when you must report a traffic accident to the DMV in California:
- If anyone involved in the accident experienced an injury. The injuries can be minor or severe but it is mandatory to report the accident if there has been an injury of any kind.
- If the accident led to any person’s death. The death could involve the driver, any of the passengers, or even an innocent bystander.
- If the accident resulted in vehicle or property damage of more than $1,000.
You should report the accident to the DMV if the accident resulted in any of the situations stated above.
Should I Report the Accident to a Car Insurance Company?
There is no legal requirement for when an accident should be reported to the insurance company but it is important to report the accident as soon as possible. Reporting an accident sooner will help to recover compensation coverage for the accident sooner. Delaying the process could affect your chances of a successful insurance claim.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you should report the accident to your insurance company immediately, bearing in mind the Statute of Limitations for any later legal actions that might be necessary. This will increase your chances of being approved for the claim.
What Are the Laws If I Was Partially Responsible for the Accident in California?
Again, different states follow different laws when there is shared responsibility for an accident. If you were partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault that you share. For example, if you were determined to be 10% responsible for the accident, your overall compensation amount will decrease accordingly. The reduction happens when you are partially responsible for injuries. If you have been involved in an accident, you can file a claim against the negligent or the at-fault driver for your injuries even if you share some fault.
What to Do if an Uninsured Driver Has Hit You in California?
Drivers in California are required to carry at least limited insurance coverage to operate a motor vehicle registered in the state. Drivers in California are required under law to carry $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. Some people do not carry insurance or are underinsured. In that case, they may not have the financial means to pay for your damages. The at-fault driver insurance is not the only way to receive compensation for your damages. Some other resources may include health insurance, medical payments coverage, or uninsured motorist coverage. It can become difficult to recover compensation in these cases. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer so that you understand all of your options before proceeding.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney
A lawyer can help you in various ways and in different situations. Whether you want assistance with filing the lawsuit or need any other legal assistance, a lawyer can be an invaluable resource. An experienced car accident attorney may help you with obtaining a full and fair settlement for your damages. With a lawyer’s help, you will be able to recover compensation for several types of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, as well as pain and emotional suffering.
California follows different laws, and the deadlines for reporting an accident are fixed. Therefore, it is important to have everything you need for your claim as soon as possible. Having a lawyer will help you to ensure that all the laws and legal processes are followed timely. Failing to follow the laws or deadlines could lead to a denial of the claim.
Car accidents can be stressful. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should avoid communication with the at-fault driver beyond obtaining their information at the scene of the accident. You should avoid giving incorrect or incriminating statements to the police beyond what the law requires. You should begin focusing on gathering relevant evidence and documentation. Without proper evidence and documentation, your claim will be difficult to prove.
Improve your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries by submitting all relevant evidence and other documentation with the help of an attorney. Make sure that you share all the details of the incident with the attorney. You may even consider making notes shortly after the incident to ensure that you do not miss or forget any important information or details.
Get a free consultation from an auto accident lawyer and learn how you can receive compensation for your personal injury claim.