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What Should You Do and Be Aware of After a Car Accident

It only takes one split second. Everything was just fine before. Now you’ve been involved in an accident. Getting into a car accident is one scary experience. It’s even worse when you’re injured in the process and it was the other driver’s fault. Now you have to prove the other driver was reckless. Many people have gone through it. It happens out of nowhere and it’s completely out of your control. What do you do now? How does the law work in the state of California? Even though it wasn’t your fault, you have to deal with the consequences. It’s essential to know how to report it, the negligence rule in California, as well as how to prove negligence.

How to Report It

When you are involved in an accident where any person is injured or dies on the scene, then you must submit a written report within 24 hours to the California Highway Patrol. After this, each driver must make a report to the DMV within 10 days. You must report an accident to the DMV if anyone involved was killed, anyone is injured (even if injuries are minor), or if there was property damage of more than $1,000.

Negligence Rule

When you get into an accident in the state of California, even though you’re the victim, you can be at fault as well. California is a pure comparative negligence state. Take this situation. You are making a turn onto a street when a car speeding behind you hits you. Although they are the ones that are in the wrong, you can still be found somewhat at fault for the accident. The court may find that you had ample time to see the speeding vehicle and avoid the accident. In pure comparative negligence, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage at-fault. In the scenario used above, the court may say that the other driver was 80% at fault and they may find that you were 20% at fault. If the compensation you are awarded is $20,000 for damages (medical bills, loss of wages, vehicle damage) then you really would only get $16,000 because of the court determining you were 20% at fault.

Proving Negligence

In order to prove the other driver was at fault for the accident, you must be able to prove several different elements. You must prove that the other party had a duty of care. In most cases, this duty is to use reasonable care when dealing with anyone they on the road. You must then prove that the other party has breached this duty, meaning their negligent behavior caused them to not use their duty of care. After you must show how the other party’s actions were the cause of your injuries. You then must show how the other party’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries and how you’ve suffered from actual damages. Actual damages include things such as medical costs, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.

It’s unfortunate that car accidents happen every day. You can be the safest driver but still, get hit and injured. There are too many drivers on the road that drive recklessly and aren’t held accountable for it. You need the compensation you deserve in order to get you back on your feet. Edward “Skip” Babbitt is the San Diego car accident lawyer you deserve. Call his office today at 619-543-1789 to schedule your free initial consultation.