If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, an experienced accident attorney can help make sure you get a fair result. If the accident was someone else’s fault, your attorney can help make sure they pay for medical bills and other damages, including wages lost from missing work and car repairs. If you were partly at fault, your attorney can help ensure that the court balances all the factors to find a fair outcome.
Your attorney can develop a plan for your situation. Even if the accident seems cut-and-dried, there can be a lot of factors that go into deciding who was at fault.
California is what’s called a “comparative negligence” state. “Negligence” is a legal term that basically means that someone caused an accident because they were not as careful as they should have been. Comparative negligence means that a court will look at how careful EACH driver was. If both drivers were not as careful as they should have been, the court may find that each driver was partly at fault.
Example of How A Court May Determine Fault in A Car Accident Case
Let’s say two people get in an accident. Person A was driving 5 MPH over the speed limit, and Person B was driving 35 MPH a over the speed limit. Under the comparative negligence rule, the court may say that the accident was 1/4 Person A’s fault and 3/4 Person B’s fault. But what if, instead, Person A ran a red light and hit Person B’s parked car? Then the court would likely determine say that the accident was all Person A’s fault.
Types of Auto Accidents and How They Affect Fault
One of the most important factors that the court will look at is what type of accident happened. The main types of accidents are:
- head-on collisions,
- rear-end collisions,
- side-impact or t-bone collisions, and
- sideswipe collisions.
The court will also look at what type of vehicles were in the accident. There may be extra factors in an accident with:
- a truck,
- a motorcycle,
- a bicycle, or
- a pedestrian.