Whether you've crashed into another vehicle or it's a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist, any accident can be a terrifying experience. Most people's minds race with questions like: how much is this going to cost? Will insurance be able to cover all the damage? How long will my injuries force me out of work? Am I permanently disabled? Will I need to seek legal representation to get compensated for damages?
While these are all valid questions and ones we advise our Sacramento readers to consider, there is another question that is perhaps the most important one to ask after any accident: who was at fault? Answering this question can help you determine if you are owed compensation and more importantly, whether you need to take civil action in order to get it.
As we pointed out last month in one of our blog posts, every driver on California's roadways is obligated to adhere to the duty of care standard. In layman's terms, each driver is responsible for taking actions behind the wheel that keeps other drivers' safety in mind. Being reckless or negligent behind the wheel means that you are breaching your duty of care, meaning you could be considered at fault in an accident.
A person who is considered at fault in an accident owes crash victims compensation for damages to their vehicle and to their person. Depending on the extent of damage and injuries, and how at fault the individual was, compensation may vary.
Though we'd like to think that everyone will be honest after a car accident and own up to their mistake, this doesn't always happen. In cases across the nation, including here in California, at-fault drivers have been known to lie about what happened in an accident in order to make the victim look like they were equally at fault. In some cases, at-fault drivers have even tried to convince victims that they were to blame, not the other driver.
You should know that behavior like this can be frustrating and overwhelming to say the least. With the help of a lawyer though, it can be less so because an attorney is aware of this surreptitiousness and also knows your rights. They will stand up for you and fight for your right to compensation. They will also help you take your case to court if need be.