How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in California?

The state of California sees its fair share of car accidents every year. The California Highway Patrol reported that in just 1 year, over 223,000 people were injured in a car accident and an additional 3,104 people died due to traffic-related accident in the state.

California adheres to the at-fault insurance system to determine who is liable and will pay for any compensation. The role of determining fault is the court’s responsibility. As such, it is important to be able to prove fault in a car accident case. Today, we review how fault is determined in a car accident.

California Is an At-Fault State

California is what is known as an at-fault state, which means it adheres to the at-fault insurance system. Therefore, the individual who is found at-fault for the car accident will need to pay for the other person’s compensation claims. Compensation is calculated by looking at the extent of the damages, the negligence of the at-fault individual, and if the victim of the accident played a role in the car accident.

Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover the damages; however, if the victim does not agree with the amount the insurance company offers, they can file a personal injury lawsuit.

What Factors Do Insurance Companies Consider When Determining Fault?

To determine fault, the insurance adjusters will take the statement of everyone involved in the car accident. They will also review medical record and bills, any police reports, as well as any witness statements.

To legally prove a claim, you will need to prove that the other person was being negligent and that that negligence caused the accident. Being negligent means the other party had a duty to act in a reasonable matter and failed to do so.

How Do You Prove Negligence?

You will need to show that the at-fault driver did not meet the standard of care a driver must adhere to while operating a vehicle. Every driver must exhibit a reasonable amount of caution when driving a car. Some common examples of negligence include the following:

● Texting (and other forms of distracted driving)

● Driving while tired or fatigued

● Driving dangerously or aggressively

● Failing to maintain the vehicle

● Failing to signal

● Tailgating

Injured in a car accident? For a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, complete our contact form or call (916) 778-3228.