IF YOU WERE HURT IN A CAR ACCIDENT DUE TO THE NEGLIGENT ACTIONS OF ANOTHER, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION. TO QUALIFY FOR COMPENSATION, YOU MUST PROVE THAT YOUR INJURIES RESULTED FROM THE CAR ACCIDENT AND THAT THE AT-FAULT PARTY IS LIABLE FOR YOUR DAMAGES.
Although it may seem simple, it is challenging to establish blame or prove that your injuries resulted from negligence. At Bojat Law Group, we recommend you seek legal representation to help you prove your injuries and help you obtain maximum compensation, as it can be tricky to establish blame by yourself.
Here is information on how you can prove injuries in a California car accident and show that the other party is liable.
What is considered a fault in a California car accident?
Liability or fault in a California car accident is when a person is found to be legally responsible for causing a road-traffic accident due to negligence through the evidence and information presented.
All road users have a duty of care to other road users. It is the legal duty of every motor vehicle driver to operate their vehicle with reasonable care and look after the safety of others. If a driver acts in an unsafe manner that causes harm or injury to other road users, they may be found negligent and liable for any injuries sustained.
How to prove liability in a California car accident case?
To prove liability in California accident cases, you have to establish that the other driver has breached their duty of care and you sustained injuries as a result.
There are two ways to prove fault. The first is to prove that the other driver was negligent under common law, and the second is to prove statutory negligence.
Under the rules of common-law negligence, you must show the following:
- Duty of care: The other party had a duty of care to operate their vehicle reasonably safely.
- Breach of duty: The other party acted unsafely, that is, failed to operate their vehicle with reasonable care, which resulted in a breach of duty. The fundamental question is whether the other party acted in the manner a reasonable person would have acted in a similar situation.
- Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the accident.
- Harm: You suffered damage as a result.
To prove common-law negligence, you must provide evidence. If the accident happened in, for example, Thousand Oaks, call a car accident lawyer Thousand Oaks as soon as possible for help in order to get out of the situation with a minimum of consequences and a maximum of compensation for your injuries. In addition to Thousand Oaks, Bojat Law Group is available in the following cities as well – Los Angeles, Oxnard, Ventura, Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Calabasas and Camarillo.
The other way to establish negligence in a California car accident case is to prove statutory negligence, also called “negligence per se.” Proving statutory negligence is somewhat easier than common-law negligence. You must prove that the other driver violated a statute or a California vehicle code.
Statutory negligence is an easier way to prove negligence because the police report from the accident usually states if the other driver violated a statute or vehicle code. If this Is the case, the other driver is already proven negligent with no additional evidence. It is now left for them to prove that they weren’t negligent. If not, they will be held liable by the law.
Comparative negligence: what if you were partly responsible for the accident?
As established earlier, proving liability in a car accident case is not easy and can often get tricky.
The other party may try to blame you for causing or contributing to the accident. If they can successfully prove that you have a percentage of fault in causing the accident, your compensation will be reduced accordingly.
Under Comparative negligence principles, the compensation amount a plaintiff may receive will be reduced according to the degree of negligence contributed to the accident. You would need the help of an experienced and expertly-skilled attorney to prove you didn’t cause or contribute to the accident.
For instance, if the court were to award you $10,000 and find you 20 percent responsible for the accident, the court would reduce your compensation to $80,000.
What evidence do you need to prove liability in a California car accident case?
The most helpful piece of evidence to have a police report. After a car accident, you must call the police and request they come immediately to the accident scene. If you did not do that, you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
The police report will describe the accident scene and other important details, including vehicle damage. Also, photographs and videos can help prove your claim. Furthermore, it would help if you had medical reports and bills to show the extent of your injuries.
Your attorney will help you collect every vital piece of information or evidence you need to prove your claim, including witness statements.
The process of making a claim
When you decide to make a car accident claim, your attorney will seek to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. However, when both parties fail to reach a reasonable agreement, the case proceeds to court. It means that a judge will access the information and evidence presented to them and decide who is at fault and how much compensation they may receive.
But before your case gets to court, there may be rounds of negotiation by your attorney and the other party’s attorney. It may take a while for your case to get a court date, and negotiations may continue until the day of the court proceedings.
If the court decides it is a comparative negligence case, you may receive a lesser percentage of the compensation amount.
The best chance of succeeding in your compensation claim is if you provide quality evidence to prove your claim is legitimate. Try to gather as much evidence as possible after a car accident, and seek medical attention immediately. That way, you may obtain maximum compensation for your damages.
Seek the help of an expert
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in California, our skilled car accident attorneys at Bojat Law Group, can give you all the help you need in proving your claim and ensuring maximum compensation. We have years of experience fighting for car accident victims’ rights. Contact us now.