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Posts Categorized: Car Accidents

I Was Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident. Can I Sue the Driver?

Posted on October 12th, 2017

Many car accident posts focus on what injured drivers can do after an accident, but few explain what happens to injured passengers. As an injured passenger, you can take action against the at-fault drivers involved. Who is Liable for Passenger Injuries? In every personal injury claim, proving liability determines who will face legal responsibility for associated injuries. A driver will usually face liability in a passenger’s third-party liability claim. One or more drivers may bear some percentage of responsibility in multiple-vehicle accidents. Most rear-ending collisions have a clear at-fault driver, but other accidents are not as straightforward. In a case involving one speeding, distracted driver and one drunk driver, a passenger may file a claim against both parties for their respective percentages of liability. In multi-defendant claims, the jury will divide the total worth of the claim among at-fault parties. The drunk driver, for example, would likely face responsibility for a large percentage of the damage award (80%) while the speeding and distracted driver may only face liability for 20%. In single-vehicle incidents, the driver may or may not face legal liability depending on the circumstances. Some accidents are outside of a driver’s control. The passenger may be able to…

Can You Sue for Pet Injuries After a Car Accident?

Posted on July 31st, 2017

Driving around with your pet is sometimes necessary – trips to the vet, the dog park, or just around town require your pet to come along for the ride. Unfortunately, this puts your beloved friend at risk should you get into an accident. If an auto accident results in injury or death to your dog, cat, or any other domesticated animal, you may be able to sue the responsible party for damages. Contact an attorney for help with these complicated cases. What Damages Are Available for Pet Injuries after an Auto Accident? After a car accident that injures you pet, you have a right to bring a claim against the liable driver or other party like you would if you were the one with injuries. California courts allow plaintiffs to bring claims on behalf of their pets in certain situations – namely, accidents involving someone else’s negligence. If a drunk, distracted, or careless driver caused your crash and your pet’s harms, you may have a claim on the grounds of negligence. Bringing a claim might be the right move if you need to seek recovery for damages such as: Costs of your pet’s treatment. Veterinarian bills can escalate quickly, especially if…

What If I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident? Can I Still Seek Compensation?

Posted on November 21st, 2016

It’s not always easy to determine who was responsible for a car accident. Not every car crash is as cut and dry as a drunk or wrong-way driver. In many cases, the motor vehicle accident involves a variety of factors, from roadway conditions to manufacturer error. In accidents where more than one party is partially responsible, the California courts reward compensation based on comparative fault laws. California Comparative Fault Laws When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, California abides by pure comparative fault, or comparative negligence, laws. Pure comparative fault enables the court to award damages to multiple victims in an auto accident, based on the relative liability of each party involved. The plaintiff and the defendant are each liable only for their percentage of fault. This means that even if you’re partially at fault for a car accident, you can still seek and potentially recover compensation. The “pure” part of California’s rule means that a party can still recover damages even if he or she was 99% responsible for the crash. In states with modified comparative negligence laws, there is a maximum percentage of fault (typically 50% or 51%) that once crossed means the party will receive zero in…

Should I Call the Police for a Small or Minor Car Accident?

Posted on August 24th, 2016

Under certain circumstances, the law requires you to call the police from an accident scene and file a police report. In other cases, you may not have to notify the police – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Notifying the police even in a minor car accident can expedite the process, identify who was at fault, and help you in the future should you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re involved in a small car accident, know what to do and when to call the police. Car Accidents Law in California In California, the law mandates that all drivers involved in an accident must stop, no matter how minor the accident was. Drivers must stop even in a slight fender bender that doesn’t seem to have caused much damage. Whether the accident involved a stationary object, moving vehicle, pedestrian, or someone else’s property, you have the legal obligation to stop and exchange information with the other party. Driving away leads to a hit and run charge, which comes with worse penalties than a standard accident. Once your vehicle collides with something else, you must stop and you should notify the California Highway Patrol or local police. Dial…

Do Drivers Need Uninsured or Underinsured Auto Accident Insurance in California?

Posted on June 14th, 2016

Auto insurance is designed to cover the costs of property damage and medical expenses related to car accidents. When people who cause accidents do not have insurance or fail to carry enough insurance to cover accident costs, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage comes into play. What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Auto Insurance Coverage? When you sign up for your auto insurance policy, you can choose different forms of coverage. You can carry the minimum amount of liability insurance that California requires, which according to the California DMV is $15,000 for injury/death for one person, or you can add on other forms of coverage—including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages in the event that the driver at-fault does not carry any auto insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage picks up where an at-fault driver’s coverage stops. For instance, if the other driver only has the minimum liability insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance provider to cover the remaining costs associated with your injury. Drivers can choose different ranges for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Limits for benefits typically range from as little as $20,000 all the way up to…

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