Liability in California Car Accidents
When a car accident happens in Los Angeles, California, one of the items that must be determined is liability. Liability is a legal concept that determines who was at fault for the accident. Liability is important for both insurance companies to determine and in the instance that any party involved in the car accident decides to file a lawsuit. However, liability isn’t always cut and dry. In fact, there are many factors that determine liability.
California Is a Fault State for Car Accidents
In California, if two people are involved in a car accident and the matter goes to court, the judge or the jury would determine the percentage of fault that each person contributed to the wreck. So, if the defendant is found to be 85% at fault and the plaintiff is found to be 15% at fault, the plaintiff would recover 85% of their damages because the other 15% is seen by the court as being caused by the plaintiff.
Liability and a Non-Owner Driver
Another common concern about liability in East Los Angeles car accidents is what happens when someone borrows a car and is then involved in a wreck. If the person who borrowed the car had the permission of the car owner, the owner may have some liability for the car accident. This is known as permissive use. With permissive use, the owner of the vehicle could be responsible for up to $15,000 in damages if only one person was injured (and up to $30,000 if the wreck injured more than one person).
How Is Liability Determined in California Car Accidents?
If you are hurt in a car accident in East Los Angeles, you must prove that the other party or parties was at fault for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. If you can’t prove liability, you cannot receive financial compensation. One of the best things you can do in order to help the court and the insurance companies determine liability is to report the accident to the police. The police will send an officer to the scene to document what happened. The responding officer will document the position of the vehicles, the location of the accident, skid marks, debris, road conditions, the weather, and other details.
Additionally, the California Vehicle Code is also used to help determine liability. It can be used by your lawyer to convince the court that the other driver violated the law and that the violation was a serious contributing factor to the accident.
You should take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved. This will help you document the weather, the road conditions, the condition of the vehicle involved, and any skid marks. This is important for several reasons. One of the most important is that it can take time to schedule a trial if you decide to file a lawsuit. These photos can be very beneficial to your lawyer and to help refresh your memory.
For more information on what to do after you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident, contact the experienced East Los Angeles accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.