Best Car Accident Lawyers Sacramento, CA Of 2024 – Forbes

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Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury in California. Therefore, you should equip yourself with information that can help you if you or your loved ones are ever in a car crash. Below is a guide to the car accident laws in California.

California Statute of Limitations

If you are involved in a car accident in California, you must take action against the defendant within two years from the date of the accident. This time frame is also known as the statute of limitation. If the person involved in a car crash later dies due to the accident, the statute of limitation starts from the date of the death instead.

If you are in a car accident, you must report it to law enforcement within 24 hours if someone is injured or killed. You are also required to report every collision to the DMV within 10 days of the crash if it caused property damage of more than $1000 or it caused injury or death.

In a few exceptional circumstances, the statute of limitations can shift or pause for some time. Some of the most common ones are if the plaintiff was mentally disabled or a minor at the time of the accident or if the defendant had left the state before a lawsuit could be filed.

The statute of limitations in these cases will begin or resume once the plaintiff’s disability is removed, they become an adult or when the defendant returns to the state.

Sometimes, you may have to fulfill additional requirements to take action against the negligent party. For example, if you are suing a government agency, you must file an administrative claim with that agency within six months from the date of the injury. They will respond to you within 45 days of receiving the claim. If your claim is rejected, you can file a lawsuit within six months from the date of rejection. Otherwise, you may file a case within two years from the date of the accident.

California Laws for Car Drivers

  • Vehicle Registration Requirements. You must register your vehicle in California to drive in the state. If you are buying a new vehicle, you have to transfer the ownership within 10 days. If you are selling your vehicle, you must inform the DMV within five days. If you have a vehicle registered in a different state, you must register it in California within twenty days of becoming a resident or getting a job.
  • Insurance Requirement. You must carry proof of insurance with you at all times while driving. If you are involved in a car crash, you must show it to the other drivers involved in the collision. The insurance must cover $15,000 for a single death or injury, $30,000 for death or injury to more than one person and $5,000 for property damage.
  • Safe Driving Requirements. You should avoid tailgating, staying in other drivers’ blindspots and driving directly alongside other vehicles. You should always check your blind spots, be aware of the vehicles behind you and understand the road conditions to maintain your speed and adjust the headlights accordingly.
  • Seat Belts Requirements. You and your passengers must wear seatbelts while driving to avoid injury and fines. Any child below the age of two years must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. Children below the age of eight years must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in a rear seat.
  • Alcohol and Drug Requirements. If you are driving in California, you consent to a blood, breath or urine test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level if a law enforcement officer suspects you of driving under the influence. If you refuse, your license will be suspended or revoked. If your BAC is higher than 0.08%, you will be charged with a DUI in California. But since alcohol and drugs react to every person’s system differently, you can also be arrested for DUI if you were badly impaired but your BAC was in the normal range.

Identifying Fault for a Car Crash

If you were injured in a car accident, the party responsible for causing the accident pays for the damages. This is because California is an at-fault state. You may need the help of a car accident lawyer in Sacramento to determine the party responsible for causing the accident to avoid suing the wrong person, agency or corporation.

The amount of compensation you receive is determined by the comparative negligence rule. It states that the total claim amount is deducted by the percentage of the plaintiff’s negligence in causing the accident. For example, if you were 30% responsible for causing a car crash, you will only be eligible to receive 70% of the total claim amount.

If you were more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you will still be able to receive compensation since California applies the pure comparative negligence rule. So, if you were 80% responsible for causing the accident, you can still recover 20% of the total amount claimed.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

An experienced car accident attorney in Sacramento can help you build a strong case to recover the maximum possible settlement or verdict for you. They will identify the defendants, hire experts, collect witness testimony and acquire evidence on your behalf to create strategies to win the case.

They will essentially take over all the legal tasks. They will assist you in filing the insurance claim, keep track of all the important deadlines, negotiate with the insurance company and help you decide whether the offered settlement amount is appropriate.

If you come to the conclusion that you do not want to settle, your car accident lawyer in Sacramento will take the case to trial and represent you in front of the judge and jury.

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