Best Car Accident Lawyers Stockton, CA Of 2024 – Forbes

5 minutes, 9 seconds Read

A car accident is an extremely traumatic experience and can completely alter your life. The good news is that you can legally recover compensation after an accident to get your life back on track.

If you want to file a car accident lawsuit in California, you should read our guide below to understand the deadlines, fault determination laws and general rules you should keep in mind to be successful in your claim.

California Statute of Limitations

If you are ever in a car accident that has resulted in injury or death of a person, you must report it to law enforcement within 24 hours of the accident. You must also report such accidents and any accident that resulted in property damage amounting to $1000 or more to the DMV within 10 days of the crash.

The statute of limitations in California for filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver is two years. This deadline starts from the date of the crash and if you do not file your case within this time, it will be dismissed by the court. A few exceptions to this deadline are:

  • If the plaintiff is mentally disabled or a minor
  • If the defendant has left the state

In these cases, the statute of limitations starts from the date when the plaintiff becomes an adult, their disability is removed or the defendant returns to the state.

There can be instances where instead of an individual or a corporation, a government agency can be responsible for causing your injury. For example, if your vehicle veers off the road because of a spill or the road was improperly constructed.

In these cases, if you need to file a lawsuit against a government agency, your deadline is further shortened because you must file a claim with the negligent agency within six months from the date of the accident. They will then either accept or deny your claim within 45 days. If your claim is rejected, you can file a lawsuit within six months.

California Laws for Car Drivers

If you are driving your car in California, there are certain rules you must abide by to avoid accidents, fines or general discomfort. Moreover, if you follow the traffic rules, it will be easier for you to recover damages in case you are involved in a car crash.

  • Alcohol Restrictions. If you are stopped by law enforcement under the suspicion of intoxication and are asked to take a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration level, you are obligated to take it. If you refuse, your license can be revoked or suspended. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than 0.08%, your license will be suspended and you will be charged with a DUI.
  • Seat Belt Mandates. The driver and the passengers must wear seat belts while driving at all times. A child below the age of two years should be secured by a rear-facing restraint system and any child below the age of eight years must be secured in the rear seat with a child passenger restraint system.
  • Registration Requirements. Your vehicle must be registered in California to drive within the state. If it is registered in a different state, you have twenty days from becoming a resident or getting a job to register it in California. If you are buying a new car, you must get it registered within 10 days and if you are selling your current one, you must inform the DMV within five days.
  • Insurance Requirements. You must have insurance for your vehicle with a minimum coverage of $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. You must carry proof of insurance while driving and show it to the other drivers if you are ever in an accident.

Identifying Fault for a Car Crash

If you are injured in a car crash, you can recover compensation from the at-fault party to cover your losses. In most personal injury cases, especially in car accidents, it may always seem like the other driver in the accident is responsible for causing the accident. But that is not always the case. Other persons or entities who are not even present at the place of the accident can ultimately be responsible for causing it.

For example, an accident can be caused by the faulty brake system of the other driver’s car. In this case, the car manufacturer or the maintenance company can be held responsible. Since you do not have any time to waste fighting against the wrong defendants, you should work with a car accident lawyer to help you determine the correct defendant.

The amount of compensation you can recover is calculated by the pure comparative negligence rule in California. according to this rule, your compensation amount will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be responsible for the accident. So, if you were 20% responsible for causing the accident, for instance, you can only recover 80% of your total claim amount.

If you were more than 50% responsible for causing the accident, you can still recover damages, which is different than in states that follow the modified comparative negligence rule. In those states, anyone responsible for more than 50% (or in some states 51%) of the accident cannot recover at all.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

Your car accident attorney in Stockton can help you secure compensation by guiding you through the entire legal procedure, from filing the claim to representing you in court, if required. They will assess the accident location and hire experts to reconstruct the scene if that can help your case.

They will identify the parties responsible for the accident and help you file claims with the correct insurance companies. They will keep track of the deadlines and send the necessary notices or claims to the appropriate agencies. They will gather evidence and witness testimony to build a strong case and negotiate with the insurance companies to help you recover the best possible settlement.

If a settlement is not reached, your lawyer will take your case to trial and represent you in front of the jury. They will not stop fighting for you until you receive the fair compensation that you deserve.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts