You want to receive compensation for your injuries and other losses as soon as possible after a car accident. But your ability to recover any compensation hinges on a seemingly straightforward question: Who caused the accident?
The issue of liability is crucial in any car accident insurance claim or lawsuit. Determining fault is not always as simple as it may appear. If you are determined to be responsible for the accident, you may be prevented from recovering any compensation. Even a finding of partial fault can substantially reduce your compensation. After a severe accident, your best option is to hire an aggressive, experienced car accident attorney.
Who Determines Fault in A California Car Accident?
While the police or another law enforcement agency may investigate the collision and issue traffic citations, they are not ultimately responsible for determining fault. Police reports are frequently used as evidence to determine fault, but the courts will decide if the parties involved in an accident and their respective insurance companies can’t agree on who was at fault.
In civil cases, the burden of proof operates somewhat differently than in criminal proceedings. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In contrast, a plaintiff in a civil suit must demonstrate a defendant’s liability by a lower standard known as “preponderance of the evidence.” A “preponderance of evidence” is equivalent to “more probable than not.”
While it is relatively easier to “win” a civil lawsuit than a criminal prosecution, doing so without the assistance of an experienced and motivated attorney is still challenging.
What Role Does Fault Play in A Car Accident Lawsuit?
California is not a no-fault car accident state. California car accident victims can sue other drivers. Every crash victim receives some compensation under a no-fault system, though not as much as in a lawsuit. However, filing a lawsuit is time-consuming and expensive, and you may not win.
Car accident lawsuits often focus on fault in California, an at-fault state. State law requires a car accident lawsuit plaintiff to prove the other driver was negligent. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise the reasonable care and prudence required by law.
In California, someone who causes a car accident and injuries can be held liable for your losses. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering are examples.
Common Types of Evidence Indicating Fault for An Accident
In order to prove fault in a car accident insurance claim or lawsuit, you will need compelling evidence. Typical types of evidence utilized in these proceedings include:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness accounts
- Bills for property damage
- Testimony from the drivers
- Video footage of the crash
Our seasoned legal professionals at 2H Law Firm are well-versed in the complexities involved in filing insurance claims and pursuing legal action following automobile collisions. We are prepared to offer you the high-quality legal representation that you deserve at this time. Because we provide free consultations, you shouldn’t wait to find out about the different legal options you have. Call us now at (619) 374-9320.