Every year, careless and reckless drivers cause many accidents leading to severe injuries and death countrywide. In California, car accidents are due to the state’s large population and a high number of vehicles.
On numerous occasions, irresponsible drivers always get away with their mistakes. Luckily, there are compensation laws in California aimed to hold at-fault drivers liable for loss of property, injuries, and death. Reviewing car accident compensation laws and limits of damages in California is important to determine if you are eligible for compensation when involved in a car accident.
At Fault and Pure Comparative Laws
Like many other states, California has an “at fault” liability system for insurance claims. The system requires a driver in quest of compensation to show evidence of fault on the part of the other driver if he or she wants the claim to be successful.
In addition to the at-fault system, “pure comparative negligence” law also applies in California. If an insurance claim is successful and goes to trial, each involved party is liable to its percentage of fault.
For instance, if a driver suffers $8,000 in damages, but only has 5 percent at fault for the accident, the compensation will be limited to 95 percent of the total damages.
Auto Accident Damages
Auto accident damages are divided into two major categories, namely economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost income, medical expenses, repair and replacement of damaged vehicles, and other costly expenses. Non-economic damages involve disability, pain, and emotional distress caused as a result of the accident.
In California, there is no cap governing cases for personal injury and auto accidents. Nonetheless, there are a few bottlenecks that limit or eliminate compensation for plaintiffs involved in a car accident.
The first bottleneck is the time limit for filing a case. There is a time limit of two years and three years for a personal injury claim and property damage lawsuits, respectively. Additionally, there is a six-month time limit to file a legal claim for accidents involving a government agency.
The second limit applies to a driver without proof of insurance cover or financial responsibility. If a driver doesn’t have any of these, he or she cannot recover non-economic damages regardless of who is at fault. However, economic damages can still be recovered if there is proof of fault.
The last limit compensation is limited to $250,000 for medical malpractice non-economic damages.
Need Help with Car Accident Compensation Laws in California?
You can seek compensation if you are involved in an accident caused by another driver. However, the process is usually long, and insurance companies will not compensate you without proper investigation. Also, accident compensation laws can be complicated, especially if you are not well versed in motor vehicle laws.
Therefore, it is important to seek the services of a law firm with extensive experience in handling auto accidents as well as personal injury cases. Contact RS Office Laws today for personal attention and services regarding car accidents.