Proving Negligence in California Car Accidents
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In order to have a valid claim, however, it is necessary to prove that the other driver was negligent. In California, all drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle. A driver who violates traffic safety laws or drives in an unsafe manner may have breached this duty. Nonetheless, a successful claim depends on the legal knowledge and skills of a capable personal injury attorney.
J&Y Law Firm has decades of experience handling car accident cases in Northern and Southern California. We are well versed in the state’s traffic safety laws and have a proven track record of proving driver negligence. Our legal team works tirelessly to help our clients achieve successful outcomes.
What are a driver’s responsibilities?
All drivers in the state have a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care to avoid injuring others. This means that drivers must obey traffic laws, drive in a safe and responsible manner, and be aware of road conditions. Additionally, all drivers are required to stop and check to see if anyone has been injured after an accident occurs. If someone has been injured or killed, drivers must immediately stop at the scene and exchange information. Drivers must also give reasonable assistance to anyone who has been injured.
The Elements of Driver Negligence in California
Generally, a valid car accident claim requires demonstrating the following elements of negligence:
- The other driver had a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner
- The other driver breached this duty
- The actions of the other driver caused the accident
- The accident directly caused injuries or monetary losses
Proving that another driver was negligent can be far more complicated than many accident victims realize. Our attorneys leverage their legal know-how to identify negligent acts of at-fault drivers. We conduct thorough investigations, collect necessary evidence, and identify and interview witnesses. Depending on the nature of the accident, we may also collaborate with respected accident reconstruction specialists to support a claim. Through the years, we have handled car accident cases involving various forms of driver negligence, including:
- Distracted driving (texting while driving)
- Speeding/reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Failing to yield right of way
- Illegal turns
- Failing to signal (lane changes/turning)
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to properly maintain a vehicle
What is comparative negligence?
The state of California relies on a system of pure comparative negligence to determine liability in a car accident. This means that each person who is found to be at fault for a car accident is liable for a portion of the fault. In an accident involving two drivers in which one runs a red light and the other makes an improper turn, for example, the first driver may be 80 percent at fault while the second is 20 percent at fault. If the second driver’s losses were assessed at $100,000, his or her damages would be reduced by 20 percent to $80,000. Similarly, the second driver would be liable for 20 percent of the first driver’s losses.
How J&Y Law Firm Handles Auto Accident Claims
Our attorneys have a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with aggressive legal representation. Because being injured in an accident is an overwhelming experience, we offer each client knowledge, compassion and the highest level of personal service.
Car accident claims are typically resolved through a detailed and intricate negotiation with an insurance company. Most insurers, however, put profits ahead of injury victims and attempt to settle claims for as little money as possible. If an insurance company refuses to pay the full value of a claim, we are fully prepared to litigate the case in court. We work to help our clients recover damages for lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is crucial to have the superior legal representation that the J&Y Law Firm offers. Above all, we are dedicated to helping you recover all of your losses, whether inside or outside of court. Call our office or complete the contact form on our website to set up a consultation.