One of the first thoughts that many drivers have surrounding accidents is whether their state has a no-fault policy regarding crashes. California is one of 38 states that does not subscribe to a no-fault policy. This means whoever is responsible for the accident will be liable to pay for the damages. While every state is a little different, it’s important to understand what this means for you as a driver and how it may impact you in the event of a collision. Educating yourself on the rules and regulations of California’s motor vehicle accident laws will save you time and money, two things in short supply for those who have just experienced an accident.
What is a Fault State?
The first step in learning about the California fault laws is understanding the difference between fault and no-fault states. In a fault state, all parties involved in an accident will file a claim with the insurance of the person responsible for the accident. For example, if three teenagers are in an accident caused by Teenager 1 running a red light, Teenagers 1, 2, and 3 would all make a claim with Teenager 1’s auto insurance company. These claims can include damages to property and vehicles, as well as medical bills. Teenager 2 and Teenager 3 would have to prove that the accident is indeed Teenager 1’s fault. If this can be done, Teenager 1 would be liable to pay for the damages under his auto insurance plan. This process may be lengthy and expensive, especially if the accident isn’t cut and dry or if the liable party refuses to admit fault.
What is A No-Fault State?
In a no-fault state, the process looks a little bit different. Rather than requiring that a guilty party be identified, each victim of an accident will file a claim with their own insurance companies. For example, in the above scenario, Teenager 1, Teenager 2, and Teenager 3 would all file claims with their own insurance companies, even if Teenager 1 were clearly at fault. There is often less legal involvement and a faster process in these situations, but more responsibility is placed on those who were not at fault. In many no-fault states, auto insurance rates are higher. This is because your insurance company will have to pay no matter the reason for your accident; your good driving record does not ensure that the company will not have to pay because of someone else’s bad driving.
What Happens to My Insurance after an Auto Accident in California?
Because California requires identification of the guilty party in an accident, car insurance rates are lower than in some other states. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be lengthy and expensive legal battles in the event of an accident. Because fault must be proven, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to deal with any tricky legalities associated with the case. Insurance companies are rarely accommodating to those making claims in a fault state and often do their best to avoid paying. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to file a strong insurance claim, making sure that your case against the insurance company gets off to a good start.
In some cases, the at-fault party does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for all expenses. In these situations, having an attorney who is fighting for you is doubly important. Suppose you are injured due to an accident in which the guilty party’s insurance does not cover all expenses. In that case, your lawyer will fight for a personal injury claim through the insurance company to make sure that you are not paying for your bills out of pocket.
Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to auto accident insurance claims. The most important aspect of these situations is your safety, and a large part of your safety is your ability to recover and heal from the incident. By hiring an attorney, you can ensure that you do not have to pay for the aftermath of what happened to you. If you are injured due to someone else’s actions, they should have to pay.
How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me In California After I’ve Been In A Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident, the best personal injury attorneys in Orange County can help, contact the law offices of Easton & Easton. With over $100 million won for our clients in the past five years, we are your best chance at winning your auto accident claim. Let us help you through this tricky time and help you feel confident that you will be financially taken care of after your accident. Call today to get started.