Following a serious car accident, victims are often overwhelmed and unsure
of what to do first. To get started, we have assembled a list of frequently
asked questions and answers.
What should I do if I am involved in a traffic accident?
If you are involved in a
San Diego traffic accident involving property damage or injuries, you should never leave the scene. Call 911 and wait for an ambulance
and the police to arrive. Do not make any statements to police or the
other driver about whether you may have been at fault. This is something
a lawyer can help you determine later. If possible, take photos of the
accident scene and record the names, addresses and telephone numbers of
any witnesses. This information can be invaluable if you later decide
to pursue a personal injury claim.
What determines who is liable in a car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle accident?
The law requires everyone to act with “reasonable care” when
traveling on California roadways. Negligence, which is used to determine
fault, occurs when individuals fail to use reasonable care or caution.
Examples of careless driving include disobeying traffic control signals,
inattention, speeding and failing to yield when required. Evidence used
to prove fault may include police reports, accident reconstruction experts,
and eyewitness accounts.
What if one of the accident victims was also at fault?
California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. If you are found
at fault for the accident, any recovery you receive in a personal injury
lawsuit is reduced by your percentage of liability. For instance, if you
were 12 percent at fault for the accident, your damages can be reduced
by 12 percent. Because California is a “pure” comparative
negligence state, victims can recover even if they are 99 percent at fault.
In other jurisdictions, plaintiffs are not entitled to recover any damages
if they were more than 50 percent at fault.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California
motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to obtain the compensation
that injury victims deserve.