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California Car Accident Insurance Claims

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

In the United States and California, car crashes are the leading cause of injuries. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, our state's highways are among the deadliest in the country.

A car accident can result in various losses, including medical costs, missed income, and damage to your vehicle or personal property. You need the assistance of a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles whether you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident.

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On California highways, people are injured and killed all too often. According to the California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP), there were 3,898 deaths and 27,823 injuries out of almost half a million police-reported traffic accidents in 2017. Regardless of how much equipment is installed in cars to alert drivers of potential collisions and track blind spots, deaths, accidents, and property damage continues to occur when drivers are not paying attention.

11 Common Types of Car Accidents in California

Car accidents can happen in a variety of circumstances. Some car accidents involve only one driver, while others involve hundreds of people, including pedestrians. The following are some of the most common forms of automobile accidents:

1. Collisions From the Side

  • The most common trigger is failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle. These collisions occur when one driver fails to follow traffic signals at an intersection. At higher speeds, the seriousness of the accident and the resulting injuries can be increased. Side airbags are used in some vehicles to help prevent accidents from side-impact collisions. In this case, numerous crashes and abrupt speed changes are more likely to occur before the vehicle stops. The individual who was hit on the side of the car is more likely to suffer serious injury.

2. Collisions With The Back of the Vehicle

  • If one car collides with the back end of another, this is known as a rear-end collision. Rear-end collisions happen when the first car accelerates suddenly enough that the vehicle behind it does not have enough time to apply the brakes and stop. Whiplash and herniation of the spine are common injuries in these types of collisions, with the rearmost passengers suffering the most serious injuries. With few exceptions, the vehicle's driver that rear-ends another car is deemed at fault. Accidents involving a truck rear-ending a vehicle can be devastating.

3. Rollovers Are When Something Unexpected Happens

  • When a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof, this is a form of a car accident. The fatality rate in these accidents is significantly higher than in any other form of car accident. Tripped and untripped rollover accidents are the two types of rollover accidents.

  • The forces exerted by another entity, such as a curb or a collision with another car, trigger a tripped rollover. If a car is sliding sideways and collides with a curb, this is known as a tripped rollover crash.

  • Speed, dangerous driving conditions, and the car losing contact with the ground during cornering all contribute to untripped rollovers. When drivers make sharp turns that tip their vehicles over, tall SUVs and trucks are vulnerable to rollovers. Vehicles are supposed to be engineered so that they do not fail structurally during a rollover, but these incidents can still result in serious injuries.

4. Collisions that Occur Head-On

  • When the front ends of two cars collide as they drive in opposite directions, this is known as a head-on collision. When the velocity of the moving vehicles is added together, intense forces are applied during the crash, making this the deadliest type of collision. These collisions result in severe bodily injury and, in some cases, death.

  • If a driver is found to be at fault for causing a fatal car accident, the surviving family members will file a wrongful death lawsuit against them. If you have been involved in either of these types of incidents, you can speak with a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney about your case.

5. Speeding-Related Accidents

  • The more energy and time it takes to bring a vehicle to a full stop, the quicker it goes. When driving at high speeds, a driver's chances of losing control of their vehicle increase. Excessive speed limits a driver's response time and ability to respond to sudden changes in traffic or emergencies, which can quickly result in catastrophic injuries. Punitive damages could be available for accidents incurred by a speeding driver due to the reckless nature of speeding.

6. Distracted Driving Causes Accidents

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9 people are killed daily in the United States due to distracted drivers. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot drive safely unless you are fully focused on the mission. Texting is the most popular and dangerous form of distracted driving.

7. Drunk-Driving-Related Accidents

  • Operating a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous and illegal offense. Driving under the influence of alcohol, like speeding, is especially destructive and risky. Punitive damages are sometimes imposed after a DUI conviction. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to the standard damages a victim is entitled to for medical costs and property loss. They are meant to hold a defendant accountable for their irresponsible conduct.

8. Aggressive Driving Causes Accidents in California

  • Aggressive driving, also known as road rage, has been applied to the list of actions that the state's risky behavior laws now cover. A careless act does not have the motive to injure others but goes beyond mere negligence.

9. Inexperienced Drivers are the Cause of Many Accidents

  • Inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause fatal accidents. Consider the fact that people aged 15 to 19 make up just 7% of the US population but account for 11% of all motor vehicle accidents. Teen-related traffic accidents account for $13.6 billion (8.4%) of the total cost of all motor vehicle incidents in the United States.

10. Drug-Impaired Drivers Are to Blame for Several Accidents

  • While alcohol is the most common intoxicant involved in drug-impaired California car accidents, marijuana is the second most commonly detected drug in drug-impaired driver blood tests. Given how widespread marijuana use has become in California, it's critical to comprehend its consequences. Marijuana can cause reaction times to slow down, alter one's understanding of time and space, and impair muscle coordination.

11. Drowsy Driving Causes Accidents

  • Drowsy driving is a dangerous combination of driving when tired or asleep. A driver who sleeps for just five or six hours is twice as likely to be involved in a serious car accident as anyone who sleeps for seven hours or more. The less sleep a person gets, the more likely they are to crash. A driver who sleeps for just four or five hours has the same chance of colliding with another vehicle as a drunk driver.

Collisions Involving Multiple Vehicles

Multi-car collisions also result in several Car Accident Lawsuits in California, which can become contentious and time-consuming. In these types of crashes, there is no real structured procedure for assigning liability. In some cases, one driver may be held entirely liable, but multiple drivers may also share the blame. An experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer will assist you in determining responsibility in multi-car accidents.

Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in California

Although car accident injury is serious, the following are some of the most common: Skull fractures, slipped, ruptured, or herniated disks, and other head and neck injuries that may result in chronic pain, muscle spasms, and other debilitating conditions.

  • Whiplash is a soft tissue injury caused by an automobile accident that can result in severe pain and a restricted range of motion.

  • Even if the head does not touch or get hit by an impact, traumatic brain injury (or TBI) will occur. TBI can result in long-term disability due to serious injury.

  • Depending on the position and severity of the damage to the spinal cord, it may result in complete or partial paralysis. A spinal cord injury may result in permanent disability and other health problems.

  • Broken glass, sharp metal, and road debris can cause cuts and lacerations.

  • Crushing injuries can result in amputation. Accidents involving cars or trucks are the leading cause of traumatic limb injury, which may lead to infection.

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  • A ruptured liver, or spleen, kidney damage, a punctured or collapsed lung, or injury to other internal organs can result from the trauma of a car accident.

  • Fiery fires may cause burns during a car accident, steam exposure, or the deployment of an airbag.

  • Crush injuries, fractured ribs, limbs, pelvis, knee, foot, ankle, spine, or skull are all possible bone fractures in a car accident due to the immense forces involved.

Your financial claim is based on the extent and seriousness of your injuries and the type of medical care you'll need. If any of your injuries are severe or may require long-term medical treatment, a car crash attorney in Los angeles can raise the compensation on your behalf.

Identifying Fault

When a car accident happens, responding law enforcement officers will interview all drivers and make a provisional determination of fault. It's critical to realize that determining who is to blame after a collision is critical. This will decide who will be responsible for payments. It's possible that you'll be held accountable for an accident that you didn't cause. A California Attorney for Car Accident will represent you in court if this occurs. You won't have to pay anything if you win the case.

Identifying Negligence in a Car Accident in California

Anyone who is found to be at fault in a car accident is held accountable. However, you'll need to prove negligence to win the case. There are four main components to this:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care. In the event of a car accident, all drivers immediately assume a duty of care to obey the rules of the road for the sake of the safety of others. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other cars are also included.

  • By behaving negligently or recklessly, the driver violated this duty of care. Violations of traffic rules, signage, poor vehicle maintenance, and distracted driving are also examples of neglect.

  • A negligent act caused your accident. The crash caused your injuries. You would not be entitled to recover compensation for any injuries you had before the accident if you filed a Car Accident Lawsuit in California.

Although defining the duty of care can be easy, demonstrating the other essential fault elements can be difficult.

Is Compensation Available to Me?

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a traffic accident in Sacramento caused by another driver's negligence, you will almost certainly be entitled to compensation. Any driver who causes a traffic accident in California is liable for compensating all parties for their losses in the aftermath of the accident. A car accident attorney in Los Angeles will understand that determining whether or not an individual is eligible for compensation can be difficult, particularly when more than one party is found to be at fault.

The good news is that California's legal system is based on "pure comparative negligence." This assumes that even if a driver is partly to blame for a collision, they will still be compensated (even if they are up to 99 percent at fault). However, a person's overall payout will be limited in proportion to their percentage of the blame.

We bring up comparative fault to make you aware that you should file a claim even though you believe you were at fault for the accident. The reality is that a Los Angeles car crash lawyer is required to review the facts of your case to assess liability and the amount of compensation you might be entitled to. This is not a choice you should make on your own because you could be throwing money away if you do.

What Do I Do If I'm in a Car Crash?

When a car accident happens, it still catches us off guard. However, it is important to be prepared if you are involved in an accident. Accident victims should take specific measures to protect their physical health as well as their civil rights, including:

  • Don't panic; if at all necessary, move all vehicles off the lane.

  • Examine the people involved in the crash for injuries and, if necessary, call for emergency medical assistance. And drivers who do not believe they have been seriously injured should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

  • You should contact the police and, if possible, an ambulance. For your records, request that the police make a comprehensive accident report.

  • Don't accept responsibility at the scene or while dealing with the other party's insurance company; instead, exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver(s).

  • Begin gathering evidence by taking pictures of the damage and the accident scene as a whole with your phone. Gather any witnesses' contact details and any debris that might have broken off from your car during the crash.

Make a Winning Accident Insurance Claim

You must contact the insurance company to file an auto insurance claim in the state of California. This can be done over the phone, on the internet, or even via a smartphone app.

It makes no difference whether you or the other driver is at fault. You must contact the insurance agent if you already have a policy. If you are uninsured, you can file a claim with the other person's insurance company, but only if they are entirely or partially to blame.

It is often best to retain a California Personal Injury Attorney before meeting with your provider if you have been involved in a car accident. Even your own insurance company is structured to protect its own interests. Their primary goal is to maximize income, even if it means putting you out of business.

What If I Was to Blame in A Car Accident?

Regardless of who is to blame, you must always contact your own provider. Insurance plans will cover regardless of faults, such as Med Pay insurance and California accident insurance.

It's entirely likely that the other driver would be held entirely or partly responsible for the accident. You would be entitled to recover damages even though you were partly at fault for the accident since California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Consider one of our prescreened California Personal Injury Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.

How Long Do I Have To Recover My Losses?

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in California is two years. Please remember that the two-year period refers to the time you have to make a lawsuit against the other driver, not the time you have to notify the insurance company about the accident.

What if I Don't Have Health Insurance?

You can make a personal injury claim in California with the other driver's insurance company, but only if you weren't at fault. The other driver's insurance company is unlikely to defend you, and you might even be dismissed. In these situations, it's best to hire an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers to help you recover any damages.

Getting In Touch With An Insurance Adjuster

An insurer is expected to contact you within 15 days of obtaining notice of your personal injury claim after lodging a claim with your provider. An insurance adjuster may obtain a declaration about what occurred and collect and review facts to assess liability and necessary damages.

The following types of facts will be collected and analyzed by an insurer:

  • What happened, according to your account

  • Witnesses' and/or the other driver's statements

  • Your claim submission form

  • Inspection of the vehicle

  • Photographs from the scene of the crash

  • Reports on the damage

  • Medical expenses

How Long Would It Take For Me To Get My Payable Damages?

An insurer must approve or refuse your California personal injury claim within 40 days of the claim being proved. In this case, evidence entails demonstrating that you are entitled to damages and the number of damages you are entitled to.

A straightforward allegation with no complicated liability problems will usually be resolved in a few days. Proving a case will take months if finding fault is a problem or if anyone is critically injured.

New California Residents' Car Insurance, Vehicle Registration, and Laws

California has always been a popular place to live because it is a business center and home to stunning landscapes. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), approximately 5 million people migrated to California from other states between 2007 and 2016. Due to the high population density of the state, as well as the 39.56 million drivers, public transit riders, bikers, and pedestrians who traverse the streets of California daily, the state has created a strict set of guidelines to govern commuter and pedestrian safety.

You do not need a California driver's license to drive in the state as a tourist. All you need is a valid driver's license from your home state. When you become a California citizen, the law requires you to obtain a California driver's license within 10 days of your arrival. To become a California state resident, you must go to a DMV office to provide proof of residency and the necessary identification.

  • Present a valid social security number and identification with your full legal name on it.

How To Register a New Vehicle?

You must also register your car within 20 days of obtaining your California driver's license and residency. The following steps must be followed to register the vehicle:

  • Submit a Title or Registration Application

  • Please submit the most current registration certificate or notice of renewal.

  • A vehicle inspection is required.

  • If required, smog certification.

  • If required, certification of the weight.

Is Car Insurance Necessary?

Any vehicle on the road in California, including parked vehicles, must have at least the minimum car insurance. At all times, proof of auto insurance, also known as "financial obligation," must be carried in the vehicle. The DMV also receives electronic reports from insurance providers that check your existing insurance policies.

Unregistered or Suspended Registration Penalties

If you drive an unregistered or suspended car, you are subject to the following penalties:

  • A warrant or citation

  • Impoundment of vehicles

  • Damages for personal responsibility

In-car Accidents Product Liability

California car accidents may occur for various causes, including negligent drivers, natural disasters, and faulty goods. Vehicles are designed to keep passengers safe, but with hundreds of different parts that work together to make a vehicle run, a single flaw may trigger a cascade of problems that can lead to an accident or worsen the effects of an accident.

California Car Insurance Coverage

Legally needed coverage isn't always the same around the country. It's important for drivers to double-check their insurance's legality and the rates of coverage they're buying. The following are some of the coverage options:

  • Collision Liability - collision coverage covers all accidents caused by the car colliding with something else (such as a building, vehicle, or even a fire hydrant). You may choose the deductible for coverage related to these types of injuries. If you are leasing a car, however, there is a risk that the deduction will be waived.

  • Comprehensive Coverage - This insurance protects you if your vehicle is stolen or destroyed without being involved in an accident. Natural disasters, hail, flooding, and fire are examples. Vandalism is another possibility. For extensive coverage, you have the option of choosing your own deductible.

  • Liability Insurance - Drivers in California are required to have liability insurance. Liability is divided into two sections: personal injury and property harm. If you were the one who caused the accident, bodily injury is generally used to compensate for costs due to accidents or death. If you are at fault for causing harm to another person's property, you will be reimbursed for your expenses.

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  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in if you get into a California car accident with someone without insurance or carrying enough coverage. The insurance provider would provide this policy. If you opt not to buy it, you will be asked to sign a contract stating that you will not recognize the company's coverage.

  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) covers the injuries you and everyone else in the vehicle sustained due to an uninsured driver who caused the crash.

  • Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage helps mitigate the costs of personal harm if you're in an accident with someone without insurance to cover the losses.

  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) pays for the damages to your vehicle caused by an at-fault, uninsured driver. Once the uninsured driver has been detected, this coverage will kick in. If you already have collision coverage, you don't need this sort of coverage.

Coverage for Medical Payments

This coverage mainly includes your medical costs and those of any other passengers in your vehicle. Regardless of who is to blame for the accident, you will receive urgent medical attention. You have the option of requesting higher coverage limits.

The Importance Of Having Medical Insurance in California

Medical Care Coverage will help you pay for several expenses, including:

  • Care for injuries sustained by you and others involved in an accident that necessitates medical attention.

  • The price of a funeral

  • For those who have been injured in a car accident, dental treatment is available.

Symptoms of a crash must be apparent within the first few days after the collision to be eligible for medical benefits. Back pain, for example, could occur shortly after being involved in a car accident. For example, this will not be a permissible cost under your auto insurance's medical payments.

Medical Pay Insurance

Consider the following factors to determine whether you believe it is necessary to obtain this form of coverage:

  • Health Insurance Policy - check with the health insurance provider to see whether they provide medical treatment in the event of a car accident. If you receive a bid, weigh your current health insurance policy to determine whether you think it is worthwhile to pay for additional coverage. If your health policy does not provide enough compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, purchasing medical payments coverage might be prudent through auto insurance.

  • Cost of Medical Pay Coverage - get quotes with and without medical pay coverage to see how much more the car insurance policy will cost. Keep in mind that the cost of medical benefits can vary depending on the following factors:

    • Age

    • Gender

    • Relationship Status

    • Driving History

    • Previous Claims

Regarding coverage for injuries caused by California car accidents, personal injury insurance coverage is similar to medical payments coverage. It differs from medical pay in that it includes compensation for lost wages, while medical pay does not. Individuals in no-fault states are required to provide this coverage. California isn't on the list of states that need this insurance.

The Most Common Types of Defective Automobile Parts

  1. Tires are an essential part of a vehicle's control system. They make it possible to travel on the road in a smooth and stable manner. A vehicle may lose control and cause an accident if a tire or tire part splits, separates from the vehicle, loses traction, or suddenly pops. Brakes are critical for driver safety because they allow vehicles to slow down, stop, and avoid colliding. Drivers would be unable to control their speeds or come to a complete stop if their car brakes are faulty.

  2. Seat belts protect all passengers in a car. In California, it is mandatory to wear a seatbelt at all times when a car is in motion, and it must be worn properly. Seat belts prevent passengers from being thrown out of a car or violently spun about in the event of a collision. Effective seat belts do not unbuckle themselves when hit and should unbuckle easily when manually unbuckled. Defective seat belts can cause high-impact injuries and/or trap passengers inside the car.

  3. Airbags are designed to cushion the blow of high-impact collision injuries. Defective airbags can deploy in the event of a low-impact collision, injuring the driver and obstructing their vision and control of the vehicle. Defective airbags can also fail to deploy in high-impact collisions, leaving passengers unprotected. When faulty airbags activate during a crash, they can do so too quickly and forcefully, resulting in injuries such as broken bones and concussions.

  4. When it rains, windshield wipers help a driver see the road ahead of them by wiping away water from the windshield. Defective windshield wipers can not work properly, either not wiping at all or wiping in such a way that the view is still obscured, obstructing the driver's view and potentially causing an accident.

  5. Accelerators are used to assist in getting a vehicle moving and increasing its speed. However, if an accelerator is faulty or fails, the vehicle can accelerate out of control, putting the driver in a dangerous situation. A non-functioning accelerator can also trigger an accident by preventing a vehicle from accelerating when a vehicle loses motion while on the road; this can be particularly dangerous.

  6. The purpose of steering components is to assist a driver in directing the positioning of their vehicle's wheels. A driver can lose control of the vehicle if a steering part breaks or locks, resulting in an accident.

  7. The purpose of a fuel system is to provide fuel to a vehicle so that it can work. If a fuel system part fails, the fuel can not be able to carry or administered the fuel to the vehicle properly. If there is a fuel leak, it can be very dangerous and even result in a fire.

  8. The battery, starter, and alternator are all part of the electrical system that provides electric power to automobiles. If an electrical system fails, the vehicle can experience an energy shortage, which is particularly problematic for electric vehicles.

  9. A faulty electrical system in a gas-powered or hybrid vehicle may prevent the vehicle from starting properly or functioning critical features such as signaling and stopping lights.

Liability for Products

The state of California is a no-fault state, which means that if an accident occurs, someone must be held responsible, even if the accident seems to be caused by no one in particular. Suppliers may be held liable for product liability when a product malfunction causes a car accident or injury. Product liability refers to the failure of the manufacturer to ensure that the product is entirely safe before releasing it into the market.

California is also a comparative liability jurisdiction, which means that several parties may be held responsible for an accident or injury. This ensures that all parties involved in causing the accident will be judged for their negligence, and each of them will be held accountable for their part in the accident. Product liability applies to faulty vehicle parts, which means that the manufacturer or distributor of these goods may be held responsible for accidents and injuries caused by a defective product.

Hire the Top-Rated California Personal Injury Lawyer for Car Accident

When you're having trouble with your insurance settlements, is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a Car Accident Lawyer in California that's the best fit to handle your Car Accident Injury Claims.

Contact us through our 24/7 Live Chat (or complete our submission form) for a FREE CASE REVIEW.

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