Can you Sue after a Car Accident in California?
When you are out on the roads in California (or anywhere for that matter), there is no telling what might happen. It serves best to be equipped to face adverse conditions by getting insurance and being in touch with an injury law firm in Oxnard. Whether you are a driver or a passenger in the car that gets into an accident, you will be eligible to claim compensation by suing the party at fault.
Car accident damages are usually classified under two categories – economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages – these are the damages incurred during a car accident that are monetary in nature. Repair or replacement of the damaged cars or parts, medical expenses, etc. would be included in this category.
Non-Economic Damages – These are the damages that deal with the abstract aspect of the car accident. Pain, emotional distress, disfigurement or disability are the damages that would be treated under the non-economic category.
As far as the Californian laws for car accident insurance claims are concerned, they have an ‘At fault’ and a ‘Pure Comparative Negligence’ policies. You can sue after a car accident through either of these
What is the ‘At Fault’ rule?
Under this rule, if you are a driver and you are seeking compensation for a car accident, you must be in a position to show evidence for the fault on the part of the other driver.
What is the ‘Pure Comparative Negligence’ rule?
This is for when your case goes to trial. This rule is how the jury decides to what percentage is either party culpable and their insurance claim is subsequently calculated to reflect their percentage of the fault. To give an example, if the jury finds driver A to be 5% at fault for the accident, then the claim that he/she has applied for, will be reduced by 5%.
So, to answer the question, can you file a lawsuit after a car accident in California?
Yes, you can. Here are some guidelines that can prove to be useful when you are planning to sue the other driver for car accident.
- If you want to sue the other driver for personal injury lawsuits, you are required to submit for a claim within 2 years of the car accident.
- You can also claim a property damage lawsuits after you were in a car accident. But your claim will be up for consideration only if it has been submitted within 3 years of the car accident.
- In case your claim involves a government agency, the report has to be made within 6 months of the car accident.
Coincidentally, you are also eligible to sue after a car accident if you were a passenger in either car. A passenger who was travelling in a car that got into an accident, is eligible to sue the driver of either car, or both. Though depending on whether or not you were aware of the potential risk at the time of getting into the car, might have an impact on how much compensation you will be eligible for.