Liability in CA Car Accidents

When you are in a car accident in California, a number of things will happen within a very short amount of time. You will need to secure medical help, file a police report, and document the injuries and losses you have. All of this ultimately leads to your recovery, including your financial recovery.

In California, liability after a car accident is dependent on fault. That is, the person who is at fault for the accident is required to pay for the losses they caused to another person. California is a fault state. Because proving fault and securing adequate compensation for your losses can be hard, our Sacramento car accident attorney at Rosenthal Law advises you to seek legal help and guidance throughout this process.

Types of Fault Under California Law

There are several different types of fault that may apply in your situation. Your car accident attorney can help you determine who is responsible.

  • Negligence: This occurs in any situation in which a person does not take reasonable care when driving, and that breach of care is what caused the accident. In short, the person was not trying to intentionally cause an accident but was looking at a text message while driving. In this situation, they are liable for the losses they cause to you.
  • Recklessness: Recklessness refers to any situation in which a person deliberately took some type of action, like speeding, that put the safety of others at risk. They, too, are responsible for paying for your losses. In some situations, punitive damages may apply here.
  • International misconduct: The next level up refers to instances in which a person takes a deliberate act to cause the accident. In this situation, their insurance company may not cover the claim, even though they are fully at fault.
  • Strict liability: In this situation, the driver is considered automatically at fault, no matter if they were reckless or negligent. For example, the driver strikes a person that is in a crosswalk.

With this information, it is possible to consider the liability for car accidents in California a bit better. There are several defined types in the state:

  • Liability based on negligence: The most common type of liability applies when a person is negligent while driving, and that is what causes the accident.
  • Vicarious liability: This form of liability aims to apply responsibility for the accident to someone other than the driver who may still have influenced the outcome, such as a trucking company over a truck driver.
  • Product liability: In this situation, the product was defective and that caused the accident, such as a faulty tire may lead to a manufacturer being responsible.
  • International liability: As noted, this occurs when someone is intentionally damaging another person’s property.

In each of these situations, you have the right to compensation from the party that caused the accident and your injuries.

Set Up a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case with Our Team

Understanding liability in California car accidents is not always straightforward, but we can help you. Contact Rosenthal Law today and tap into our more than 25 years of experience. We are happy to offer a free consultation if you call our office.