Accidents can happen at any time on the roads. As a driver, you should aware of the possible consequences and the ways in which you can protect yourself. You should also have a basic understanding about the laws that will cover the incident, at the very least. This knowledge will put you in a better legal position after a crash. For example, pointing fingers is common when two vehicles collide. No one wants to admit blame because of the moral, legal, and financial repercussions. This begs the question, “Are car accidents always someone’s fault?”
No-Fault Insurance System
Indeed, it does not have to be that way. There are alternative insurance systems wherein a no-fault rule applies. Every driver is required to get coverage for their personal injury protection. If they ever become involved in an accident, then their insurance company will pay for their injuries and property damage.
There is no need to prove that the other party is liable just to collect compensation, since the expenses will automatically be taken care of. The release of funds tends to be much faster, and both parties can move on from the incident right away. On the other hand, critics of the system say that it is prone to fraud and leads to higher insurance premiums.
California’s Accident Laws
The state of California still adheres to the old system, so no-fault does not apply here. In this tort state, it is important to determine who caused the accident. Insurers will study the matter to figure out who was at fault. In the event that the case goes to trial, then it will be up to the court to decide.
It can get complicated because multiple factors are at play. Both drivers may have contributed to the accident in varying degrees. Other drivers, pedestrians, and bystanders could have influenced the outcome as well. Sometimes the setting increases the likelihood of collision due to bad weather, poorly maintained roads, a previous accident, and so on.
It’s clear just how difficult it can be to make an accurate assessment. It is rare for one party to be entirely guilty of causing the incident by himself. Most cases turn out to be a contribution of multiple factors, and yet fault will have to be assigned for the funds to be released.
This dilemma is often resolved by measuring the relative fault and assigning percentages. In such a comparative negligence system, the one who committed the graver error will have the pay the other. The total amount awarded can be reduced by an amount corresponding to the relative fault of the recipient.
What to Do in the Aftermath of an Accident
Given all the issues that will come up after an accident, it is important for those involved to be careful, so they don’t end up taking more blame than they should. The first thing to do would be to care for the injured by providing first aid and calling for an ambulance. Information should be exchanged with the other driver. Insurance companies must be notified right away. Gather evidence such as pictures and videos. Get names and contact details of witnesses. These will be helpful in case of a dispute. For legal assistance, call a car accident lawyer in Orange County.