Whether you were in a single-car crash or one that involved several vehicles, the matter of financial responsibility in accidents is always a very important consideration.
This particularly holds true in California, where the rule of comparative liability (also referred to as comparative fault) is followed. Essentially, this says that if two or more parties can be found at fault in the mishap, each of those parties will bear some of the financial responsibility. For the most part, this is a more fair system than what can be found in other states, where a “pure contributory negligence” rule means that a badly injured driver who may have borne just one percent of the fault in the accident cannot collect for damages.
In comparative liability states such as California, anyone who wishes to recover for damages received in a car crash must pursue a lawsuit that shows the other driver was guilty of one or several of the following:
Driving while distracted – This largely includes texting and phone usage.
Driving under the influence – Use of drugs and alcohol are well known to cause impairment.
Disregarding traffic signs and signals – If you impede another vehicle’s right-of-way, you are clearly at fault.
Speeding and reckless driving – High-risk choices involve higher liability.
Additionally, if a driver is fatigued, it is considered a contributing factor. If there are defects to the road that contribute to the accident, the municipality or state charged with maintaining the road can be held liable. In some cases, the car manufacturer or a mechanic who failed to provide a safely operating vehicle can be held responsible.