Car accidents are never pleasant to go through no matter where you are at. After the crash, you will have to deal with the process of recovering from the accident both physically and financially regardless of the severity of your damages or injuries. Given how big of a dent vehicle repairs and medical bills can make in your wallet, you want to obtain as much compensation as you can.
Before you begin, it is crucial to understand the process of obtaining compensation in California specifically, as other states in the country have drastically different rules for the aftermath of car accidents.
Contact your insurance agents and authorities quickly.
One common trait California shares with other states is that it is important to contact insurance agents as soon as possible after an accident. Be specific to the insurance company of the details of the accident and the different damages you received from it. The company must provide assistance to you in less than 15 days after your notice, otherwise you need to contact California’s Department of Insurance.
In addition, you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if the injuries or damages from the accident exceed $750. You only have 10 days to do so, otherwise they can suspend your license. This needs to be done regardless if the other driver was more at fault than you.
Gather enough evidence to prove the other driver is at fault.
California is one of the few states that determines how much compensation you get through comparative negligence. This means that you will receive compensation based on how much of the accident you are at fault for. The officials determine this through percentages. For example, if you were to suffer $10,000 in damage and medical bills and the court found you 40 percent responsible for the accident, this means that you would obtain $6,000. Those who are responsible for over 50 percent of the accident can also receive compensation from the crash.
Because the state functions like this, it is essential for you to prove how much the other driver was at fault to the court. You can gather evidence by taking pictures of the area and the respective places on where your vehicle got hit. Another concrete idea to prove your innocence to the court is to obtain any witness testimonies or police reports of the accident scene. Having more than just yourself testify against the other driver can help you avoid losing money from fault accusations.
If you were in a serious car accident and you and the other driver are in a dispute on who is at fault, you should seek legal assistance for any vehicle damages or personal injuries you receive from the accident. While it may be nice to receive compensation no matter how much at fault you are, it is important to prove to the court that the other driver caused the accident to receive more compensation for your damages.