California Car Accident Fault Determination Rules 2022: What You Need to Know

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Driving a car is a great luxury that many Californians enjoy daily. It helps provide freedom and flexibility that make it possible to see family, commute to work, or explore the golden state for fun. However, as much as we rely on our cars, they can also be extremely dangerous. The rules of the road are in place to help keep everyone safe, but accidents can still happen, even when everyone is following the rules.

When an accident does occur, it’s important to know how fault will be determined. The rules can vary from state to state, but in California, specific regulations must be followed. These rules are known as the California Car Accident Fault Determination Rules and were put in place to help make the process of determining fault as fair and easy to understand as possible.

How Are Car Accidents Governed in California?

Car accidents in California are governed by a “fault” car insurance system. This means drivers found to be at fault for causing an accident are responsible for the resulting damages. In most cases, the driver found to be at fault will be required to pay for the other driver’s medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other damages.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If a defective product caused the accident, the manufacturer may be held responsible. If a dangerous condition caused the accident on the road, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.

If you are in a car accident in California, it is important to understand the fault determination rules that will be used to determine who is responsible for the damages. These rules can be complex, and it is always best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to ensure that you are protected.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Car Crash

If you’ve been in a car accident, the first step is to exchange information with the other driver. This includes your name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. It’s also important to get the other driver’s side of the story to see if there are any discrepancies. Once you have this information, you can begin to file a claim with your insurance company.

Your insurance company will launch its own independent investigation. This will involve looking at the police report, talking to witnesses, and reviewing any available evidence. They will also use the California Car Accident Fault Determination Rules to help determine who is at fault for the accident. These rules are based on a point system and consider things like speeding, failing to yield, and driving under the influence.

Your insurance company will then make a final determination of who is at fault based on their investigation. If they find that you are not at fault, they will cover the damages to your vehicle. If they find that you are at fault, they may still cover the damages to your vehicle, but they may also require you to pay a deductible.

What Is Changing in 2022?

The California Car Accident Fault Determination Rules are set to change in 2022. The new rules are based on a system of comparative fault. Each driver will be assigned a percentage of fault based on their actions. For example, if one driver was speeding and the other driver failed to yield, they may each be assigned 50% fault. However, if one driver was speeding and the other driver was not paying attention, the speeding driver could be assigned 70% fault and the other driver 30% fault. The changes to the fault determination rules are designed to make the process of determining fault fairer and easier to understand.

It is important to note that these new rules will not apply to accidents that occur before January of 2022. The old fault determination rules will still apply if you are involved in a car accident before that date. To determine where your eligibility for coverage lies, it is always best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.

FAQs

Q: What happens if fault is unclear?

A: If it is proving difficult to determine who is at fault, your insurance company may conduct what is known as a “fault determination investigation.” This usually happens when there are conflicting stories or evidence is inconclusive. The investigation may involve talking to witnesses and reviewing the police report. If the investigation does not clear things up, the insurance company may choose to deny coverage or pay for damages on a pro-rata basis.

Q: How do you determine fault in a car accident?

A: To determine fault in a car accident, insurance companies will use the California Car Accident Fault Determination Rules. These rules are based on a point system and consider things like speeding, failing to yield, and driving under the influence.

Q: When do I call a lawyer?

A: You should call a lawyer right after being involved in a car accident. An experienced lawyer can help you quickly and effectively navigate the claims process to ensure that you are getting the full coverage that you are entitled to.

Q: Should I talk to an insurance company?

A: Yes, you should always talk to your insurance company after being involved in a car accident. However, be cautious about what you say. You should avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be used against you later. Having an experienced lawyer on your side is also a good idea to help you navigate the claims process.

The changes to the fault determination rules are designed to make the process of determining fault easier to understand. However, the average Californian may still question how these changes will affect them.

If you have been in a car accident, it is always best to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney to determine where your eligibility for coverage lies. At Kreeger Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can help you get through the claims process and ensure that you get the full coverage you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.