If you’ve recently been in a car accident in LA, you’re probably feeling a little bit tense. Car accidents aren’t uncommon, but they are jarring, and there are legal matters involved that can be confusing to people who have never dealt with the law before.

Are you aware of the auto accident laws in California?

If not, you might want to get yourself acquainted. It might seem like a lot, but you don’t have to handle it alone.

Keep reading to learn just a bit about the laws in California and what to do after an accident in LA.

There Is a Statute of Limitations

If you feel like you were the wronged party in a car accident, there is a statute of limitations for when you as a plaintiff can pursue a lawsuit.

What to Do After a Car Accident- Your Complete Guide

The time that you have varies depending on the type of harm that has come to you or your property, so you need to act relatively quickly if you decide to go this route. Contacting a good auto accident attorney is a good first step regardless of what side of the accident you were on.

You Need to Report Your Accident

Within 24 hours of any accident that causes injury or death, you need to make a written report to law enforcement in California. This is how proper investigations of the accident can begin.

In a circumstance in which law enforcement is already on the scene, this is no longer necessary. The officer will typically make a written report for you.

You might also need to report your accident to the DMV if it meets certain conditions. If your accident resulted in death or harm to another person, or if it created over $1,000 in damage to any kind of property (including the vehicle), the accident needs to be reported.

Comparative Negligence

Sometimes it’s very clear when one party is entirely at fault for an auto accident. Other times, though, it’s not nearly as clear-cut.

In California, there’s a comparative negligence rule. What this means is that either party that could somehow have contributed to the accident can be found somewhat at fault.

In practice, this can be a bit confusing. If you were t-boned at an intersection where the other party was clearly in the wrong by running a stop sign or red light, you might think that you’re in the clear.

If, however, you were speeding, or you made an unsafe lane change at the time you were hit, you may not be as innocent as you think. While these are comparatively lower-level problems, you’ll still be responsible for some of the damage.

Imagine it as if you start with a 50/50 damage responsibility split as your neutral zone. If they contributed more, their “damage points” come out of your percentage and get added to theirs. This doesn’t leave you without any responsibility unless they were 100% at fault.

You’ll receive damages based on your fault percentage.

Auto Accident Laws Can Be Complicated

If you find yourself in an auto accident and you’re not sure how to proceed, you might want to seek out an attorney. The auto accident laws can be confusing and you want to make sure that you do everything correctly, especially if you’re pursuing damages.

Don’t panic, just reach out for legal assistance to make the process go smoothly.

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