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What Is Fault? How Does It Impact My Auto Injury Claim?


Fault is about determining who caused the accident and how. It may be clear that one party or the other caused the accident or there may be a comparative fault. In California, fault is not necessarily just about who caused the accident, but who was responsible for what percentage of it. In other words, a person can have some fault placed on them for having failed to wear a seatbelt and sustaining more severe injuries because of it.

We recently handled a case in which the insurance company on the other side was trying to say that our client was 40 percent at fault because their client pulled out in front of her and she failed to stop. That’s an unreasonable allegation of fault, but it’s a good example of how fault is attempted to be apportioned. If a person is found to be partially at fault, then their recovery will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to them. I have handled cases in which both parties were equally at fault and both parties received each other’s full policy because neither insurance policy was adequate to satisfy even the medical bills from both parties. It was a terrible accident.

Should I Notify My Insurance Company Of An Accident? Am I Responsible For Notifying The Other Party’s Insurance Company As Well?

I recommend that people seek competent legal advice immediately and let an attorney notify both insurance companies. People need to be very careful when dealing with insurance companies because they will record everything that is said and try to use it against the person. For example, if someone says “I’m feeling okay,” then the insurance company will use that statement to try to show that the person is not really injured. This is why I recommend having an attorney handle all of the communications with the insurance companies. An attorney will be able to get evidence of medical coverage to allow proposition 213 determine whether or not medical payments are available and open a claim with the other insurance company.

Why Does Someone Need An Attorney If They Have Been In A Collision?

A person can choose to handle a case on their own rather than hire an attorney, but they should remember that the insurance companies will not be on their side. The insurance companies owe a duty to investors and shareholders to make as much money as they can. It doesn’t matter how well you know your insurance agent or how long you have been a customer. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve never filed a claim before. Their primary goal is not to help someone who has been injured in an accident, but to minimize the payment that they will have to make. I highly recommend that everyone have an attorney if they are involved in an auto accident. The recovery that a person will receive with an attorney will be greater than what they would receive without an attorney. In fact, the recovery might even make them whole again.

For more information on Fault In A California Auto Accident Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (916) 915-8866 today.

California Probate Lawyer Peter Cianchetta

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