What Is An At Fault Accident & How Can You Avoid It?
The legal system can be confusing, which makes it difficult if you've ever been injured in an accident. This guide discusses injury law in California, and what an at fault accident consists of.
When we are involved in an auto accident, or any accident, our first thought is usually driven by basic survival. We check to see whether we are alright, and whether our passengers are safe, as well.
Most of us will then move outward, checking to ensure that the other party is also alive and well.
If we are able to successfully pass these checkpoints, we then turn to survey the property damage. It is at this point that the accusations about who caused the accident tend to surface.
What Is an "At Fault" Accident?
In some states, there exists a no-fault clause. This type of system requires individuals to carry their own personal injury and property insurance, and limits the rights of another party to sue. While there may be personal accusations toward each other in a no-fault state, it bears no legal weight.
People can recover their losses from their own insurance companies. Therefore, there is not a need to show that someone else contributed to the damage or injury.
California is not one of those states. In California, liability for contributing to the damage of another person, or their property, falls under two categories. Those categories are intention, and negligence.
California is an at-fault state. One of these two contributors for damage can be established after an accident, resulting in the seeking party receiving compensation from the person who has been determined as contributing to the unsafe conditions.
California law operates under the assumption that we have a duty of care toward our fellow human beings. Failure to exercise this duty results in a determination of fault in an at fault accident.