Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents in California

Author: Nicki Malekadeli
Posted on: February 21, 2019

Car accidents or traffic collisions occur when a motorized vehicle impacts with another object or living thing, causing possible property damage, injury, and wrongful death. Vehicle crashes are at par with the records of some diseases in the list of the world’s leading causes of death, taking about 1.35 million lives worldwide every year. For every 100,000 people, while 34.4 are claimed by Alzheimer’s, 43.7 by stroke, and 48.2 by lung disease, 10.9 Americans also die from traffic collisions.

Aside from the physical damages caused by motor accidents, people are often burdened by the expenses following the aftermath of the incident. Vehicle repairs set people back for hundreds or even thousands of dollars without the assurance that their vehicle would be functional again. Monthly insurance rates may also increase after a car wreck. More worrisome after-effects from the crash come in the form of mental and emotional turmoil. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may manifest itself in some victims, as well as anxiety and depression among others.

What are the Different Kinds of Car Accidents?

There are various kinds of car accidents can occur on the road. Although some forms are caused by human error, there are myriad of risk factors that contribute to the likelihood of collisions from happening. The driving and weather conditions, vehicle’s performance and condition, and unexpected obstacles are only a few of the other considerations when assessing the cause of a traffic collision.

Depending on the nature of the accident, collisions may be classified as one of the following:

  1. Rear-End Collision
  2. Head-On Collision
  3. Sideswipe Collision
  4. Single Car Accidents
  5. Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups

Car Accident Statistics

Despite the numerous advancements in technology that makes transportation safer, more people still fall victim to road accidents every year. In a recent report, it was found that traffic collisions rank highly among the top causes of fatalities in all age groups. Over 41,000 children below five years of age died from vehicular accidents in 2016. In the same year, road accidents ranked second as the most life-threatening occurrence for people aged five to fourteen years old after having claimed a total of 62,108 lives.

Members of the most active age cluster get involved in fatal car crashes as well. Car crashes come in fourth just right below HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death for people aged from 15 to 49 years old with 765,415 recorded fatalities. Meanwhile, over 300,000 cases were present in 50 to 69-year-olds and almost 150,000 incidents in people aged 70 years old and above.

California makes up 12 percent of the vehicular deaths in the United States. About 32 percent of collisions that have led to serious injury or death have been found to involve drivers under the influence of drugs. However, negligence accounts for 80 percent of crashes, keeping it as one of the leading reasons as to why collisions occur.

Car Accident Laws

Car accident laws guide the populace as to how to hold someone accountable for the damages brought about by traffic collisions. They also determine the rules of compensation in the event that a victim files for similar claims. There are four things to consider when assessing a car accident in the eyes of the law: duty, breach, causation, and harm.

Duty refers to the driver’s obligation to be responsible on the road. This includes obeying traffic rules, maintaining concentration, and being considerate to pedestrians and other vehicles. Violating these duties can be considered a breach and are grounds for legal liability. It is, however, required to present substantial evidence to declare an official breach of duty. Eyewitness testimonies, telling footages, and an admission of guilt are some of the most powerful pieces of evidence to prove a claim.

A plaintiff must also establish direct causation for any damages. For example, destroyed properties may have to undergo thorough examinations to ensure that the damages sustained were caused by the collision. Injuries may also require medical examinations to determine whether or not it was sustained from the crash. Finally, lawsuits filed on the premise of a “near miss” experience are not entertained in court. Misdemeanor against you is not enough to warrant benefit claims from your insurance company or the offender since actual physical harm must have been inflicted in order for a case to properly progress.

California Car Accident Laws

In California, you are required by state law to report any car accident that results in personal injury or property damage that exceeds 750 dollars within ten days after the crash. The report must include the time and location of the accident, personal information of those involved, insurance details, and a description of the injuries or damages sustained.

The state maintains adherence to a theory of pure comparative fault, which states that more than one person may be held accountable for the traffic collision. If proven as such, both parties will have to shoulder the financial burden and legal charges of the incident. The theory of pure comparative fault also stipulates that insurance companies should still dispense appropriate claims to victims even if they may have contributed to the car accident.

The Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents

Depending on the nature of the traffic collision, the statute of limitations on car accidents in California differ. According to the code of civil procedure, victims who have sustained damage to their property have up to three years to make their claim and file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if you have suffered bodily injuries because of the crash, you only get two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation.

Get Professional Legal Counsel from Car Accident Lawyers in California

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is a difficult endeavor that should not be done alone. When asking for financial claims from your insurance company or an offender, it is best to seek the guidance of an experienced legal counsel instead of practicing extrajudicial negotiations on your own. By availing of their professional expertise, you safeguard yourself from getting less compensation than what you deserve.

If you are a victim of a car crash accident in California, hiring a personal injury and car accident attorney from Mesriani Law Group ensures you a win in your case in court. Our law firm houses the best personal injury lawyers to make sure you get adequately compensated and get the best out of your beneficiary claims.