You may have heard the term “no-fault” before in relation to car accidents. In some states, there are laws that require someone who has been in an accident to go through their own insurance company when filing a claim to recover losses.
California is not one of those states. California is considered a “fault” state. Because of this, it is especially important for California residents to take certain steps to prove they are not liable for a car crash.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t recover your losses through your own insurance company. It simply gives you the option of pursuing a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company. To do this, you need to prove that the other driver caused the accident, which means there are steps you should take following a crash.
Contact the police and file a report
You are not required to call the police if you are in an accident, but it is a good idea. Even in minor accidents, having a police report on file can be one of your best pieces of evidence if you are in an accident. Make sure you give the officer as much detail as you can so that the report fully represents exactly how the accident occurred and the damage you suffered.
Know traffic laws
This may sound obvious. Every driver should know the rules of the road. However, making sure you have a deeper knowledge of driving rules, and specifically what the other driver did to cause the accident, will help your argument. A lawyer can help with this.
Speak with an attorney
Whether or not you plan on filing a lawsuit, consulting with an attorney is beneficial. You may think you don’t have legal recourse, but an attorney can lay out all your options. A good lawyer can also assist you in dealing with insurance companies and fully understanding laws that may have been broken.
These are a few of the steps you should take when you are in accident. Just remember, no matter the situation, the more information you have when trying to prove who is at fault in an accident, the better off you will be.