In California, traffic congestion is incredibly common. With millions of vehicles registered, it is no wonder the state leads the nation in car accidents yearly. However, although crashes are common, dealing with the aftermath is not simple, especially if you have sustained severe injuries. After an accident of this nature, working with our knowledgeable injury attorneys is essential.
A Stockton car accident lawyer can help file your claim timely and handle negotiations with insurance companies. Using a legal professional to manage your car accident claim could mean less stress and a more generous settlement.
Who is at Fault for a Motor Vehicle Collision?
This state holds the driver at fault for an accident responsible for anyone else’s losses. However, disputes over which driver was at fault sometimes complicate accident claims.
In general, if one driver received a citation related to an accident, that driver is likely to be at fault. If the police did not issue a ticket, but the physical evidence or witness statements indicate that a driver was negligent, that driver is usually at fault.
In many cases, both drivers had some responsibility for an accident. In that case, the injured driver could still claim against the other driver’s insurance. However, the insurance company will discount the claim by the injured driver’s percentage of fault. A knowledgeable attorney in Stockton can ensure that an insurer does not place excessive blame on the injured driver.
Accident Claim Process in Stockton
Drivers in this state must have liability insurance to register their vehicles. When a crash occurs, the law requires drivers to provide their insurance information to the others involved so that injured motorists can file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance company.
If there is a question about who is at fault for an accident, the insurers will negotiate a reasonable apportionment of responsibility. Then, the insurers will pay the claimants their documented losses up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits, with a potential discount on the claim if the injured person is partially liable.
If an at-fault motorist’s policy limits do not fully cover an injured person’s losses, they may be liable. In that case, a hardworking attorney in Stockton can file a lawsuit against them seeking damages.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
Sometimes, parties other than the at-fault driver bear responsibility for an accident. One of the advantages of working with a lawyer in Stockton is that they will investigate a crash to uncover and identify other potentially responsible parties. Depending on the circumstances, other responsible parties could include the following:
- At-fault party’s employer if they were working when the crash occurred
- Manufacturers, if mechanical failure was a factor in the accident
- State or local governments, if road maintenance was an issue
- Bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the at-fault driver
If someone suffers severe injuries in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance might not be sufficient to cover their damages. Bringing multiple parties to the table, especially if one or more has commercial insurance coverage, increases the likelihood that a settlement will provide fair compensation.
According to California Civil Code §1431.2, any negligent party could be responsible for 100% of an injured person’s economic damages, even if they were not entirely responsible for the accident. Therefore, the party who pays pursues other responsible parties for reimbursement, sparing the accident victim the effort of suing multiple parties.
Rely on a Stockton Attorney to Manage Your Car Accident Claim
If you were injured in a car crash, get professional assistance to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, the car insurance system in this state is complicated, and people without legal representation could leave money on the table.
A Stockton car accident lawyer has the knowledge and experience to maximize your settlement. Call today to speak with our seasoned legal professionals.