Right after an unfortunate car accident in Stockton, it can be hard to think straight. Beyond everything else, your immediate concern should be about helping the injured. Call 911 immediately in such circumstances, no matter who or what caused the accident. Consider seeing an injury doctor soon after, even if your injuries don’t seem to be severe. It is also wise to consult a Stockton car accident attorney, who can guide on your rights. California is a fault state. This means that the driver responsible for the accident must be held liable for your injuries. In this post, we are sharing important California laws for car accidents. 

Do you need to report the accident?

Yes. All accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage worth $1,000 or more, must be reported in California. You are required to report the accident to California DMV, and this should be done within 10 days of the accident. 

The statute of limitations in California

California’s statute of limitations allows a period of two years to pursue personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault. If you don’t take action within the deadline, your case will be refused. The clock starts ticking from the date of accident. In case the car accident led to someone’s death, the family or heirs have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For property damage, the statute of limitations allows a period of three years, from the accident date. 

You were partly at fault. Now what?

California is a pure comparative negligence state. If a driver was injured and also had a share in fault, their compensation will be reduced by percentage of fault. For example – If you were given $10,000 in settlement and were found to be 30% at fault, the settlement will be reduced to $7,000. Even if your share of fault is more than the other driver, you can still seek compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Do you need a car accident attorney?

The short answer is yes. While not necessary by law, hiring a car accident attorney can help in getting fair compensation. Attorneys know what it takes to pursue personal injury lawsuits, and negotiations don’t end well, the lawyer may opt for a trial. No matter the circumstances, having a lawyer is always a smart move. 

Most car accident attorneys in Stockton work on a contingency fee, so you don’t need to pay an upfront fee. 

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