A Crucial Guide on What to Do If the Car Accident Wasn't Your Fault

Two SUV's crashed into each other.

A Crucial Guide on What to Do If the Car Accident Wasn't Your Fault

When you're in an automobile accident, your thoughts quickly turn to who was at fault. How do you proceed when the at-fault driver is not you?

Every driver in California must be able to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility, according to California Vehicle Code Section 16029. In other words, you must have car insurance in order to pay for damages if you cause bodily injury to someone or property damage to a vehicle. Having said that, if you are the victim of an accident, you must still take specific procedures.

You must inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you were hit by another vehicle and the damage or bodily injury exceeds $1,000. According to state law, you must submit a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California form SR 1 demonstrating that you have proper insurance. This form must be completed and returned within ten days after the collision.

In Case of Non-fault, Do I Contact Insurance?

Even if you are the victim of an automobile accident, you must tell your insurance provider, according to California Department of Insurance guidelines. Your insurance policy is a contract that outlines the obligations and rights of both you and your insurance provider.

One of these conditions usually indicates that you agree to cooperate with the inquiry of your insurance provider. You may be in violation of your insurance policy if you do not report the automobile collision.

It is also critical to understand that California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that you can still seek compensation even if you are somewhat to blame for your own injuries. However, the percentage of your culpability will be deducted from your overall award.

In other words, if you are judged to be 20% at fault in a car accident and are given $100,000 in damages, your award will be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $80,000. This is one of the reasons it is critical to get legal assistance following a car accident.

What If I Neglect to Contact My Insurance Company?

If you opt not to notify your insurance carrier, you may be unintentionally exposing yourself to some hazards. Complications frequently develop when settling insurance claims. Failure to disclose an accident may give the insurance company grounds to refuse a claim or possibly cancel your policy.

Though both vehicles are damaged, even if the other motorist is at fault, they may opt to contest the fault determination and submit a claim against your insurance coverage. At that point, your insurer is made aware of an accident that you failed to notify.

Insurance companies dislike paying claims. It contradicts the aim of their business, which is to make money on the assumption that more individuals will pay into plans than an insurance company will be obliged to pay out. An at-fault driver's insurance will hunt for any way to avoid paying out a damage or injury claim.

There are only two ways for you to get money from the at-fault driver's insurance company if they deny your claim.

You Pay Out of Your Own Pocket

Many people find it hard to pay a lot of money for things like a hospital bill or a car repair, but you won't have much choice. If you don't have car insurance, you won't be able to use Med-Pay or keep your out-of-pocket costs to the amount of your policy deductible.

You Make a Claim on Your Own Insurance.

If you chose to add collision coverage to your car insurance policy, you would be able to have your car repaired under your own policy if you told your insurance company that you had been in an accident.

Under uninsured motorist bodily injury or uninsured motorist property damage, you may also be able to make a claim to pay for your medical bills or get your car fixed. The other person may not have car insurance, and these are optional coverages that can be used if they do not have one.

● Filing a Lawsuit and Going to Court to Oppose It

Lawsuits can take years to end, and even when they do, there's no guarantee that you'll get the money that you deserve. You have to think about how much damage you did and how much you need to get back to be whole again to see if it's worth the money.

If you didn't tell your insurance company that you were in a car accident, and the driver who caused the accident made a claim under your policy, it could be seen as a policy violation, and you and the other driver could not get coverage. If this happens, you are likely setting yourself up to be sued.

What a Lawyer Can Do for You

There is no reason why you should have to payout-of-pocket expenditures for property damage and injuries caused by someone else. If you hire a lawyer, they will be able to answer any of your questions, discuss your legal choices, and keep you up to speed on the progress of your case.

The negligent party should face the consequences of their actions and compensate you for your losses. A lawyer may perform the following to provide proof that you suffered as a result of the defendant's carelessness:

● Obtain a police report detailing the accident

● Speak to witnesses and gather evidence

● Expert witnesses and accident reconstruction specialists

● Get your latest medical records from your doctor

1.    Establishing Negligence

Four elements of negligence can also be used to show that you were not at fault in the accident. The things that make someone negligent are:

● Duty of Care: The other driver should have looked out for you.

● Breach of Duty of Care: The other driver failed to meet this standard.

● Causation: The breach of the liable party's duty of care resulted in losses and injuries.

● Economic Losses and Injuries: You, the plaintiff, have experienced economic losses and injuries that may be compensated by a financial award.

Your case may establish that you were the victim of a preventable accident. If your injuries are long-term, you should not have to worry about how much money you'll lose.

2.    Possible Financial Gains

You may be eligible for both economic and non-economic awards, depending on the extent of your losses.

The consequences of a car accident can be profound, both physically and mentally, and can include:

●  Chronic Pain

●  Disability

●  Loss of Independence

●  Emotional Suffering

●  Medical Expenses

●  Damage to Property

●  Wages Forfeited

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You may also pursue a settlement through an insurance claim or litigation.

Your personal injury lawyer may be able to make a case against the findings of the police officer who came to the scene of the accident. Insurers and the court can also use a ticket or an arrest made after the accident as proof of who was at fault.


Despite the fact that the insurance company will try to prove the other person was not at fault, you should still have someone look over the proof and make sure everything is correct. A lot of times, a car accident is the fault of the driver on the other end of the accident. It's only after a thorough investigation that the insurance company and the court can come to the right conclusion.

For the best Los Angeles truck accident lawyers, you need a winning team like Mendez and Sanchez Law. Our lawyers and other members of our team are here to help you as we fight for the money you deserve. If you have been hurt in an accident, have workers' compensation, slip and fall, or need other legal help, call us for a free consultation at (323) 838-1444.

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