Car accidents can happen in a split second, making it hard to know who is at fault for the crash. If you’ve been in a collision in Los Angeles, California, you may be wondering who is responsible for paying for the resulting property damage, medical bills, and other expenses.
It’s normal to have a lot of questions, and the best choice is to speak with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Then you can get a better idea of who is liable and what you need to do to get compensated.
M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers can help answer your questions and explain your legal options. Contact us online or call (877) 300-4535 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about car accident liability and our legal services.
How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA
M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers has been helping car accident victims in Los Angeles since 2013. We have recovered over $400 million for our injured clients and are recognized as Top Attorneys by Los Angeles Magazine and Top 100 National Trial Lawyers.
Hiring us for help after a car accident in Los Angeles, CA means you’ll have someone to:
- Investigate what and who caused the collision
- Gather evidence proving causation and liability
- Calculate and prove the extent of your damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies and others on your behalf
- Represent you in court proceedings and at trial if necessary
If you need to hold someone liable for a car accident in Los Angeles, the best decision you can make is to call M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers to represent you. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Car Insurance Requirements in California
In California, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance in case they cause a car accident. At a minimum, this liability insurance must cover bodily injury up to $30,000 per incident and property damage up to $5,000.
However, sometimes the damages exceed the insurance policy limit, or you may collide with an uninsured motorist. Driving without insurance is against the law. In that case, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the at-fault driver liable.
How To Prove Liability in a Los Angeles Car Accident Claim
Los Angeles courts apply a negligence standard when determining car accident liability. All drivers must use reasonable care when driving on LA roads.
To hold someone liable after a car accident, you must prove four things by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The driver had a duty of care (to drive safely)
- The driver breached the duty of care
- The breach directly caused the accident
- You suffered injuries or other damages because of the accident
If you can prove each of these elements of negligence, the other driver will be held liable for your damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in California?
To sue someone after a car accident, you must file the lawsuit within a certain period. This period is called the statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot file a lawsuit to hold the other driver liable for the car accident. If you try to, your lawsuit will be dismissed.
In California, the statute of limitations for a car accident that caused a personal injury or wrongful death is typically two years from the date of the accident or date of death, respectively. The statute of limitations for a car accident that only caused property damage is three years.
The reason for a statutory deadline is to allow the other driver to defend themselves from liability. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, evidence may become stale and no longer exist. For example, witnesses may die or move away. A statute of limitations makes a lawsuit fair so that each party has an opportunity to collect evidence and present the best case possible.
Calculating Damages After a Car Accident in Los Angeles, CA
In California, you can recover both economic damages and non-economic damages after a car accident. Economic damages are “objectively verifiable monetary losses.” These losses are directly related to a car accident and are easily quantifiable.
Economic damages from car accidents commonly include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
- Cost of repairing a damaged car or other property
- Past and future lost wages
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they aren’t tied to a precise dollar figure. Instead, these damages are intangible.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Compensation for a disability (such as losing a limb)
- Loss of consortium
When you hold someone liable for a car accident, you must provide evidence of both economic and non-economic damages. You can prove these damages with evidence like receipts, pay stubs, and medical records. You must make sure to keep any evidence you think will be helpful for use later in a case, or else you may have trouble proving damages.
Discuss How To Prove Liability With Our Los Angeles Car Accident Attorneys During a Free Consultation
If you need advice on who is liable after a car accident in Los Angeles, you should call M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our highly sought-after lawyers will advise you of your rights and help you get the settlement you need. That way, you can start on the path of becoming whole again.