What to Do When a California Car Accident Happens

Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but knowing what to do in the aftermath can help protect your rights and ensure your safety. This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do when you get stuck in a California Car Accident.

In California, car accidents can cause serious injuries that can change your life. If you’ve been in one of these accidents, you may be able to get money for your injuries. If you want to file a lawsuit, you need to know California’s car accident rules. It is important to know what your duties are as a driver, how fault is determined, and what affects your chances of getting pay.

It is strongly suggested that if you decide to file a case to get compensation, you hire a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with California’s complicated legal system.

California Car Accident Rules on Financial Responsibility

Minimum Necessary Auto Insurance Protection

In California, every vehicle that is registered must show that it is financially responsible. This is usually done by having a legal car insurance policy. Minimum coverage requirements are set by California Insurance Code §11580.1b and California Vehicle Code §16056. All registered cars must have at least 15/30/5 coverage, which includes:

  • $15,000 if someone gets hurt or dies
  • $30,000 if more than one person gets hurt or dies
  • $5,000 to fix harm to property

Maintaining current proof of insurance is required by California law. It must be shown to police when asked, when renewing your license, and after driving in an accident. If you don’t show proof that you can pay for an accident, you could be fined or even have your license taken away.

Coverage for underinsured and uninsured drivers

Car insurance companies in California are required by law (California Insurance Code §11580.2) to give uninsured motorist bodily injury and underinsured motorist coverage. In the event of an accident involving a driver who does not have legal insurance, these policies help pay for injuries and property damage. Even though these coverages aren’t required, they must be turned down in writing.

Additional Ideas for Car Insurance Coverage

California requires at least 15/30/5 coverage, but it’s a good idea to get extra plans like Medical Payments Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage, Collision Coverage, and Theft Coverage as well. These policies aren’t as good as the state’s minimum standard, but they do offer more protection in case of a serious accident.

Different ways to establish financial responsibility

You can show that you can pay for something other than insurance by putting down a $35,000 cash deposit at the DMV, getting a self-insurance certificate from the DMV, or getting a surety bond from a registered company for at least $35,000.

Needs for Reporting Accidents

California Vehicle Code §16000 says that crashes that cause more than $1,000 in property damage or injuries must be reported. Form SR-1, which has specific information about the accident, people involved, and injuries, must be sent to the DMV within 10 days by the people who were hurt, their lawyers, or their insurance companies.

What You Have to Do Before You Get on a Highway

Because of California’s concept of preemption, drivers entering a highway must yield to oncoming traffic and be careful. There are clear rules for drivers joining and crossing highways, with a focus on yielding to avoid accidents.

California’s Time Limit for Claims After a Car Accident

California has rules about how long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident:

  • California Civil Code §338 says that property damage claims must be made three years after the accident.
  • Body Injury: Two years from the date of the event (California Civil Code §335.1)
  • If the injuries aren’t discovered right away, the defendant can’t be found, the defendant is in jail, or the victim is a child or disabled person, the statute of limitations may be extended.
  • California Government Code §911.2 says that people who have been hurt by the government must file administrative claims within 180 days.

What California’s Car Accident Liability Laws Say

Comparison of Fault

California uses the idea of pure comparative fault, which means that more than one person can be held financially responsible for an accident. People who were hurt can still get pay, even if they were partly to blame for the accident.

How to Divide Up the Fault

California Civil Code §1431.2 says that when more than one person is at blame, each is financially responsible based on how much they caused the problem.

Damages that victims of car accidents can get

California law lets people who have been in car accidents ask for both monetary and non-monetary damages to cover their losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Limits on How Much Damage Can Be Recovered

According to California Civil Code §333.4, you may not be able to get non-economic losses if you don’t have car insurance or if you have been convicted of DUI.

California car accident lawyers with a lot of experience

To get the most money for your accident, you need to hire a lawyer who knows California’s car accident rules. There are some prominent law groups that has been helping people who have been hurt for 17 years to get fair pay. Because they have a lot of information and real-life experience, you can trust them to handle even the most complicated car accident cases. Get in touch with them right away for a free consultation to talk about your choices for getting the money you deserve after a car accident.

Top 10 things to when you get stuck in a California Car Accident

1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

Immediately after a car accident, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries and, if possible, move to a safe location away from traffic.

2. Contact the Authorities

Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed. It’s crucial to involve the authorities, especially in cases of significant damage, injuries, or if the accident involves a hit-and-run driver.

3. Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Be sure to collect their name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance details. If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information as well.

4. Document the Scene

Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the damage to all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area. This documentation can be valuable evidence when filing an insurance claim or seeking legal action.

5. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel injured immediately after the accident, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may not be apparent right away. Keep a record of all medical appointments, treatments, and expenses related to the accident.

6. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. Be cautious when discussing the accident with the other driver’s insurance company, as they may try to use your statements against you.

7. Consult with an Attorney

If you’ve suffered significant injuries or believe the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s advisable to consult with a reputable car accident attorney. They can help protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue legal action if necessary.

8. Understand California’s Comparative Fault System

California follows a comparative fault system, which means that each party involved in the accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. This percentage can affect the amount of compensation you may receive. It’s important to understand your rights and consult with an attorney to ensure you receive fair compensation.

9. Keep Records and Document Expenses

Maintain a detailed record of all accident-related expenses, including medical bills, repair costs, car rental expenses, and lost wages. These records will be crucial when seeking compensation for damages and injuries.

10. Be Cautious with Social Media

Avoid discussing the accident or posting any information about it on social media. Insurance companies and defense attorneys often monitor social media accounts to gather evidence that can be used against you. It’s best to refrain from posting until the legal process is complete.


Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, but knowing the proper steps to take can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and ensuring a smoother recovery process. By staying calm, collecting information, seeking medical attention, and consulting with professionals, you can navigate the aftermath of a California car accident more effectively.

Related Posts

Why Nicole Fegan Got Arrested

The Intriguing Saga Unfolding Around Nicole Fegan Lawyer Arrest

In the realm of recent events, one name has captured the collective curiosity: Nicole Fegan Lawyer arrest. Her sudden prominence stems from a series of events culminating…

car accident lawyer in Fort Worth

Navigating Legal Waters: Finding the Right Car Accident Lawyer in Fort Worth

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in Fort Worth, and it wasn’t your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for the physical,…

What happens in California if you get in a car accident without insurance?

Driving without car insurance in California poses significant legal and financial risks for motorists. Despite the legal mandate requiring all drivers to carry insurance, a considerable percentage…

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and have the potential to cause serious injuries. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a major…

When is it Too Late to Fire Your Attorney?

When you hire an attorney, you expect them to provide you with the best legal representation possible. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and you may…

Navigating the Controversial Waters: Understanding Alabama Abortion Law

Alabama abortion law has been a focal point of heated debates and discussions, both within the state and across the nation. Passed in 2019, the law is…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *