September 17, 2019

About Us  |  Support

California Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Palo Alto Motor Vehicle Accident Law Firms

Motor vehicle accidents are very common, but they can be life-changing events. If you or someone you loved has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you cannot rely on insurance companies to offer fair and full compensation. A personal injury lawsuit is often required, for you to recover appropriate compensation. Most California motor vehicle lawsuits settle out of court without going to trial.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

The type of motor vehicle accident in which you were injured will determine which laws apply to your case, who can be held responsible, and your possible avenues of compensation. Your accident may fall under one or more of the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Commercial trucking accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Railroad crossing accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Trolley accidents
  • Single vehicle accidents
  • Hit-and-run
  • Defective vehicle accident
  • Defective roadway accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Types of driver negligence which commonly lead to California motor vehicle accident claims includes:

  • Distracted driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Failure to observe traffic signals or stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to yield
  • Intoxication and other impairments such as fatigue
  • Violating the right-of-way of another vehicle or pedestrian
  • Improper passing

Other actionable causes of motor vehicle accidents and motor vehicle accident injuries include:

  • Roadway defects, such as malfunctioning traffic signals, causing accidents
  • Roadway crashworthiness defects, such as lack of breakaway device on poles, causing injuries in the event of an accident
  • Defective vehicle or parts, such as faulty tires, causing an accident
  • Vehicle crashworthiness defect, such as poor roof crush resistance, causing injuries in the event of an accident

Responsible Parties in California Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Depending on the cause or causes of the accident and injuries incurred in the accident, and the circumstances involved, one or more of the following may be held responsible:

  • Other driver
  • Driver’s employer
  • Driver’s parent
  • Other owner of the vehicle
  • Vehicle or part manufacturer
  • Dealership
  • Rental company
  • Parts seller
  • Repair shop
  • Government agency responsible for design, construction, and/or maintenance of a defective roadway

Seat Belt Use

You may have heard of the “seat belt defense”. In California, if you were not wearing a seat belt during your motor vehicle accident, it can be used as evidence against you and your compensation can be reduced under California’s pure comparative negligence law, based on the idea that by not wearing your seat belt you contributed to your own injuries.

In some cases, the defendant may claim that you were not wearing a seat belt when in reality you were. Certain types of injuries can be used as evidence to try and prove that you were not wearing your seat belt. A defective seat belt which malfunctions can make it appear as if you were not buckled in at all.