Winning Your Disputed Liability Car Accident Case in California

Posted on April 17, 2024

A car accident can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and property repairs. If you believe the other driver involved or a third party is to blame for your crash, you should not have to pay for your losses. If liability (financial responsibility) for the crash is disputed, you may need to prove your case using compelling evidence. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you in this situation.

Winning Your Disputed Liability Car Accident Case in California

Proving Negligence in a California Car Accident Case

Most car accident cases are based on the theory of negligence. Someone is negligent if he or she does not use an appropriate level of care based on the circumstances. For example, a negligent driver may violate a traffic law, such as by speeding, texting while driving, or following too closely.

Negligence consists of four elements:

  1. Duty of care: all motorists have a legal duty to share the road with other drivers, obey traffic laws and drive carefully to prevent car accidents.
  2. Breach of duty: a violation of the driver’s duty of care, including any careless or reckless acts behind the wheel.
  3. Causation: evidence that the other driver’s breach of duty caused or substantially contributed to the automobile accident.
  4. Damages: proof that losses were suffered because of the car accident, such as physical injuries, emotional distress and financial harm.

Winning a car accident case in California requires proof of negligence under the state’s at-fault insurance law.

What Evidence Can Be Used to Support a Car Accident Case?

Negligence or fault must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence, otherwise known as the “more likely than not” standard. If the other driver or his or her insurance company denies liability for a car accident, you or your personal injury lawyer will need to provide evidence to support your case.

Common types of evidence used in a car accident case include:

  • A police accident report
  • Photos and videos from the scene
  • Statements from witnesses or passengers at the accident scene
  • Vehicle damage
  • Crash reconstruction
  • Expert witness opinions and testimony
  • Medical records
  • Cell phone records

An attorney can help you gather and present evidence to prove someone else’s negligence. You can also help your own case by collecting as much evidence as you can while you are still at the scene of the crash. This includes taking photographs of the scene and speaking to witnesses. Report the accident to the police, as well, and get immediate medical care.

California’s Comparative Negligence Law

A car accident case with a liability dispute may involve California’s comparative negligence law. This law states that an injured party can collect financial compensation even if they are allocated a percentage of fault for the accident. If you are assigned a percentage of fault for the car accident, you can still recover damages from another party. However, the value of your settlement will be reduced by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault.

When to Contact an Attorney

Most car accident cases in California reach settlements. If a liability dispute continues to go unresolved, however, it may be necessary to take your case to trial to prove fault and collect financial compensation from another party. If you have a complicated car accident case with multiple defendants or allegations of fault, contact a car accident lawyer from Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP for legal assistance. Our lawyers will work relentlessly to help you prove your case.

How Can We Help You?

If you have a legal matter you would like to discuss with an attorney from our firm, please call us at (310) 477-1700 or complete and submit the e-mail form below, and we will get back to you.

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