How Do I Recover Personal Injuries In Case Of A Car Crash?
Did you know that in the state of California, when you have been involved in a car crash, you actually have certain legal obligations to follow? This is actually true whether you are the at-fault driver or not. However, many people – especially if they were not the at-fault driver, are actually unaware of these legal obligations. This can actually be quite costly for you, especially if you have a possible claim for personal injury. You might receive less in terms of settlement or the at-fault driver might even get away scot-free and without ever compensating you for your injuries. It also doesn’t help with your own insurance claim if you are covered if the insurance company finds out that you were actually negligent in your legal obligations. If you want to find out more about how insurance companies calculate the settlement costs nowadays, read more about it in this article.
Reporting To The California Highway Patrol
Unless circumstances do not permit it, California Vehicle Code Section 2000 clearly states that: “The driver of any vehicle (or a representative of that driver) involved in a car accident must, within 24 hours, make a written report of the crash to the California Highway Patrol or to the police department of the city where the accident occurred, if the crash resulted in injuries or death of any person (driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, etc.). If the agency that receives the report is not responsible for investigating the accident, that agency will forward the matter to the proper investigating authority.”
The actual circumstances wherein this obligation arises would be if:
- anyone involved in the accident was injured (however slightly)
- anyone was killed in the accident, and/or
- the crash resulted in property damage (meaning damage to a vehicle or real property) of more than $750.
Do note the first circumstance because it is very likely that someone was injured in one way or another during the accident.
Of course, this legal obligation actually does not arise if a police officer arrives at the scene of the accident. The law enforcement officer will be the one to make the report in your behalf.
Report The Incident To Your Insurance Company
There are no hard laws on how this is to be done and it is actually not an actual legal obligation. However, if you are looking to recover compensation from your insurance company for the accident, then you should report the incident promptly to them. All car insurance contracts actually have different rules on this matter, but it is a certainty that they do require you to report the incident to them.
The Comparative Negligence Rule
Sometimes it is not so clear-cut as to who was actually at-fault. When this happens, the comparative negligence rule applies. Very simply, it means that both drivers are responsible for the effects of the accident in so much as they were negligent. It is actually a very basic principle, you are responsible according to how negligent you were. Of course, proving and challenging this negligence is a legal matter which is best handled by an attorney.
Call A Doctor
Whenever you have been involved in a car crash, do not take risks. It gets harder to recover damages as well as for your body to recover if you delay in seeking medical attention. Get the best chiropractors, doctors, and orthopaedic surgeons to help you on your road to recovery today. Call the California Injury Doctors at 1-800-971-3627