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California Auto Accidents



If you were injured in a California auto accident that was someone else's fault, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills for treatment related to your California auto-accident injuries
  • The repair or replacement of your motor vehicle and any property damaged or destroyed in the traffic accident
  • Lost wages for time off from work (including time spent going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy)
  • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores you're unable to do because of your injury
  • Permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the California car crash
  • Emotional distress stemming from the California auto accident
  • Any other costs you've incurred because of the car accident

If anyone was killed in the car crash or if either driver was intoxicated, the State of California will prosecute the driver at fault and/or the intoxicated driver. However, you may still have to file an automobile accident personal injury lawsuit in California courts to recover money to pay for your accident-related expenses.

Whether you live in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Fremont, or elsewhere in California, a local car accident attorney can advise you on your specific legal options and help you collect the money to which you are entitled.

How Is Fault Determined in California Car Accidents?

To collect money stemming from a car crash injury claim, California law requires you to prove the other driver was negligent. You must show:

  • The driver who caused your injuries had a duty not to injure you and failed to live up to that duty
  • There is a connection between the other driver's duty and your injury
  • You suffered damages, or a financial loss, as a result of the injury

California law can reduce the total amount you can recover if it's found your carelessness contributed to your automobile accident injuries.

How Long Do You Have to File a California Auto Accident Claim?

California law gives you two years from the date of your automobile accident to file a claim against the driver at fault in the accident. (This time limit is known as the statute of limitations.)

If you and your California auto accident lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the other driver (or the driver's insurance company), you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you fail to file a lawsuit within two years, you will give up your rights to sue.

Where Would You File an Accident Injury Lawsuit?

For California car crash injury claims worth more than $7,500, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate California Superior Court.

If your California automobile accident claim is for less than $7,500, you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the California Small Claims Court that has jurisdiction.

Your California auto accident lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.

California Auto Insurance Requirements

California laws require all drivers have the following mandatory automobile insurance:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for property damage

Additional California Automobile Accident Resources