What are the Car Accident Laws in San Jose?
Unfortunately, car accidents are relatively common in San Jose. Because so many car accidents happen in this city, it makes sense that lawmakers have created a vast array of laws to cover these situations. For an inexperienced, average resident, these laws can seem quite complex and daunting. This is especially true if you have been injured in a car accident and you are trying your best to recover a settlement. Fortunately, you are not expected to become a legal expert in order to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover a settlement. However, it may be helpful to gain a basic understanding of how car accidents laws work in California before you move forward.
That being said, internet research can only get you so far. In order to pursue this matter in the most efficient and confident way possible, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney in San Jose. With help from one of our legal professionals, you can pursue a settlement that can help you cover a wide range of damages. For example, your injuries may have left you unable to work, and this can result in a significant loss of income. During this time, you may also be struggling with expensive medical treatments. A settlement can be vital in this scenario, as it allows you to cover these expenses. In addition, it provides additional compensation for non-economic damages, such as PTSD, anxiety, and much more.
The Statute of Limitations
One of the first laws you need to familiarize yourself with is the statute of limitations. This law is very important for car accident victims, because it may limit you from taking legal action if you wait too long. Many people assume that they can take their time and wait numerous years before finally getting around to filing a lawsuit. This just is not the case. According to the statute of limitations in California, you have just two years to file your lawsuit after the accident.
It is also worth mentioning that there are a few rare exceptions to this rule. Technically, the “clock” only starts ticking after you become aware of your injuries. This is an important factor when dealing with things like coma victims or those who have suffered serious head injuries. These individuals may not become aware that the crash even occurred until many years later. In this situation, they would have the ability to file lawsuits even after the two-year period had passed.
You may feel as though two years gives you plenty of time to take legal action, but this is not always the case. It may take you quite a while to fully recover from your injuries, to the point where you are physically and mentally capable of focusing on legal matters. It can also take a while to find the right attorney.
Comparative Negligence in California
California follows a system of “pure” comparative negligence, and this system can have a considerable impact on your personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. Simply put, this system allows you to file a lawsuit even if you are partly to blame for your own injuries. Because this is a system of “pure” comparative negligence, you can technically file a lawsuit even if you are 99% to blame for your own injuries. However, you would only receive 1% of your “normal” settlement in this scenario. In other states, victims are barred from taking legal action if they are roughly 50% responsible for causing accidents. In some states, victims are barred from filing lawsuits if they are just 1% responsible.
At-Fault Insurance Laws in California
Finally, it is worth mentioning that California is considered an “at-fault” state. This means that in order to receive a settlement, you must hold another party liable for your injuries. Many other states follow a system of “no-fault” car insurance, in which victims simply turn to their own insurance policies for settlements without holding anyone else responsible.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the San Jose area for a personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims take decisive legal action. If you believe your car accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to get in touch with us immediately. We can hold these guilty parties accountable and make sure that you receive a fair, adequate settlement. These settlements can be vital, as without them you may not be able to afford adequate medical treatment. Due to the statute of limitations, it is best to book your consultation as soon as possible. Reach out today, and we can immediately get started on an effective action plan together.