How Fault Is Determined in a Car Accident

Did you know that California drivers travel 353,868,000,000 miles on average every year? The Office of Traffic Safety in California found that 42% of all drivers that were killed in car accidents were under the influence of both legal and illegal substances. You may be wondering how to go about proving fault in a lawsuit if you’ve recently been involved in a car crash in Santa Ana. There is an entire process that goes behind proving fault in the court of law, which is why we’ve created this guide to help educate you.

Keep reading to learn how one of our experienced auto accident attorneys can help you prove fault in a lawsuit!

What Is the California Vehicle Code?

The California Vehicle Code regulates the registration, operation, and ownership of Motor Vehicles. In the California Vehicle Code, there are specific rules that are dictated that outline what drivers are expected to do while operating a motor vehicle.

By working together with an experienced auto accident attorney, your legal professional can complete an investigation to see if the other party that was involved in the accident violated the California vehicle code.

By proving that there was a violation of this code, it will provide you with more leverage in your lawsuit.

The Importance of Police Reports in Proving Fault

Depending on the severity of your accident, the police may not come to the scene of an accident. If there is a severe collision or an injured party, the police will be dispatched. However, if the accident is only minor, the police will recommend that you exchange your information with all of the parties that were involved with the accident.

When a police officer does arrive on the scene, they will have to, later on, fill out a police report. A police report will contain the observations that an officer makes of the oxygen. Some of the notes that they will include in their report will contain information on:

  • Road conditions
  • Skid marks of tires
  • The positions of the vehicles; be mindful that this will only happen if the vehicles haven’t been moved since the accident
  • Damage to any of the vehicles involved
  • Weather conditions

While a police report isn’t the only thing needed to prove what party was at fault in a lawsuit, it is useful evidence to provide your auto accident lawyer with. Keep in mind that police officers can make mistakes in the reports, which means information that they record can be challenged.

Seeking a Settlement From the Parties That Are At-Fault

In California, you have the legal right to seek an insurance settlement from the insurance company of the parties involved. The majority of insurance companies won’t provide you with insurance settlement without a little bit of a fight.

In the majority of accidents, an investigation was completed to identify what party was at fault. During the investigation, there will be an interview of all of the parties at fault, a physical examination of the scene where the accident was, as well as a physical inspection of the vehicles that were involved.

If there isn’t a clear sign that one party is specifically at fault, the insurance company may try to avoid liability by saying that the party they’re representing wasn’t fault. That’s why you need to work with an accident attorney, as they will fight for your claim against the insurance company.

Proving Fault in a Lawsuit

A negligent party can be found liable for any losses that you experience as a result of the car accident if the court is able to find negligence. Some of the parties that can be included in the negligence are:

  • Car manufacturers
  •  Government entities
  •  Bicyclists
  •  Other Motor Vehicle operators
  •  Pedestrians

Negligence is found when an individual doesn’t act within a degree of reasonable care that is legally required or expected from them in specific situations. Some of the most common forms of negligence that can be proven in car crashes include:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving can include performing activities that are distracting while operating a vehicle, such as:

  • Eating
  •  Drinking
  •  Texting
  •  Using a phone
  •  Personal grooming
  •  Attempting to care for children in the back of a vehicle


The legal blood alcohol limit in the state of California is 0.08%. If a party is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this can create an impaired judgment. If this is found to have been an influence in a car accident, you can hold the party responsible for their actions.

Faulty Auto Parts

If a car manufacturer sells auto parts or a faulty or defective vehicle, there’s an increased likelihood of the car not operating correctly. If this is found to be the reason for a car accident, you can hold the manufacturer responsible for selling you a defective vehicle or vehicle parts.

Unkempt Roads

The government has a responsibility to keep road conditions safe for driving. This will be completed through repairs, road maintenance, and consistent Road inspections. You can legally hold the government entity responsible if there are dangerous road hazards that played a role or caused the accident.

Hiring the Best Car Crash Lawyers in California Today

There are many ways that negligence can lead to a car crash. We will help you provide sufficient evidence to prove the fault of the other party in your lawsuit by working with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys.

We understand that proving negligence can be challenging. That’s why we’re dedicated to proving these determinations so that you can fully recover from any losses you received from the accident.

Our team of lawyers has extensive experience and is ready to represent you. Click here to contact us today for a free consultation.

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