When you get hurt in a car crash in California, you can often file an insurance claim. If the other driver was at fault for the collision, their liability insurance policy should reimburse you for medical bills, lost wages and property damage expenses.
In many collisions, fault for the wreck is quite clear. The other driver initiated a left-hand turn when they didn’t have the right of way or were clearly under the influence of alcohol when they got out of their car.
Other times, you may have contributed in some minor way to the crash, such as braking too aggressively or failing to use your turn signal. Will those minor traffic mistakes prevent you from filing an insurance claim?
Minor infractions won’t change fault
Typically, a police officer will consider allegations of minor traffic infractions when looking at the bigger picture about a crash. When they decide who is ultimately at fault, their decision probably factors in all of those details. As long as the official report for the crash shows the other driver at fault, you should not have any issue filing an insurance claim.
Mistakes could affect a civil lawsuit
Under California negligence laws, your contributions to the crash could affect your ability to sue the other drive. If you are partially to blame for the crash, the other driver could use that mistake as part of their defense to a lawsuit you bring against them.
If the court agrees that you were partially responsible, they will assign a percentage of fault to you and reduce whatever compensation they award you in accordance with your percentage of responsibility. Understanding how fault works in a California car crash can help you seek the compensation you need.