After a car accident, it is important to investigate and determine fault for the crash. This is sometimes straightforward, with one reckless driver completely to blame for the crash. In other cases, there may be multiple different people whose actions contributed to the crash occurring, sometimes in ways that are not immediately obvious.
California law allows for comparative negligence, meaning that each person who contributed to a crash can be assigned a percentage of fault. Especially when a car accident results in serious injuries or death, a full investigation of the crash and assessment of everyone who contributed to causing it is critical.
The most common cause of car accidents in California is negligent driving. Negligent behaviors that could lead to car accidents include distracted driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reckless driving. Reckless driving can include speeding, running a red light or stop sign, or attempting a turn when it isn’t safe to turn. Distracted driving can involve texting/cell phone use while driving, eating or drinking while driving, or distracting interactions with passengers.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you investigate and prove who is at fault for a crash. The sooner your attorney can get to work after the crash the better, while evidence is still fresh. The primary sources of information about the causes of a crash are the damage to the vehicles involved, statements from the people involved and any witnesses, the crash site/scene and any debris, car parts, or skid marks left there, and video from security cameras or dashcams. Memories fade and video footage may be recorded over, so securing this evidence right away is essential.