How to Prove Fault in a California Car Accident Case

By Ese OmofomaAugust 1, 2023
How to prove fault in California car accident case

Being involved in a car accident can be stressful. It gets more complicated when you try to figure out who's to blame for the damage. Determining fault is crucial because it's linked to how damages get paid. This task becomes easier when you understand the legal aspects of proving fault in a California car accident case.

Omofoma Law is a seasoned legal firm based in California. Our expertise spans a variety of areas, including car accident cases. We've helped countless clients navigate the complex process of proving fault in car accident cases. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Learn more about car accident claims. Seek medical care for your auto accident injuries. Then, contact us for a free case consultation.

Negligence as the Legal Basis for Proving Fault in a California Car Accident

Negligence as the legal basis for proving fault in California car accident

To understand how to prove fault in a motor vehicle accident, it's essential to grasp the concept of negligence. Common law negligence is a legal term that refers to a person's failure to drive with the care of another prudent driver. In car accident cases, negligence often forms the backbone of fault determination.

The basis of any negligence claim under California law in a car accident is that a driver did not take reasonable care on the road. This can be a failure to observe traffic laws, like speed limits or stop signs, or a lack of attention, such as distracted driving. This failure leads to an accident and potentially makes the driver legally liable for any resulting damage.

If you can prove that another driver's negligence caused your car accident in California, you have a strong claim for compensation. It's important to note that negligence doesn't just apply to other drivers. It could also apply to a municipality for failing to maintain safe road conditions or a vehicle manufacturer for a car defect. The critical factor is proving the negligent party did not act safely or appropriately.

Elements of Negligence

Before diving into the details of negligence, it's crucial to understand its four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damage. Each of these elements is necessary for building a successful negligence claim. We need to prove negligence to win your car crash claim.

Duty of Care

In a car accident case, the duty of care refers to the responsibility each driver has to act in a way that doesn't put others at risk. This involves obeying traffic laws, paying attention to road conditions, and generally acting reasonably under similar circumstances. Every driver has this legal duty to others on the road.

Breach of Duty

A duty breach occurs when the other driver fails to uphold their duty of care. This could involve actions like texting while driving, speeding, or running a red light. If a driver does something a reasonable person wouldn't do or fails to do something a reasonable person would do, they've breached their duty of care. Police reports can help us with this.


This is the link that joins the breach of duty and the damage suffered. To prove causation, you must show that the accident wouldn't have happened if not for the other driver's actions. In other words, the other driver's negligence directly led to the accident and the resulting damage.


Finally, damage refers to the losses you suffered from the accident. This can include physical injuries, damage to your car, and emotional distress. You need to provide proof of these damages—like medical bills or car repair receipts—to build a successful negligence claim.

Comparative Negligence in California

Comparative negligence in California

California operates under "pure comparative negligence" (California Civil Code 1714). Under this system, you can still recover damages in a car accident case, even if you're partially at fault. But, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For instance, if you're found to be 20% at fault, you may only recover 80% of the total damages. This allows for a fair distribution of responsibility. It means that even if both parties contributed to the accident, they could recover some of their losses.

It's also important to understand that the other party's insurance company will try to blame you as much to reduce their payout. This is where having an experienced car accident attorney from Omofoma Law Firm can make a significant difference. We know how to fight these tactics and ensure that you're not unfairly blamed for the accident.

Finally, keep in mind that the court or insurance adjuster will decide on the percentage of fault. They'll consider the evidence and arguments from both sides before making a decision. If you're dealing with a car accident claim, don't try to figure out comparative negligence alone. Let Omofoma Law guide you through the process and fight for your rights.

Gathering Evidence to Prove Fault: Types of Evidence to Gather

Evidence plays a vital role in proving fault in a car accident. This can strengthen your claim and help you establish the other party's negligence. Let's delve into the different types of evidence you should collect.

Police Report and Accident Scene Documentation

The police report is a crucial piece of evidence. It contains the officer's observations and sometimes even their opinion on who's at fault. If you called the police after your accident, make sure to obtain a copy of this report. Any other documents from the accident scene, like traffic citations, can also be helpful. We may also use the California Vehicle Code to help us with this.

Witness Statements and Contact Information

Witnesses can give an unbiased account of the crash. If there were any witnesses, try to get their statements and contact information. Their testimony can support your claim and provide additional evidence of the other party's negligence.

Photos and Videos of the Accident Scene

Photos and videos can paint a visual picture of the accident scene. They can show the position of the cars, road conditions, and any visible injuries or damage. Make sure to capture as many details as possible, as these images can help reconstruct the accident and identify the at-fault party.

Medical Records and Bills

Medical records and bills prove that you suffered injuries and incurred expenses due to the accident. They can give an overview of the severity of your injuries and the extent of your financial losses. Be sure to keep a detailed record of all medical treatments related to the accident.

Vehicle Damage Documentation

Damage to your vehicle can shed light on how the accident happened and who is at fault. This includes mechanic's reports, repair bills, and photos of the damage. This documentation can be vital in establishing the other party's negligence.

Role of Expert Witnesses in a Car Accident Case

Role of expert witnesses in a car accident case

Expert witnesses can lend authority to your car accident claim. They can provide professional insights that clarify complex aspects of your case. Expert witnesses come from various fields, like medicine, accident reconstruction, and economics.

Medical experts can explain your injuries, the treatment required, and how these injuries will impact your future. They can join your injuries to the collision, which is crucial in proving damage in a negligence claim. This professional opinion can be instrumental in convincing the jury of the extent and seriousness of your injuries.

Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any available video footage. They use scientific principles to recreate the accident and explain how it happened. Their testimony can help establish the sequence of events before the crash and identify the at-fault driver.

Economic experts can quantify your financial losses and future expenses. They consider medical costs, lost wages, and potential future earnings. Their input can ensure that you claim all possible damages related to your accident.

Expert witnesses can enhance your case, but they also bring additional costs. That's why consulting with a seasoned car accident attorney from Omofoma Law is crucial. We can help you decide if hiring expert witnesses will be beneficial for your case.

Handling Insurance Companies and Legal Proceedings

Negotiating with insurance providers after a motor vehicle collision can be tricky. They often try to minimize payouts to protect their bottom line. They might offer a quick, low settlement or try to blame you for the accident. Insurance companies are not your allies in this process.

Legal proceedings in a car accident case can also be complex. You need to adhere to strict timelines and rules. One small misstep could jeopardize your claim. That's why having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is so important.

An attorney from Omofoma Law can represent your best interests and defend your rights. We know their tactics and how to counter them effectively. We'll also guide you through the legal proceedings, ensuring that your case complies with all procedural requirements.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

Types of damages in car accident cases

In a car accident case, you can claim various types of damage. These damages aim to compensate you for your losses and restore you to your position before the accident. Let's explore these different types of damage.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to your financial losses due to the accident. These include:

  • Medical expenses: These are the costs of your medical treatment, from emergency care to ongoing therapy. They also cover future medical costs for ongoing care.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries mean you cannot work, you can claim for the income you've lost. This also includes loss of future earnings if you can't return to your job.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate you for non-tangible losses. They include:

  • Pain and suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries mean you can no longer enjoy your favorite activities, you can claim this loss.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare. They are not meant to compensate you but rather to punish the at-fault party for extremely reckless or malicious behavior. They serve to deter similar conduct in the future. If you believe the other party acted with extreme negligence or malice, discuss the possibility of punitive damages with your attorney.

Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorney at Omofoma Law for an Initial Consultation

Contact our experienced car accident attorney

Car accidents can have far-reaching impacts on your life. They can lead to physical injuries, emotional distress, and significant financial losses. But you don't have to face these challenges alone. At Omofoma Law, we have the expertise to guide you through the process of proving fault in a car accident case.

Our team is here to fight for your rights and push for the compensation you deserve. We understand the complexities of negligence law and how to gather and present evidence effectively. Don't let the stress of a car accident claim to overwhelm you.

Contact Omofoma Law today, and let us take the burden off your shoulders.

Request Your
Free Consultation

Fill out the contact form or call us at (213) 455-4050 to schedule your free consultation. No Fees Unless You Win!

"*" indicates required fields

Los Angeles, CA
355 S Grand Ave, Suite 2450, Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 455 4050
Orange County
18650 MacArthur Blvd, Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92612
(213) 455 4050
Phone Number:
(213) 455-4050
Fax Number:
(213) 260-2328
Business Hours:
355 S Grand Ave #2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071
18650 MacArthur Blvd Suite 300
Irvine, CA 92612
© 2023 omofoma law  injury & accident lawyers - All Rights Reserved.
Website by:
chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram