Is California a tort state?
You may have heard the term “tort” thrown around lately if you were involved in an accident in Berkeley, California but may not be sure what it means. A tort state is a state that holds an at-fault driver responsible for damages that arise out of an accident. Some of the damages that might be awarded to the victim of an auto accident or pedestrian related incident include:

  • Compensation for medical expenses.
  • Lost wages for the time the victim was forced to spend out of work.
  • Loss of consortium, which is usually awarded to the spouse or partner of an accident victim.
  • The costs to have your vehicle or other property repaired.

While some states operate on a tort system where they require the at-fault driver or their insurance company to pick up the accrued expenses, other states do not. When a state doesn’t require an at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for damages, this is referred to as a “no-fault” state.
There is one other way compensation might be awarded in an auto accident case and that is with the comparative negligence law. This law states that a driver who was a victim of an accident but did play a role in causing it is held responsible too. For instance, if you were awarded $5,000 for your accident but were 10% accountable for causing it, your settlement offer would be reduced by this percentage.
Now that you know the difference between tort and no-fault laws, it’s time to learn about the state of California and how it’s laws affect car accident claims.

California follows the tort system.

This means that if you caused an auto accident and it have been proven by the insurance company, you are required to pay for the damages you caused. Whether this is vehicle damage or injuries, your insurance company is required to compensate the other driver who you hit. The same would apply if the situation was reversed.
Let’s say a driver hit you from behind and they were found at-fault. You would want to get into contact with their insurance company so you can get a claim filed. Now, don’t be surprised to learn that they may only be carrying the minimum requirements that the state obligates its drivers to carry. This could mean they don’t have sufficient coverage and you would then have to turn to your own insurance company for financial help. If you are carrying underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, then this portion of your policy will pay for the any amounts the other driver’s insurance company wasn’t able to cover.
If for some reason you don’t believe you were responsible for causing an accident, you always have the option of hiring one of our trained and skilled accident attorneys in Berkeley, California to take over your case and demand that you are compensated for all the damages you have incurred.
Getting in touch with a reliable and highly qualified accident attorney in Berkeley, CA is easy when you having working on your side. Simply give us a call and we will be happy to help you find a lawyer in your area free of charge.