Is California a No-Fault State? 

Is California a No-Fault State?

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s helpful to understand important California’s traffic laws. One key issue is knowing whether California is an at-fault or no-fault state. Determining whether you’re in a no-fault state impacts who pays for damages caused by a car accident. 

California is not a no-fault state and instead has a fault-based car insurance system. Here’s an overview of what that means for California drivers. For additional questions or to discuss your case, contact a car accident lawyer at The Simon Law Group

No-Fault vs. At-Fault States

Before discussing California law, it’s helpful to understand the difference between at-fault states and no-fault states. 

In no-fault states, each driver is responsible for their own damages. Regardless of who was at fault, drivers are reimbursed for their damages by making claims to their own insurance company. Drivers in no-fault states are usually required to have personal injury protection car insurance to cover their damages from an accident. 

In contrast, in at-fault states, the party responsible for the accident pays for the damages of all injured parties in an accident. Injured parties make claims to the responsible party’s insurance company or, if necessary, sue the responsible party to recover damages. 

California Is an At-Fault Insurance State 

California is an at-fault state. This means that in California, the at-fault party is responsible for damages. Because of this, it’s important to determine who was responsible for an accident. 

In legal terms, the responsible person is liable for the damages caused by the accident. Generally, a negligence claim or a negligence per se claim is brought to establish liability in car accident cases. 

Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case 

There are four elements that parties have to establish to successfully bring a claim of negligence. 

  1. Duty. The other party, or defendant, owed you a duty of care. 
  2. Breach. They breached their duty of care. 
  3. Causation. Their breach caused your injuries. 
  4. Damages. You suffered damages. 

Showing that the other party breached their duty of care is often one of the trickiest parts of a negligence claim. You must show that the other party did not act as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. 

A personal injury lawyer is experienced in bringing negligence claims and can help you gather the necessary evidence to establish the other driver was responsible for the accident. 

Negligence Per Se in Car Accidents

In some cases, you can show another driver is liable using a legal theory called negligence per se. This can be used when the other party violates a law intended to protect the accident victim. 

In these cases, you don’t have to show that the other driver acted unreasonably. Instead, it’s presumed that the driver acted unreasonably by violating the law. 

For example, if another driver was speeding and caused an accident, you can use negligence per se to hold them responsible for the damages caused by the accident. 

Can You Recover Damages if You’re Partly at Fault in a California Accident?

Yes, in most cases. California follows a system of pure comparative fault. This means that drivers can recover damages proportional to their fault.

For example, if a driver is 20% at fault for an accident, the driver can collect 80% of damages from other drivers responsible. 

California drivers are required to carry liability insurance. This will cover the damages of other drivers in the event you’re found liable for an accident up to your policy limits.

Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you were involved in a crash, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you maximize the value of your claim. Most attorneys in this area of the law work on a contingency fee basis, which means hiring them costs you nothing upfront. From there, you only pay attorney’s fees if you get compensation. 

Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at The Simon Law Group Today

For more information, please contact an experienced Car Accident lawyer at The Simon Law Group to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have three convenient locations in California, including Torrance, Hermosa Beach, and Santa Ana, CA. We also have offices in Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX.

We proudly serve Los Angeles County and Orange County, CA, and its surrounding areas:

The Simon Law Group – Torrance, CA Office
2916 W 164th St Second Floor, Torrance, CA 90504
(424) 622-0812 

The Simon Law Group – Hermosa Beach, CA Office
34 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(424) 722-3209

The Simon Law Group – Santa Ana, CA Office
1327 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 581-8546