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Can I Claim Personal Injury If I Was at Fault?

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Everyone makes mistakes behind the wheel sometimes. Whether your kids in the back seat momentarily distracted you or accidentally sped through a red light, driving mistakes occur to the best of us – but sometimes, they can lead to severe accidents and injuries. If you were at fault for the accident, you could still receive compensation for your injuries through a few methods.

California’s Fault-Based System

The most common accident that you could claim compensation for is a car accident. Many states follow a no-fault insurance system, which means that drivers must purchase insurance to cover for their own injuries in a car accident. No-fault coverage provides for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages as a result of injuries in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. Unfortunately, California follows the traditional fault-based system.

In California, the driver who is at fault for the accident will need to provide compensation for the other driver’s injuries, property damage, and other losses. Usually, your insurance claim will absorb these costs if you were the one at fault for the accident. You may see your insurance rates rise as a result.

In addition, people involved in car accidents and other incidents of personal injury can file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a Orange Country car accident lawyer against the at-fault party in California civil court. As an at-fault driver or party, you cannot claim compensation for your damages. California’s liability system makes it very difficult for you to hold the injured party accountable for your injuries.

Personal Injury Protection Insurance for At-Fault Drivers

Although California is a fault-based state, you could make a personal injury claim if you suffered injuries in an accident you caused. While California does not require you to purchase personal injury protection insurance, you could choose to invest in this insurance option in the event of an accident you cause. Personal injury protection insurance operates in the same way that no-fault insurance coverage operates in no-fault states.

Personal injury protection is an optional insurance coverage in California, and may also be known as med-pay. When you invest in personal injury protection, you can receive compensation for medical expenses such as hospital stays, medications, mobility equipment, and doctor’s visits not only for you, but also for any passengers injured in your vehicle.

Personal injury protection comes with some limits. Typically, this coverage does not cover pain and suffering damages or any damage to your vehicle. When you suffer an injury in an accident you cause in California, you can make an injury claim with your personal injury protection if you have it. You could also receive coverage under your personal health insurance, but your personal injury protection could help cover for any unmet medical needs.

California’s Comparative Fault System

If you are truly and completely at fault for your accident in California, filing a claim through an optional personal injury protection plan may be the only way you can claim compensation for your injuries. Your medical insurance and your car insurance could help you receive additional compensation. However, if the other driver was partially at-fault for the accident, you could claim compensation for a portion of your injuries thanks to California’s comparative fault system.

Under this system, if the other party in your case accepts at least 1% of the liability for the accident, you could make a claim for your damages. The comparative fault system means that if you go to court for your case, the court may assign a percentage of liability to each party. You can receive compensation for the percentage of the accident that was the injured party’s fault.

If you are struggling with paying for your damages after an accident, contact a Orange County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you believe you are at fault for the accident, your attorney can conduct an investigation into your claim and help you find pathways to compensation.