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Most Common Accident Types

What Are Common Accident Lawsuits?

As an automobile accident lawyer, I have the experience needed to recover a fair settlement for you. In order to heal from your injuries, you need the proper medical treatment. Despite not having medical insurance, you can still receive adequate treatment for your injuries. My ultimate goal is to help you overcome your injuries. 

The driver who caused the collision is responsible for the damages and injuries incurred by the other drivers and passengers. One party can be attributed responsibility for an accident as a result of negligence. Despite being deemed at fault by both parties, the injured party may still be able to recover some damages from the other driver.

In California, not all accidents are the result of negligent drivers. An accident could be caused by faulty car parts, dangerous road conditions, or even malfunctioning driverless vehicles. Consequently, a manufacturer, government agency, or private company could be held responsible for a car accident. 

Auto accident attorneys represent victims of car crashes who want to force insurance companies to fully cover their damages. If no settlement can be reached before the filing of a lawsuit, an attorney will have to file a personal injury lawsuit to force an insurance company to pay. 

There are various types of damages that may be recovered, including medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. I can protect you to ensure you are rightfully compensated, so you do not have to deal with insurance agents or get pressured by them. 

Identifying the responsible party in a car accident can be a complex process. As a general rule, a party's fault is based primarily on "negligence." If a driver is negligent and causes an injury, the negligent driver may be held responsible. The focus of a car accident attorney is proving the other party's negligence.

Among the forms of negligence is reckless driving, not paying attention, and violating traffic laws intentionally. Additionally, if there have been traffic violations, "Negligence per se" can apply. A negligent driver is more likely to cause a crash if they speed, run a red light, text while driving, are distracted or drunk, or fail to yield the right of way.

flip over car accident

Legal Standards of Car Accidents 

Car Accidents

Injuries or damage caused by a negligent driver are the responsibility of the driver. A personal injury lawsuit can provide compensation to the accident victim. The plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent in causing the accident. The standards of negligence in a California vehicle collision suit are: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; the defendant breached that duty of care through negligence, and the defendant’s negligence was a major factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

Driver’s Duty of Care

Duty of Care

A driver in California must adhere to a duty of care when operating a vehicle. In order to fulfill their duty of care, drivers must: use reasonable care when operating a vehicle; keep an eye out for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles; and maintain a safe speed. When a driver doesn't exercise a reasonable duty of care, he or she becomes liable for damages.

Two Drivers Partially At Fault

Partially at Fault

An accident may be partially caused by two negligent drivers. According to the "comparative fault" law, even if both drivers share some of the blame, an injured driver can still recover damages for the accident. In some cases, the damages received may be reduced depending on the percentage of fault shared by the driver.

Based on the facts you provide, an attorney can evaluate your case. In addition to investigating the accident and subpoenaing records, an attorney can negotiate to maximize the settlement amount for you.

Damages Are Recoverable a Car Accident Lawsuit

Recoverable Damages

Physical and financial losses can result from a car accident. An attorney filing a personal injury claim will ask the negligent party to pay the maximum compensation to the injured party to recover for their losses.

Furthermore, economic and non-economic compensatory damages can be claimed in a car accident lawsuit. Medical bills, repairs, and even court fees are examples of economic damages. Among the non-economic damages for the victims of a car accident are emotional distress and pain and suffering. 


Common compensatory damages in a California road accident can include: medical costs, vehicle repairs or replacement costs, lost income from not being able to work, lost future earning capacity, emergency medical treatment, physical therapy or occupational therapy, medication and medical supplies, future medical care and treatment, pain and suffering, compensation for loss of limb, compensation for scars or disfigurement, and loss of consortium for a spouse or partner.

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Compensatory Damages

The risk of not being able to recover your losses in an accident with an uninsured driver may exist if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. When the other driver does not have bodily injury and liability insurance, there are some ways to receive compensation for your damages.

The state of California requires that insurance companies offer drivers coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM). UM/UIM coverage, however, is an optional add-on for policyholders. When an uninsured driver causes an accident and a policyholder has UM/UIM coverage, their insurance company will compensate them. 

Underinsured motorist insurance pays for excess damage when the other driver's liability coverage is less than the damage caused by the other driver.

Despite not having UM/UIM insurance, you may still be able to sue an uninsured motorist for their assets if you believe they caused you damage. Many people will claim they do have not enough money or assets to pay medical bills and property damage costs. Attorneys such as myself can look up all assets a person may have that may be relevant to your lawsuit. 

If the uninsured family member drove their vehicle, family members may be liable in rare instances. An owner of a motor vehicle who allows an incompetent driver to drive their vehicle is liable for negligent entrustment of that vehicle.

Wrongful Deaths Caused by Car Accidents 

No Insurance

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the deceased by the surviving family members. 

Survivors of a wrongful death caused by a car accident are the only ones eligible to file a claim for damages. A spouse, domestic partner, child or children, grandchild (if the children are dead), or anyone entitled to inherit from the deceased under California's intestate succession laws, may file on behalf of the deceased. 

Driverless Accidents 

Wrongful Death

Even driverless cars can cause accidents, despite the fact that autonomous vehicles are supposed to make roads safer. An accident victim who suffers injuries due to a driverless vehicle can sue the manufacturer of the vehicle. The victim may be entitled to compensation under California's product liability laws if the accident is caused by a self-driving car.

Failure to Yield 

Failure to Yield

Drivers in California are required to yield to other motorists due to several traffic laws.

Sections 21800-21804 of the Vehicle Code pertain to yielding at intersections and when drivers turn left or enter highways.

Violations of California Vehicle Code Sections 21800-21804 of the CVC can result in a fine of $238; and, one point assessed to the driver's DMV record.

In addition, points gained on a motorist's record are reported to his or her insurance company. Consequently, the driver's insurance rate increases for several years.

The DMV can declare a person negligent if they accumulate a certain number of points within a 1-3 year period. A person's driving privileges will then be suspended or even revoked for an extended period of time by the DMV.



Settlements for intersection accidents tend to be the most complex. This is due to the fact that the seconds of the events could contradict the true facts in the case. In order to protect yourself, you should hire an attorney to represent you. 

Lane Splitting

California is one of the few states in the United States that allows motorcycles to lane split. The practice of lane splitting involves motorcycle riders driving between two lanes of traffic, traveling in the same direction as other traffic. Even though they can share lanes with cars, they are still obligated to obey all speeding laws and road rules. Failure to do so may result in a traffic violation.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles states that motorcyclists must follow these rules while lane splitting: travel no faster than 10 mph over the speed of other motorists and avoid lane splitting when surrounding traffic is traveling more than 30 mph.

Bikers who are injured while splitting lanes may file a motorcycle lawsuit against the party who caused the accident.

If the motorcyclist could establish that the other party was negligent, the claim would be successful. The biker could be compensated fairly for medical bills and medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Road Debris 

Road Debris

A person who leaves hazardous debris on a roadway or freeway is directly liable for any damage it causes. An injured driver or passenger may file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation for their injuries if they are injured in an accident caused by roadway debris. In addition, the government could be held liable for dangerous roads and infrastructure. 

RV Related Accidents 

RV Related Accidents

All types of recreational vehicles (RVs), including camper vans, motor homes, and campers, have the potential to cause an accident.  Due to blind spots, excessive braking distances and lack of maneuverability, RV accidents are likely to occur.

RV accidents are caused by people not being trained to drive a wide and large vehicle. Driving an RV requires only that the driver is at least 21 years old.

RV accidents are caused by a variety of factors, such as inexperienced drivers, senior drivers, speeding, high winds, overtired drivers, overloading the RV with too much weight, runaway trailers, rollovers due to higher center of gravity, poorly calculated turns, miscalculated stopping distances (heavy vehicles require longer stopping distances), and failing to see another vehicle in the lane next to the RV.

Side Swipe Accidents 

Side Swipe Accidents

Lane Splitting

Side-swipe accidents, or lane-change accidents, are sometimes described as glancing blows from or on the side of another vehicle. Side-swipe collisions typically occur when a driver makes an unsafe lane change and contacts a vehicle in the next lane.

Side-swipe collisions are fairly common, but they are particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders and bicyclists because many drivers fail to see these riders and fail to share the road with them safely.

The majority of side-swipe accidents occur as a result of distracted driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs includes behaviors such as talking on the phone or texting while driving.

The driver who changed lanes will be presumed negligent. This means that the driver of the car who made the lane change will be presumed to have acted outside the realm of what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation. In other words, before a driver makes a lane change, he or she must signal, check blind spots, and then safely change lanes.  

When a driver makes an unsafe or reckless lane change, he or she may be held liable. As a result of a sideswipe accident, the driver who hit the other vehicle will typically be held responsible. As a result, 100 percent of the liability will fall on him or her. Also, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

Further considerations need to be made. In the event that both parties are deemed partially at fault for the accident, each would be responsible for a percentage of the damages.

Lastly, if the side-swipe accident occurs on a one-lane highway, the overtaking vehicle is responsible for passing with enough clearance. An overtaking vehicle crossing into another lane on a multi-lane highway with clear lane markings would not be justified.

Multiple Car Accident

A California driver who causes a multi-vehicle accident through negligence is responsible for the results of their lack of ordinary care according to the California Civil Code (CIV) *1714. A lawyer may be able to determine who is at fault in a multi-vehicle crash based on your accident report and the recollections of you and other drivers involved in the accident.

Depending on the type of accident, your legal team may need to prove negligence or fault, including one involving multiple vehicles, to pursue financial compensation. To prove fault, the at-fault driver must demonstrate that he or she had a responsibility to provide ordinary care, failed to meet that responsibility, caused injuries to others, and caused financial harm to others.

In the event of a Los Angeles multi-vehicle accident, a Los Angeles lawyer could help you determine who to pursue for compensation.



California's basic speed law is codified in Vehicle Code 22350 VC. Drivers are prohibited from driving faster than is safe under the given conditions. Violations are infractions that carry fines up to $500 and court assessments. Reckless driving is a criminal offense in California. It is against the law to disregard the safety of pedestrians or property when driving. 

Violation of this law constitutes a California misdemeanor if no one else is injured. The maximum penalties are: Five to ninety days in jail, and/or a fine between $145 and $1,000. 

Injury-related reckless driving could result in a longer jail sentence and higher fines. It is also possible to be charged with reckless driving as a felony in this scenario, but it is not mandatory. 

SUV Accidents 

SUV Accidents
Multiple Car Accident

In single car accidents, SUVs are much more vulnerable than other passenger vehicles, despite being safer in many ways. Rollover accidents are common, and they result in a high death rate. Despite accounting for only 4% of all traffic accidents, SUV rollovers result in 30% of all traffic deaths.


Rollovers can also result in back and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and/or brain damage, paralysis, fractures, lacerations, and internal bleeding.


Disfigurement caused by lacerations and fractures can last a lifetime. Trauma is the result of an outside force transferring energy to the body. The brain and spine are particularly vulnerable to trauma.


Brain and spinal cord injuries can have a life-changing effect. Some injuries can't be overcome and may take months or years to fully heal. Paralysis cannot be cured by medical science, and traumatic brain injuries can alter your personality and limit your freedom.

It is designed to protect the head and spine from traumatic injuries caused by side impact airbags. To minimize the chances of a rollover accident, you should look for an SUV with side airbags, as well as a vehicle with Electronic Stability Technology.


Automobiles with blind spots are also at risk. These vehicles are often very tall and large, making it very difficult to see what's in your blind spot. Even carefully driving an SUV can result in a collision if the driver misses someone in the blind spot.


A much more tragic consequence of SUV blind spots is backover accidents, where SUVs back over people, often small children, who are not visible in the rearview mirror.

Nowadays, many SUVs come with backup cameras to help mitigate this problem.

T-Bone Accident

T-Bone Accident 

T-bone collisions occur when one vehicle collides head-on with the side of another vehicle. Drivers lose control of their vehicles at intersections, while crossing multilane highways, or when crossing a multilane highway.

In a T-bone accident, the at-fault driver is liable for any injuries or damages suffered by the other drivers or passengers. An accident involving a T-bone may have been caused by negligence on the part of one or more of the drivers. In a T-bone accident, accident victims may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to receive compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damage.

Due to the narrow layer of protection between the outside of the car and the passengers in a side impact accident, injuries sustained in side impact accidents can be more severe than those suffered in rear-end collisions or head-on collisions. These also make the injuries more serious since the occupants of the vehicle may be trapped inside until they can be rescued by emergency personnel.

A motor vehicle accident involving a T-bone occurs when negligence is present. The negligent driver is liable to the other drivers and passengers for any damages suffered as a result of the accident. Violation of a traffic law can be considered negligence, as can driving without due care.

Road conditions, traffic signals, and vehicle defects can all contribute to the cause of a T-bone accident. On the other hand, many T-bone accidents are the result of drivers who do not take due care of others on the road.

Unsafe Distance

Unsafe Distance 

Section 21703 of the California Vehicle Code governs rear-end collisions in the state. Following another vehicle too closely is prohibited by this section. A common cause of rear-end accidents is tailgating, also called tailgating. However, tailgating is not always the cause of rear-end collisions. In some cases, the driver leading the vehicle is at fault.

California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 21703 VC deals primarily with rear-end collisions. A driver who does not keep a safe distance from other vehicles will be penalized by this law. Rear-end collisions are most often caused by tailgating. It is likely that the trailing driver will be held liable for the accident if he or she gets a ticket for tailgating.

Unfortunately, 21703 VC does not specify the exact distance that is too close. A motor vehicle driver cannot follow a motor vehicle closer than is reasonable and prudent. A reasonable and prudent following distance depends on the speed and condition of the vehicles, the road conditions, the weather conditions, the stopping distances of the vehicles, and any other relevant circumstances.

After a rear-end collision, a driver ticketed for tailgating can be used as per se evidence that the trailing driver was negligent in an accident case. It is very clear that the trailing driver's conduct led to the crash and he should be held responsible for the consequences.

A violation of 21703 VC is a traffic offense in California. The offense carries a fine and other driving penalties. Tickets for tailgating will lead to: a $238 fine, and 1 point being added to the driver’s record with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

Watercraft Accidents 

Watecraft Accidents

California law considers boats and personal watercraft such as jet skis and waves runners to be "vehicles" that must follow specific rules.  It is illegal to operate a boat without proper registration (including placing a Hull Identification Number (HIN) to demonstrate ownership). The age requirement for operating a boat with a power of 15 horsepower or more is 16 years old or older.  If accompanied and supervised by an adult, persons 12-15 may operate a boat or personal watercraft with less than 15 horsepower. 

A violation of these laws could be considered "negligence per se" under civil law for purposes of recovering money damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering.  In addition, if a boater or watercraft operator acts imprudently, this can also be deemed negligence under California common law and entitle the victim to the recovery of compensation.

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