Reporting Car Accidents in California

MOET Law Group » Reporting Car Accidents in California

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If you’re driving around California and are involved in a car accident, you have a lot on your “to do” list. Click here for ideas about what to do immediately following the crash.

After you’ve safely moved from the scene of the accident, and have sought medical attention, it is time to move on to the all-important tasks related to repairing your car. In California, you have lots of options for vehicle repair. Your insurance may be able to seek payment from the other driver’s insurance company; your own “under” or uninsured motorist policy or collision coverage (if applicable); or directly from the other driver.

While the auto body shop works on your vehicle, you may also qualify for a rental car, covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If this happens to you, make sure you demand a vehicle which is similar to yours. For example, don’t settle for a Smart Car equivalent if you drive an SUV.

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In a perfect world, insurers would pay all of the above (and more) without argument. But since we live in the real world, we realize that even those drivers who initially, readily accept responsibility often recant their position after the dust settles. What’s more, even if the other driver accepts blame without protesting, his or her insurance company may challenge the position in an effort to justify denying payment on the claim.

In California, where Moet Law Firm is located, our personal injury attorneys have been trained to prevent or meet this type of challenge, to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. This includes payment to repair or replace the maximum value allowed for your vehicle, if it is totaled.

When another driver causes an accident, that driver (and/or his insurance company) is responsible to pay to compensate the innocent party’s car repairs, rental car costs, medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, damages for pain and suffering, and damages for wrongful death (if applicable).

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Collision Coverage
In cases where the driver has optional collision coverage, the insurer pays the costs of repairing or replacing the vehicle after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. In California, Collision coverage is not required. Nevertheless, many drivers purchase it – particularly in cases where their vehicle has a high intrinsic value. Collision coverage typically provides the quickest way to repair a car after an accident. In such a case, the insurer covers the upfront costs and then can seek reimbursement from the other driver (if that driver caused the accident).

Unfortunately not everyone in California purchases collision coverage. Drivers who do not carry this coverages have other options for seeking repairs, depending on the circumstances. If the driver deemed “at fault” has auto liability insurance in California, the other driver can:

  • Pay for the repairs
  • Seek reimbursement from the other party or insurance company;
  • Wait until the case settles in full to repair the vehicle; or
  • Try to settle the property damage portion of the case with the other driver’s insurer, while negotiating a settlement of other damages (such as medical bills).

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, the other driver has these options:

  • Settle the claim directly with the at-fault driver;
  • Sue the at-fault driver personally; or
  • If the innocent driver has California uninsured or under-insured motorist insurance, he or she can seek payment from his/her own insurer.

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Reporting Auto Accidents to Insurance Companies in California

Most auto insurance policies require drivers to notify the insurer of an accident as soon as possible. Time frames differ. But some allow up to 30 days. Check your individual policy for details. Failure to comply with their guidelines may affect your right to recover damage. What’s more, your insurance company could even cancel your policy. In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires drivers to report an accident within 10 days if the accident resulted in:

  • Property damage of more than $1,000;
  • Injury to any person (no matter how minor) or
  • Death to any person

Failure to report an accident is punishable by up to one year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The penalty increases if the accident involves serious injury or death. In some cases, however, it may not make sense to report an accident. For instance, if the driver hits a stationary object (such as a fence) and the only damage occurs to the driver’s own car.

Insurance Premium Increases

In California, where Moet Law Firm is located, Proposition 103 protects drivers. As a result, insurance companies cannot increase rates if the insured is deemed not to have been at fault for the accident. However, if you are deemed to be “at fault,” your future insurance premiums are likely to increase as a result.

How is “Fault” Determined?

Insurance companies rely on several factors to determine who to blame for a car collision:

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  1. How many times have the insured made previous claims?
  2. How long has the driver been insured by the same company?
  3. What type of coverage does the insured have?

About Moet Law in Irvine and Ontario, California

To be safe, following any car crash, contact a reputable personal injury attorney. We can help evaluate whether you may be eligible for compensation. Call MOET Law today 1 (866) 424-0789.

Book your FREE consultation today!

If you’ve been injured, contact the personal injury lawyers at MOET Law Group today for a FREE no obligation consultation. Remember, we don’t get paid until you do!

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I highly recommend this law office. Nothing but transparency, open communication, and follow through occurred throughout my entire experience. Nima and Bobby were very knowledgeable in my case and were even able to obtain me a better outcome than I thought was even possible! Thanks guy I’m forever grateful for all the hard work and effort you guys put on my case.
Amir Jafari
I highly recommend this law office. Nothing but transparency, open communication, and follow through occurred throughout my entire experience. Nima and Bobby were very knowledgeable in my case and were even able to obtain me a better outcome than I thought was even possible! Thanks guy I’m forever grateful for all the hard work and effort you guys put on my case.
Amir Jafari
Amir Jafari
The attorneys at MOET Law are very knowledgeable and understanding. From my previous dealings with them, I know they take a personal approach to ensure every client receives the best possible resolution regarding their personal injury matter. Both Bobby and Nima operate on the foundation of integrity and hard work. I would highly recommend their services.
Christopher Allen
The attorneys at MOET Law are very knowledgeable and understanding. From my previous dealings with them, I know they take a personal approach to ensure every client receives the best possible resolution regarding their personal injury matter. Both Bobby and Nima operate on the foundation of integrity and hard work. I would highly recommend their services.
Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
Our Company consulted with MOËT Law firm a couple months ago on issues that we had no legal answer to. His team was very professional and courteous and provided information that was key to our compliance business model. “ Look”, you want real , straight forward answers! Then call these guys and rest assured that they got your back and they will give you straight up answers without the song and dance.
Aficionado Cigar Company
Our Company consulted with MOËT Law firm a couple months ago on issues that we had no legal answer to. His team was very professional and courteous and provided information that was key to our compliance business model. “ Look”, you want real , straight forward answers! Then call these guys and rest assured that they got your back and they will give you straight up answers without the song and dance.
Aficionado Cigar Company
Aficionado Cigar Company
My husband was broadsided by a guy that ran a red light and Moet Law Group walked us through how to handle the claim, what to say and not to say and gave us a perspective on the situation that we had not considered. Our claim was very successful because of the help of Moet Law Group. I highly recommend!!
Jessica Birch
My husband was broadsided by a guy that ran a red light and Moet Law Group walked us through how to handle the claim, what to say and not to say and gave us a perspective on the situation that we had not considered. Our claim was very successful because of the help of Moet Law Group. I highly recommend!!
Jessica Birch
Jessica Birch
Hiring an attorney that is responsive is and very knowledgeable in the area of law they are practicing is very important. We are thankful for Moet Law and the help they rendered our company with regards to our case! Highly recommended!
Farshad Dehbozorgi
Hiring an attorney that is responsive is and very knowledgeable in the area of law they are practicing is very important. We are thankful for Moet Law and the help they rendered our company with regards to our case! Highly recommended!
Farshad Dehbozorgi
Farshad Dehbozorgi
I could not be more satisfied with the service provided by the Law Office of Nima Etemadian. Nima and his team at MOET Law in Ontario provided excellent, professional, clear and understandable advice and counsel to me. He is thorough and very knowledgeable. All processes that seem complicated were handled seamlessly and efficient. Nima communicated everything with me step-by-step through the entire process. This was a clear demonstration of the care and compassion he has for his clients. I highly recommend Nima Etemadian to anyone seeking an experienced, trustworthy and caring personal injury, DUI and accident attorney.
Michelle Gazmen
I could not be more satisfied with the service provided by the Law Office of Nima Etemadian. Nima and his team at MOET Law in Ontario provided excellent, professional, clear and understandable advice and counsel to me. He is thorough and very knowledgeable. All processes that seem complicated were handled seamlessly and efficient. Nima communicated everything with me step-by-step through the entire process. This was a clear demonstration of the care and compassion he has for his clients. I highly recommend Nima Etemadian to anyone seeking an experienced, trustworthy and caring personal injury, DUI and accident attorney.
Michelle Gazmen
Michelle Gazmen
My son was in a car accident 2 days after buying his 1st truck. He was rear-ended buy someone one there phone. It was a long process but Nima walked us through it and always returned calls promptly. We couldn't be happier with the settlement. Thank You Nima!
Steve schroeder
My son was in a car accident 2 days after buying his 1st truck. He was rear-ended buy someone one there phone. It was a long process but Nima walked us through it and always returned calls promptly. We couldn't be happier with the settlement. Thank You Nima!
Steve schroeder
Steve schroeder
I had the opportunity to hear Nima speak about what to do if you get yourself into a situation and you need a DUI attorney. No one wants to think that this will happen to them. I found his advice helpful and empowering. I know what to do if I find myself in this situation. Nima and his staff are professional and quick to respond. Thanks Nima
Claudia Lagoo
I had the opportunity to hear Nima speak about what to do if you get yourself into a situation and you need a DUI attorney. No one wants to think that this will happen to them. I found his advice helpful and empowering. I know what to do if I find myself in this situation. Nima and his staff are professional and quick to respond. Thanks Nima
Claudia Lagoo
Claudia Lagoo
I would highly recommend Moet Law Group. They handled my personal injury case. They worked diligently to get me the medical and financial help I deserved though it was a unique case. They fought for my rights and prevailed.
Bryan D
I would highly recommend Moet Law Group. They handled my personal injury case. They worked diligently to get me the medical and financial help I deserved though it was a unique case. They fought for my rights and prevailed.
Bryan D
Bryan D
Thank you for your help, determination, analytical skills, and hard work. I appreciate that you didn't give up on me or my case. I would not hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone in need of a sound “Attorney”. Thank you again!
Natally Barbosa
Thank you for your help, determination, analytical skills, and hard work. I appreciate that you didn't give up on me or my case. I would not hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone in need of a sound “Attorney”. Thank you again!
Natally Barbosa
Natally Barbosa