How to Determine Liability in an Anaheim Car Accident

Who Is Liable in a Car Accident?

Insurance companies insurance policy

A car accident is a stressful event in any person’s life. If you get hit by a car driver who is not the owner of the car, it can add on to the complications.

If you are involved in a car accident in Anaheim, you may wonder who is liable for your losses and how to recover compensation. Our Anaheim car accident attorney can help you identify the at-fault driver and file a personal injury claim against their auto insurance policy. We offer free consultations, and you are not responsible for any upfront legal fees. Call us at (714) 395-5514 or send us a message online.


Who Is At Fault in a Car Accident?

Auto insurance coverage

One of the key factors in determining car accident liability is fault, or the degree of negligence that caused the accident. In California, the party who is at fault for a car accident is held liable for  all of the victim’s damages.

California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that each party’s liability is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you are 30% at fault for a car accident, you can only recover 70% of your damages from the other party.

To prove fault in a car crash, you need to establish four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty means that the party had a legal obligation to act in a reasonable and safe manner. Breach means that the party failed to fulfill their duty by acting negligently or recklessly. 

Causation means that the party’s breach was the direct or proximate cause of the accident and injuries. Damages mean that you suffered actual losses or harm as a result of the accident.

The Driver

The most common party at fault in a car accident is the driver of the vehicle that hit you. The driver may be held responsible if they violated any traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence. The driver may also be liable if they were distracted, such as by texting or talking on the phone. The at-fault driver’s insurance company would cover your damages.

The Car Owner 

In some cases, the car owner may be liable for your car accident. This may happen if the car owner lends their vehicle to a family member or a driver is operating their employer’s vehicle. 


What Is Permissible Use?

Another factor that may affect liability in a car accident is permissible use. Permissible use means that the driver had the owner’s consent or authorization to use the vehicle. This is important because the owner’s auto insurance policy may only cover the driver if they had permissible use.

If the driver did not have permissible use, the insurance company may not cover the accident, and the driver may be personally liable for the damages.


Common Causes of Car Accidents 

Car accidents, both minor and severe, happen every day all across the state of California. The cause of each accident will vary, but generally speaking, these are the most common causes of car accidents in California: 


Speeding accounts for more than a third of all auto accidents in the U.S., and California is no exception. Excessive speed and reckless driving contribute to some of the most severe injuries and fatal accidents on roads and highways. 


Following too closely, or tailgating, is against the law in California, but many drivers still do it. When a driver follows too closely, they run the risk of hitting the vehicle too closely if the driver slows down or makes a sudden stop. Tailgating contributes to dozens of rear end collisions, the most common type of auto accident. 

Impaired driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs almost always leads to the most serious accidents. In California, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Drivers with a BAC over the legal limit who cause an accident can face steep fines, jail time, probation, and suspension or loss of a driver’s license. 

Running Red Lights

According to the National Coalition for Safer Roads, California ranks #1 for red light running fatalities. Over half of the deaths in red-light running accidents are pedestrians, bicyclists, and other car drivers and passengers. 

Distracted Driving 

Despite the fact that California has a “no texting and driving” law, many drivers still grab their phone to text or make a call while driving. While it seems innocent enough, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous driver distractions that leads to crashes.


Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage

Motorists in California are required to carry minimum liability car insurance per the following requirements: 

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  • $5,000 in property damage 

Effective January 1, 2025, the minimum liability insurance requirements are going up to the following amounts:

  • $30,000 in injury or death to one person
  • $60,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  • $15,000 in property damage 

Both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage are generally optional.


Contact an Anaheim Car Accident Lawyer Today

Auto insurance coverage for car accidents

If you were involved in an auto accident in Anaheim, obtaining legal representation can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out of pocket costs. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, from filing the demand letter with the insurance company to negotiating a fair settlement.

At Katella Injury Attorneys, our experienced car accident lawyers have a 99% success rate obtaining top compensation for our clients. We do not collect any upfront legal fees or charge by the hour. If we don’t win your case, you pay nothing. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. 

Scroll to top