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I Was Hurt in a Rear End Car Accident, What are my Rights in California?

Understanding Your Rights if You Were Hurt in a Rear End Car Accident in California

With roughly 1.7 million rear end car accidents each year in the United States, this is one of the most common types of motor vehicle accidents.  While many times a rear end collision is a minor inconvenience, unfortunately it could also result in serious personal injuries to the brain, spine, or extremities.  This is particularly true in high-speed impacts or with commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers or tractor trailers.  When this happens, someone is hurt in a rear end car accident in California should contact an experienced lawyer to recover compensation for them.

Here at the Broadway Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, our experienced rear end car accident lawyers know just how devastating it can be for a victim and his or her family.  We are committed to fighting back against insurance companies and defense lawyers who refuse to pay fair compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, and other damages.  We will not let greedy insurance companies take advantage of you.  Learn how we can protect your rights to compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing 213.444.3155.

Liability in a Rear End Auto Accident in California

There are two ways to prove a rear end auto accident in California.  The first way is through the common law, or judge-made law.  This is decisional law that has been written and passed down over years of judicial decision writing.  Common law reflects the public sentiment and can be flexible, evolving over the years.  The second way is through statutory law, or legislatively-made law.  This is law that has gone through formal rule-making processes by elected officials, often debated and voted on in the house and senate floors in California before being signed by the governor.

A victim of a rear end car accident in California can use both the common law and the statutory law to help prove a case.  Here is how:

Common Law

Under the common law, a victim of a rear end car accident can argue that the driver who hit him or her from behind was negligent.  Negligence is the most common type of claim in a personal injury actions.  It imposes liability where an individual was reckless in causing another to an avoidable and foreseeable risk of harm.  Negligence is based on a duty owed by motorists and a breach of that duty to others causing damages.

Under California law, all motorists most exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of their motor vehicle.  This means motorists most take reasonable precautions in avoidable causing foreseeable risks to others on or around the roadway.

A motorist who is following too closely, driving while distracted, drunk driving, speeding, or otherwise fails to drive reasonable before rear ending another motor vehicle is likely going to be found negligent.  This is because a motorist exercising reasonable care while driving a vehicle would ensure there is a safe distance to stop.

Statutory Law

In addition to arguing that a motorist was negligent for causing a rear end collision, an individual could also argue that a motorist was negligent per se.  The doctrine of negligence per se allows the victim to use statutory law (made by the Legislature) to prove that a defendant was automatically liable for a personal injury accident if the statute was violated.

The applicable statute is California Vehicle Code section 21703 which provides that “[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.”  If a motorist follows too closely and rear ends another vehicle in Los Angeles, it is likely that section 21703 will be violated.

A victim can use the doctrine of negligence per se to automatically establish liability against a defendant in California.  This means that a victim will only have to focus on damages and establishing that his or her injuries were related to the subject motor vehicle accident.

Injured in a Rear End Car Accident in California?  Ask the Broadway Law Firm for Help

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a Los Angeles rear end car accident involving a car, truck, delivery van, SUV, or any other type of motor vehicle, call the Broadway Law Firm to learn what your rights may be under California law.  We offer FREE consultations and only get paid when you get paid in a settlement or court award.  This means there is no upfront financial risk to hiring out experienced car accident lawyers to help you and your family recover the compensation that you deserve.  Schedule your FREE consultation by dialing 213.444.3155 or by using our easy-to-use contact us box available by clicking the link here.

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