Car Accident FAQ

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

  • Rear-End Collisions: are easily the most common type of car crash and usually result from a distracted driver failing to yield to a car in front of them in time. Fortunately, rarely are these accidents serious.
  • Single-Vehicle Crashes: are those which involve only one car, and are often caused by younger drivers who slip on ice, spin out of control, or otherwise lose control of the vehicle. Typically these are not viable personal injury cases because they have not been caused by a third party.
  • T-Bone or Cross Traffic Accidents: are those occurring in intersections, and are usually the result of one driver failing turning left without yielding, failing to stop or running a red light. Because these accidents often involve high-speeds, they can be particularly devastating.
  • Clipping or Merging Accidents: are those where one driver sideswipes another car, usually as the result of failing to fully check their blind spots before merging into another lane.
  • Low Speed Accidents: known as fender benders, these are accidents that usually don’t involve a lot of damage as long as pedestrians aren’t involved.

In California, you are generally required to report a car accident to the police when:

  • Anyone is injured (even slightly) or killed.
  • Property damage reaches $1,000.
  • Any of the drivers are unlicensed or intoxicated.

You must report the accident by calling 911 if anyone is injured or intoxicated.

If the other driver is unlicensed or flees the scene, the accident should be reported to a non-emergency police number.

California is what is known as a “comparative fault state”, which simply means fault can be shared between one or more parties in the accident. If you were not the majority at fault party, you may still be eligible for a partial reward under California law.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our car crash attorneys only represent clients who have received emergency medical treatment. This usually means broken bones, head trauma, or injuries that require surgery.

There is no upfront cost to work with a car accident attorney. And should we choose to represent you, you won’t pay anything unless we win.

  • Failing to get medical attention simply because you lack insurance. Not only is it important for your health, it’s important for establishing a timeline to your claim as well.
  • Providing a recorded statement to insurance adjustors.
  • Providing insurance adjustors access to your social security number. They are not entitled to this information and will try to use it to find evidence they can use against you.
  • Failing to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your case.

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers also represents pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, and Uber/rideshare accident clients.

If a driver hits you and leaves the scene of the accident, you can still seek compensation.

California takes hit-and-run accidents very seriously. Anyone who is in an accident with injuries or property damage is required to stop and remain at the scene.

Hit-and-run drivers can face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances:

Misdemeanor hit-and-runs: A misdemeanor hit-and-run can result in up to 6 months in county jail, 3 years of probation, and $1,000 in fines. A hit-and-run driver usually faces misdemeanor charges if they fled the scene but nobody was injured in the accident.

Felony hit-and-runs: A hit-and-run rises to the level of a felony when there are injuries from the accident. These felony charges can result in up to 3 years in California state prison or 4 years if someone was severely injured or killed. There may also be a steep fine of up to $10,000 plus restitution paid to the victim.