Can I File a Car Accident Lawsuit in San Marcos?

Motor vehicle collisions in San Marcos and throughout San Diego County can be devastating, and even a relatively minor crash with limited injuries can prevent you from returning to work for weeks, months, or even longer. After a car accident caused by another motorist or another party, you may be wondering if you are eligible to file a car accident lawsuit against the party who is responsible for your personal injuries and property damage. In many instances, it is possible to file a lawsuit, but you may have additional options for seeking compensation, as well. One of our San Marcos car accident attorneys can explain in more detail.

You Do Not Need to Meet Any Threshold to File a Lawsuit

Some states are “no-fault” states for auto insurance purposes, which means that you would need to meet a financial or injury “threshold” in order to be eligible to file a lawsuit. We want to be clear that California is not a “no-fault” state, and you do not need to meet any threshold in order to file a lawsuit. If you can prove that another party was liable, you may be able to move forward immediately with a lawsuit.

You Might Want to Start with an Auto Insurance Claim

While you might be eligible to immediately file a car accident lawsuit in San Marcos — which we will explain below — you might want to start the process of seeking financial compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. In general, based on California’s auto insurance laws, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, or you might be able to file a first-party claim through your own auto insurance in some circumstances. There are benefits and limitations to each approach. 

In general, a third-party claim means that you do not need to pay your deductible upfront. However, you might run into issues with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance limits, which could prevent you from receiving full compensation for your losses. If that is the case, you might be able to file a car accident lawsuit. A first-party claim might be necessary in some cases, such as when the other motorist was uninsured or in cases where the accident resulted from an issue like a product defect (such as a tire defect or brake defects). In those instances, you may be able to obtain compensation initially through an auto insurance claim before filing a product liability lawsuit against the liable party.

You Will Need to Consider the Statute of Limitations

You can only file a car accident lawsuit if you do so before the statute of limitations runs out. Under California law, most people have two years to file a car accident lawsuit, but there are some cases where you must file an initial claim within six months or one year. To be sure you remain eligible to file a lawsuit, you should seek advice from an attorney as soon as possible after the collision.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in San Marcos

Do you need assistance with a car accident case? Our firm can help. One of our San Marcos auto accident lawyers can speak with you today. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.

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