Understanding Car Accident Laws

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Legislators in each State have enacted traffic laws that cover everything from car insurance to driving under the influence (DUI) to determining who is at fault in a car accident. If you break any of these laws and cause an auto accident, you may end up in jail or have your driving license suspended. To avoid these legal repercussions, you should seek legal advice from the best car accident lawyer in Sacramento. Some of the key aspects of other State car accident laws include:

Car Insurance Laws

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in Sacramento without adequate car insurance. As such, all motorists in Sacramento must have the following minimum auto insurance coverage:

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

Besides the minimum coverage, motorists can also purchase additional auto insurance policies including:

Comprehensive coverage. This insurance plan covers non-traffic accident related damages such as theft.

Collision coverage that covers damages resulting from a multiple-vehicle accident.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It is wise to purchase this coverage because it covers damages associated with a car accident in the event the other party is uninsured or underinsured.

Medical and funeral coverage. This policy essentially pays for both medical and funeral expenses arising from an auto accident.

It is important to note that, in order to register a vehicle in Sacramento or anywhere in California, you must have adequate liability insurance. Motorists who cause accidents while driving without adequate auto coverage risk being sued. As such, it is important to learn about Sacramento auto insurance laws. For instance, according to Prop 103, insurance companies must offer good drivers a monthly premium discount of 20%.

DUI Laws

Figures from MADD show that DUI related deaths accounted for 28.7% of all road traffic fatalities in 2015. In addition, 1.9% of motorists in California say they have driven after drinking too much — the national average is 1.8%. As such, California has enacted laws to protect road users from drunk drivers. To start with, it is illegal for Sacramento motorists 21 years or older to operate a vehicle when their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Furthermore, motorists cannot operate a commercial vehicle while their BAC is 0.04% or higher. For minors (younger than 21 years), the BAC limit is 0.01% or higher. It is worth noting that these DUI laws also apply to certain medications that could affect a person’s ability to operate a car. At the same time, California follows the Zero Tolerance doctrine in reference to drivers under the age of 21. Motorists who flout these DUI laws risk:

• Jail time
• Heavy fines
• Driving license suspension
• Mandatory DUI school attendance
• Installation of ignition interlock device (IID)
It is impossible to cover all the legal intricacies related to DUI laws meaning it is wise to consult a competent Sacramento car accident attorney.

Negligence Doctrine

All California jurisdictions, including Sacramento, follow the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, which means allocation of fault in car accidents is typically determined percentage wise. For instance, a jury may determine that the plaintiff in a vehicle accident case bears 70% of the fault and the defendant 30% of the fault. Furthermore, California has also adopted the pure comparative fault doctrine. This essentially means that an aggrieved party can seek damages even if he/she is almost entirely responsible (up to 99% at fault) for causing a car accident. In comparison, states that follow the modified comparative fault doctrine do not allow one to seek damages/compensation if he/she is at least 51% at fault. Without the help of an experienced Sacramento lawyer, it would be impossible to seek the compensation you deserve from the at-fault-party.

License Suspension Laws

Firstly, law enforcers have the authority to take away the license of any motorist who fails a BAC test (found to be at or above the legal BAC limit). The same is true for motorists who refuse to undergo BAC testing. Remember such motorists could cause fatalities or injuries to other road users. According to the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, your driver’s license can also be suspended if:

• You fail to correct a traffic violation
• You fail to attend a scheduled court hearing
• Fail to pay an outstanding fine
• Fail to settle child support payments
• Fail to produce proof of car insurance
Other license suspension penalties include:
• Issuance of warrant of arrest
• A hold placed on your driving license
• A hold placed on your vehicle registration
• Imposition of a civil assessment (of up to $300)
• Referring your fine to a debt collection agency

You could also lose your driver’s license indefinitely if you have been banned from driving due to a physical or mental disorder. To avoid the inconveniences associated with these penalties, you should consult a car accident attorney who has handled similar cases in the past.


Motorists should understand the car accident regulations that are likely to affect them. These include car insurance, driving under the influence, negligence doctrine, and license suspension laws. To learn more about Sacramento car accident laws, contact the best Sacramento car accident lawyer today.

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