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Oakland Personal Injury > Blog > Car Accident > 4 California Car Accident Laws Victims Need to Know

4 California Car Accident Laws Victims Need to Know


Alameda County may fall in seventh place in terms of population among other counties in California, but there is another rank that should be a concern for motorists in the Oakland area. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), Alameda County is 20th of 58 counties when it comes to fatal and injury car accidents. More than 11,200 people are killed or suffer bodily injuries, and the consequences extend to entire households. The physical, emotional, and financial losses can be staggering.

While you do have rights if you were injured or lost a loved one, the legal process is quite complex. There are numerous statutes, case precedent, and procedural rules that impact your rights, so it is wise to trust an Oakland car accident lawyer for assistance. Still, there are a few laws you need to know to protect your own interests. 

  1. California’s Statute of Limitations: State law imposes a time restriction on all personal injury cases, including those based upon auto collisions. You have two years to file a lawsuit in court, and the statute of limitations starts on the date of the accident. If you fail to initiate litigation, you are forever barred from recovering any monetary damages. Note that the clock continues to run even when you have filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer and are negotiating settlement.
  1. Legal Definition of Negligence: The basis for liability in a motor vehicle collision is negligence, so you must prove several sets of facts to recover compensation. They are:
  • You need to show that the responsible motorist had a legal duty to drive safely;
  • You must present evidence that the other driver breached this legal duty through careless acts;
  • You have to establish causation, i.e., the accident would not have happened but for the at-fault motorist’s breach of duty; and
  • You need to prove that you suffered losses because of your injuries.
  1. Comparative Negligence: The concept of negligence applies to your conduct as well, so your compensation may be impacted by your own careless misconduct. California’s version of comparative negligence operates to reduce your monetary damages by the amount of fault attributable to your own actions. For instance, if you are determined to be 20 percent at fault, you will only receive 80 percent of what would be due to you.
  1. Wrongful Death Statute: If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may qualify to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. You are still required to prove the essential elements of negligence, but you must also show that you have standing as a surviving family member or other individual named in the statute.

Our Oakland Car Accident Attorneys Will Handle the Details 

Many other California laws and statutes apply to auto crash claims, but you can trust our lawyers at Venardi Zurada, LLP to navigate the complexities. We have in-depth knowledge of the relevant concepts and strategies for obtaining the compensation you deserve. To learn more, please contact our firm to set up a no-cost consultation at our offices in Oakland, Orinda, or Redding, CA.



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You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:

  • We have served Northern California for over 35 years.

  • Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.

  • In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.

  • We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.

  • We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.

  • We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.

  • We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.

  • We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.

  • There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.

Dedicated Areas of Practice

We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:

Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.

Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.

The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.

Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.

Location1 OAKLAND

1418 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612
PH: 510-832-4295 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)
FX: 510-832-4364

Location2 ORINDA

25 Orinda Way, Suite 250, Orinda, CA 94563
PH: 925-937-3900 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)
FX: 925-937-3905

Location3 REDDING

1650 Oregon Street, Suite 201, Redding, CA 96001
PH: 530-830-3473 PH: 510-832-4298 (Español)