When a car accident occurs in California, one of the most important steps taken after appropriate medical care is provided is to determine what likely caused it. There are several reasons why this is necessary. Law enforcement officials need to know who to charge if laws were broken. Also, insurance companies and victims or their families need to know who to hold accountable financially and legally.
One of the most common reasons for car accidents is simple human error. The potential for careless action is even greater if device use or another form of distraction, such as applying makeup, dealing with kids or multitasking while behind the wheel, is involved. Driving under the influence of any type of substance, whether it's alcohol, drugs or prescription medication, also greatly increases the risk of accidents while driving.
While seizures, strokes, heart attacks, fatigue for medical reasons and other health-related issues aren't always controllable or predictable, drivers may be able to reduce their accident risk by handing over driving duties to someone else if they are clearly not feeling well or not able to focus. Some accidents are caused by drivers who get lost or lack awareness of local rules of the road. Mechanical failure or manufacturer malfunctions are accident causes typically not controllable by a driver. However, drivers can be held responsible for accidents due to a lack of proper vehicle maintenance. Faulty traffic lights, weather conditions and stray animals are additional factors that can play a role in accidents.
When an attorney is contacted about a car accident that resulted in serious injuries, the first step normally taken is to identify responsible parties and determine their degree of fault. If a defective vehicle was a contributing factor, a lawyer may recommend considering action against the car's manufacturer or a mechanic who worked on it.