How can headlights impact a car accident claim?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | car accidents, Personal injury |

Driving at night is always a risk. Darkness can impair your ability to see, traffic is heavy and you have a higher chance of encountering intoxicated drivers. However, there is another threat that people often overlook: drivers with broken or dim headlights.

Despite California’s strict headlight laws, many continue to ignore them, posing a hazard to everyone on the road. If you are involved in a car accident caused by improper headlight use, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether it is you or the other driver, headlights may play a pivotal role in your claim.

Who is liable for a headlight accident?

The wrong use of headlights or not using them at all can result in devastating accidents. High beams at night may temporarily blind other drivers, while broken headlights make it harder to see potential hazards or other motorists.

To avoid causing harm to others, it’s crucial to be aware and follow California headlight laws. For instance, drivers in California must turn on their headlights 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. Additionally, it is not just a courtesy to dim your high beams when near other vehicles but a legal requirement.

In a car accident claim, a driver’s failure to comply with headlight laws may be seen as negligence, a critical factor in determining liability. Sometimes, even a third party can be liable if their careless use of headlights led to the accident.

What if my headlights were off?

California follows a comparative fault system. If you were involved in a collision while your headlights were off, you may be found partly at fault for the accident. This finding may reduce the compensation you are eligible to receive.

Drivers owe one another a duty of care. If you believe that factors such as poor headlight usage or lack thereof are vital to your case or you need help filing a claim, consider consulting an attorney in California. They can advise you on the most effective strategy for pursuing compensation.