Californians are about to have a new cost added to their embrace of car loving lifestyles: a “first responder/accident responder” fee that would charge motorists responsible for car accidents the cost to the Fire Department for cleaning up the wreckage. San Francisco is the first major city in California to pass such a fee, and the SFFD expects to begin collecting on it within the next week. The fee would charge motorists up to $500 for cleanup associated with a crash and is expected to raise up to $626,000 a year. Meanwhile, other cities around the state including Sacramento, Modesto, and Fresno are all considering passing similar fees.
The San Francisco law states that all fees will be charged directly to insurance companies, and supposedly will only be charged to motorists found at fault in an accident. However, it remains to be seen what effects the law might actually have on drivers. For example, the law leaves open the possibility of protracted battles over who is at fault in an accident, and could potentially lead to a new area of confusion
for injured parties involved in car accidents.
As consumer attorneys, we at the Dolan Law Firm oppose any fees that will increase the cost of an accident on injured parties. Being involved in a car or motorcycle accident is a harrowing experience, especially if the accident results in serious property damage, injury, or even death. Currently, all California drivers are required to carry insurance in the amount of $15,000 for injury or death and $5,000 for property damage.
Unfortunately, many drivers fail to carry sufficient insurance. If this law is passed and insurance rates go up, it is possible that we will see that number increase. Our attorneys specializing in car accidents deal
far too often with people who are injured in a car accident but need to turn to their own
uninsured or underinsured policy for compensation.
If you have been involved in a car accident and sustained serious injury or property damage, we may be able to help you. The California car accident attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm have helped thousands of
people who suffered serious injuries in car crashes in the Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento area.
When you need legal advice and don’t know where to turn, you can contact our office at 415-636-8160 or e-mail us for assistance.