Did you sustain serious injuries in a car accident in California? Do you feel overwhelmed with nerves or anxiousness when thinking about having to go through a personal injury lawsuit? If so, you’re not alone. Many victims of a car accident have had these thoughts and emotions as the process of filing a personal injury claim can feel like a lot to take in.
Legal representation is important to acquire after a car accident. A car accident attorney will handle all of the difficult tasks while you focus on recovering from any physical or mental injuries you endured from the traumatic event. If you are searching for legal assistance, our qualified California car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are readily available to help get you the compensation and justice you deserve.
Car accidents are very common in California. According to the most recent car accident data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), California had a total of 3,558 fatal motor vehicle accidents and 3,847 deaths in 2020.
It is important to have legal representation after a car accident. Your California car accident attorney will help strengthen your personal injury claim and negotiate with insurance companies to get you recoverable compensation. This includes receiving coverage for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Choosing not to have legal representation can make it difficult for you to balance your priorities, such as gathering evidence and speaking to an insurance company, all on your own. If an insurance company notices that you do not have an attorney on your side, they will view you as an easy target to trick into accepting a low offer. By not having an attorney guiding you through the do’s and don’ts of going through a lawsuit, you may reveal certain information to the insurance company that could greatly affect your settlement offer.
Determining liability after a car accident can be difficult, especially if more than one party is involved. You will need to gather information and evidence to have solid proof of who committed acts of negligence. Negligence is identified as a form of reckless or careless behavior. It is against the law to perform negligent actions as it can pose a safety risk to others nearby.
To successfully prove negligence, you will have to present the following three elements:
A duty of care is defined as a legal obligation that is required for a person to follow in order to prevent foreseeable harm from happening to others.
For example, a duty of care for a driver means paying attention to the road and obeying traffic laws. If a driver is speeding or driving while under the influence, and it ultimately causes a car accident, then that driver will be held accountable for damages.
A duty of care can apply to all sorts of situations other than car accidents. Let’s say a grocery store requires its employees to place a warning sign after they finish cleaning the floors. However, one employee forgot to have the warning sign placed over the wet surface area, which resulted in a customer getting into a slip and fall accident.
There is no predictable or guaranteed settlement offer for a car accident. Compensation will greatly depend on the circumstances involved in your case. The seriousness of your injuries and the way the car accident occurred will all be taken into consideration in order to determine the total amount of compensation that should be awarded.
The more severe your injuries are, the more likely it will be for you to acquire a higher settlement offer. Furthermore, if the other party was especially negligent or intentionally inflicted harm onto you, you may be entitled to receive additional compensation.
Compensatory damages are typically divided into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include compensation for tangible losses, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. It is intended to compensate a victim for losses a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses a victim has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
Non-economic damages include intangible losses, such as loss of consortium, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. This covers losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses.
Punitive damages are separate from compensatory damages and are intended to punish a wrongdoer for negligent or deliberately harmful behavior. Even driving without a license is punishable because it is considered a crime in California.
Depending on the circumstances, a California court may award punitive damages. There is no set standard for calculating or awarding punitive damages.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. Our California car accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.