California Car Accidents Overview
Car accidents in California are more common than ever. There were more than 3,500 deadly car accidents last year. The number of deadly accidents in 2017 will probably be even higher. There are many theories about why serious car accidents are happening more frequently. Some suggestions include an increase in distracted driving and driving under the influence of marijuana. Others suggest that traffic conditions are getting worse as the economy gets better. California’s roads are becoming more congested as more people go back to work.
If you have been injured in a California car accident you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to speak with an experienced California car accident attorney as soon as you can. Car accident lawsuits must be filed within a specific period of time. Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations will prevent you from getting the money you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Car accidents are stressful. If you suffer serious injuries you may become overwhelmed. It is important to keep the following suggestions in mind. These will help you to stay safe and maximize the money you get.
- Call the Police. A police report is a valuable tool in a car accident lawsuit. The police report itself is not admissible as evidence. The information it contains, however, can be very helpful in designing your case. Information that may be included in a police report includes:
- The names and addresses of anyone involved in the accident;
- Descriptions, photographs, and/or diagrams of the accident and damage;
- Witness statements;
- Preliminary determinations of fault; and
- Descriptions of weather, road, and traffic conditions.
- See a Doctor. Your health and safety should be your number one priority after a California car accident. It is important to see a doctor for a full medical evaluation, even if you do not think you have been injured. Internal injuries can be hard to diagnose. These injuries can cause serious issues if they linger. The medical report will also be very valuable to your attorney. The report will help to prove that your injuries were caused by your accident. The less time between your medical evaluation and your accident, the better.
- Call an Attorney. You should only speak to three people after a car accident: police, your doctor, and your attorney. Do not speak with other parties or insurance companies. Insurance companies will try to limit the amount of money you receive. They will try to take advantage of your emotions and the stressful situation. Consult an attorney before discussing compensation. Your attorney will understand how insurance companies operate. They will use this knowledge and experience to get the best possible settlement for you.
Why Should I File A Car Accident Lawsuit?
Car accidents are expensive. Your car and other property may be severely damaged. The cost of repairing or replacing that property can be expensive. If you suffer serious bodily injuries you will probably be faced with extraordinary medical bills. According to the CDC, California car accidents generated more than $38 million in medical costs in 2013. IF you are like most Americans, you probably do not have enough saved away to cover all of these costs. Fortunately, California car accident victims can recover accident-related damages by filing a personal injury claim. Filing a car accident lawsuit could help you recover damages to compensate for:
- Prescription medication
- Nursing care
- Salary/wages lost while you recover from your injury
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
What If I Was Partially At Fault For the Car Accident?
In California, car accident victims can recover compensation as long as they are not entirely at fault. This means that you could potentially recover compensation through a car accident lawsuit if you were 99% responsible for causing an accident. This is because California law follows the theory of comparative fault. Your ability to recover compensation is tied to your own degree of fault. The greater your role in causing the accident, the less you will be able to recover in damages.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you were involved in an accident. The other driver was speeding and texting at the time of the accident. If you did not contribute to the cause of the accident you would be entitled to recover 100% of your car accident-related damages. If, however, you were also talking on the phone, texting, or scrolling through social media you could also be at fault for the accident. Let’s say that it is determined that you were 40% responsible for the accident. This means that your ability to recover damages would be reduced by 40%. So, if you suffered $100,000 in damages you would only be permitted to recover $60,000. The other driver, then, would be able to recover 40% of his or her damages from you.
Hiring an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a California car accident? You may be entitled to compensation. The best way to maximize the amount of money you get is by hiring an experienced California car accident lawyer to handle your case. Attorneys understand the complex California personal injury laws and procedures. An attorney will use their knowledge and experience to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Remember, there is a limited amount of time to file a claim after an accident. In most cases, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of an accident. It is important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can. Contact our office today for more information.