You may be wondering if you should hire a lawyer for a car accident in California. The answer is an absolute yes. A car accident can have many legal implications, depending on the severity.
The general rule is that you can file a claim and get some money back, but if you have serious injuries, you should hire an attorney.
By “serious,” we mean any injury that will cause you to miss work. If you walk away from an accident with a few scratches and body damage to your car, insurance companies are usually pretty good about paying for the repairs.
What they aren’t so good at is paying for personal repairs. The reason for this is that some people try to defraud insurance companies by claiming significant irreparable damage to their bodies when none exists.
This bias makes the insurance companies scrutinize every claim even legitimate ones. As a result, insurance companies will stress test your case as much as possible against their policyholder.
This entails poring over your medical records and interpreting ambiguities in police reports against you. This is, in essence, their job.
A car accident involving speeding would be an easy case to prove negligence under California law. California is an at-fault state, which means that whoever is at fault in a car accident bears the majority, if not all, of the blame. If you are unaware of this, you may attempt to negotiate your insurance claims. This can quickly turn into a nightmare.
After an accident, you’ll have to deal with the police, your insurance company, possibly the insurance company of someone else, and the medical field. Does that sound so intimidating? It is!
An experienced accident attorney can assist you in dealing with these issues. After a car accident, contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
It is important that you understand what your rights are. You can hire a lawyer to help protect them.
A good lawyer will know and understand the applicable laws and can assist you with filing insurance claims, issuing subpoenas, requesting medical records, and more. A good lawyer is also able to help you better weigh the evidence in your case and advise you on the best ways to proceed.
Why Should I Get A Lawyer For A Car Accident Case?
Let’s review some of the considerations so that you can make an informed decision.
1. Accurate compensation value
This is your right, and it’s important that you understand what your actual injuries and damages are worth. Your lawyer will be able to do this for you as they have a lot more experience than you in these.
2. Negotiating with your insurance company
You have a right to negotiate with any insurance company, including the one that is liable for your accident. You should consider negotiating a cash settlement and you’ll be in a strong position for negotiation with an injury lawyer by your side.
3. Entitlements for medical services
Your insurance company is obligated to cover some of your medical expenses in the case of an accident. The more seriously injured you are, the better, and who better to champion your cause for this than an accident lawyer?
If you have any disabilities or long-term medical needs that are the result of your car accident, you should focus on them. A good lawyer will be able to help you show that these injuries were caused by the accident, not something else.
4. Pay for future costs
You can also focus on the cost of your future treatment. For example, if you are going to need therapy or prescription medication after an accident, a good lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance company as to how much they should pay.
In summary, these considerations will enable you to focus on your health while your lawyer focuses on your case. You will want to seek medical attention following a car accident, even if you feel fine.
Medical records may help you file a claim with your insurance company. Remember that you do not have to accept the initial settlement an insurance company offers you. If you do, you may lose your right to pursue a lawsuit to receive fair compensation should your injuries prove more devastating in the future.
A car accident lawyer may help you build your case and speak with your insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. Our goal is to reach an out-of-court settlement that you deserve, but we have no issue going to trial and fighting for you there as well.
See also: 17 best lawyers in Michigan for car accidents
What A Lawyer Can Do In Your Case
You shouldn’t be responsible for paying out-of-pocket costs for injuries and property damage that someone else caused. A lawyer can address any of your inquiries, go over your legal choices with you, and keep you informed of developments in your case if you hire them as your client.
The negligent party should be held accountable for their actions and compensate you for your damages. A lawyer may perform the following to show proof that you suffered because of the defendant’s negligence:
- Obtain a police report outlining the accident’s specifics.
- Interview witnesses and gather their testimony.
- enlist the assistance of experts in accident reconstruction and expert testimony
- Get your most recent medical records by speaking with your doctor.
How to Show Negligence
The four components of carelessness may also be used by an attorney to demonstrate your innocence in the case. Negligence has several components, such as:
- Duty of care: The other driver had a duty of care to you.
- The other driver broke their obligation to exercise care.
- Cause: Losses and injuries were brought on by the culpable party’s negligence.
- Damages: As the plaintiff, you had monetary losses and harms that a monetary award might be able to compensate you.
- Your situation can demonstrate that the accident you had was avoidable. If your injuries turn out to be permanent, you shouldn’t have to worry about your losses extending into the future.
Financial Prizes You Might Win
Depending on the losses you experienced in your case, you might be eligible for both economic and non-economic rewards. These losses could include, among others:
- Pain and suffering
- medical expenses
- Mental suffering
- damage to property
- Physical therapy
- lost income
- If you were injured without your fault, you can file an insurance claim or file a lawsuit to get compensation.
DETERMINING FAULT IN A CALIFORNIA CAR ACCIDENT
California is a state that is at fault. Accordingly, the insurance provider of the motorist who is determined to be at fault in an automobile accident will be responsible for the majority, if not the entirety, of the expenses.
Very few motorists are prepared to accept responsibility right away. Until you’ve spoken with a lawyer, you shouldn’t as well.
If you believe you were at fault, try not to get yourself in a pickle. California is also a pure comparative negligence state.
So it is very necessary in car accident cases even if you are not at fault to contact a legal expert because of the legalities involved. You could pay as much as 50% if the other side can prove you’re equally responsible for the accident even if you are not.
Also, the setup of the Legal system in California means that you can recover some damages if you are at fault, depending on how “at fault” you were.
The police may inform you at the time that you and the other party are equally accountable if you are judged to be 50% at fault. If the other motorist hadn’t been partially to blame for the collision, you could still be awarded damages in California.
According to California’s pure comparative negligence rule, you are entitled to get 50% of the damages in this situation.
A California personal injury lawyer can be able to assist you in constructing a case that lowers your percentage of responsibility for an accident.
California’s duty of care regulations decides who is at fault in a vehicle accident case. The motorist will be identified as the one who fell short the greatest in upholding their duty of care on the roadways.
It may not happen on the day of the accident. Sometimes California Highway Patrol puts an investigation unit on the situation to recreate the accident and assign fault.
The party found to be negligent will have been negligent in providing their duty of care on the road. That could be anything from careless and reckless driving to drunk driving.
These are some of the most common duty of care breaches in California car accidents:
- Careless driving, such as failing to check a blind spot
- Going through a red light
- Texting and driving
- Drinking and driving
- Distracted driving, such as talking on the phone when driving
- Road rage
You might have little knowledge about California law and the intricacies of insurance claims. Having an accident lawyer on your side is a sure way to ensure that things don’t get any worse than they already are.
As long as you contact an expert soon after the crash, you’ll be able to move forward with your life instead of worrying about whether or not you’re doing the right thing.