California is well known for its busy roadways, and with that congestion, comes an increased risk of car accidents. If you are involved in a “fender-bender,” you may not need an attorney’s help. However, if you suffered significant injuries, do not leave your compensation in the hands of insurance companies.
Discuss your case with a reputable Rialto car accident lawyer who will advocate for maximizing your recovery. A knowledgeable attorney could prove to be helpful with calculating damages and determining the amount of damages owed to you.
Duty of Care Owed by Drivers
Even the safest drivers can end up in a wreck. When others drive recklessly, distracted, or intoxicated, everyone else on the road is at risk, or if they fail to account for hazardous road conditions, collisions may be unavoidable. Some mishaps result from vehicle malfunction, and in those instances, the injured parties seek restitution from car manufacturers and others in the supply chain.
Local car wreck attorneys have the resources and background to identify the responsible parties. They will build a case using police reports, crash reenactment experts, and witness interviews to justify a suitable settlement or jury verdict.
Relying on Insurance
Most drivers assume that someone’s car insurance will pay for vehicle damage and associated injuries if they get into an accident. In straightforward wrecks, it may work this way. However, when the incident is complicated and the damage extensive, the representation of a trained vehicle accident attorney may make the difference between receiving a subpar or satisfactory settlement offer.
More accident cases settle than go to court, but injured drivers should carefully review offers to ensure that they meet their current and future expenses. Every insurance company, even the driver’s own company, is a business, and they will attempt to resolve the accident with as small a payout as possible.
Many first offers devalue the true nature of the injuries. Seasoned car collision attorneys regularly stand up to insurance companies. They negotiate fair settlements for their clients, and if the parties cannot reach an agreement, these lawyers pursue damages in court.
Avoid Jeopardizing an Award
Auto accident victims may pursue both economic and non-economic damages:
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
However, proof of sustaining an injury does not guarantee a damages award. For example, non-economic damages for pain and suffering and similar harm are unavailable if the injured driver-operated an uninsured vehicle or drove while intoxicated. Other actions by the victim can also diminish, and in some cases nullify, their ability to seek restitution.
The assignment of blame for the wreck forms the basis for allocating compensation, whether via a settlement or court judgment. Under California’s law of pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff may recover only that portion of non-economic damages linked to the defendant’s level of responsibility. If the defendant is 70 percent responsible, the plaintiff receives 30 percent of the award. Alternatively, if the plaintiff bears 75 percent of the blame, they may recover only 25 percent of the amount awarded.
Lawyers who regularly represent car accident victims work hard to uncover critical evidence and craft a case that minimizes the effect of any finger-pointing and protects the amount received.
Do Not Miss the Window
A limited timeframe exists for filing an action after a car wreck – two years for bodily injury, emotional harm, and wrongful death (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 335.1) and three years for property damage (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 338(c)). Failure to file within these periods jettisons an injured party’s compensation claim.
Contact a Rialto Car Accident Attorney Today
We understand that not every motor vehicle collision requires an attorney’s involvement to reach a fair settlement. However, when you need a professional to deal with insurance companies or move forward with litigation, our Rialto car accident lawyers have the necessary skill and experience. Call us today to review your case and start on the path to a rightful recovery.