Does filing a personal injury claim require a court appearance?
A motor vehicle accident claim is usually settled out of court and through negotiations with the parties and related insurance companies involved. Despite this, many insurers attempt to settle claims quickly and for the least amount possible. However, in instances where the insurance company does not make an acceptable offer, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf for complete compensation.
In California, how much compensation am I entitled to after a car accident?
California allows you to recover both general and special damages.
General damages are for elements such as pain and suffering or how the accident and injury have affected your quality of life. It is challenging to specify how much money should be allocated for such damages as there is no set rule. It typically depends, however, on what kind of injury you suffered, how much discomfort you endured, and how long your injury lasted.
Among special damages are healthcare-related expenses due to the accident (e.g., general medical fees, prescription costs, and therapy or treatment expenses). Also included under special damages may be lost wages and repair costs for your vehicle.
You will receive compensation based on the type of injury you sustained, the cost of hospital care and medical treatment, and any losses you have incurred due to the accident. Many accidents may cause significant trauma to the victim, which deserves consideration when establishing compensation amounts.
Is it possible to seek compensation for both past and future expenses?
Past and current medical expenses are more straightforward to calculate as bills, statements, and receipts are all accessible. Although future medical expenses are not as simple to document, as they have not yet occurred, they can be evaluated and determined. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and any injury requiring extensive treatments or long-term therapy can add up quickly as future costs. During litigation or negotiations for compensation, your attorney can establish reasonable estimates for these costs as well as treatment needs. Expert testimony from doctors and healthcare providers is often used for this purpose.
What do I have to prove for my California accident claim to succeed?
California law requires that you prove the other party was negligent in how they operated their vehicle. In other words, you must demonstrate the following factors:
- The defendant was negligent in how they operated their vehicle or neglected traffic laws. For example, the defendant may have sped, ran a red light, or engaged in distracted driving behavior.
- That plaintiff suffered an injury.
- That defendant’s negligence significantly contributed to the harm the plaintiff suffered.
Note: In instances where you are partially at fault for an accident, you may still recover compensation if you can demonstrate that the defendant’s actions also played a meaningful role in the collision.
When pursuing a personal injury claim, how can an attorney help?
Although you won’t always require an attorney to file a car accident or associated personal injury claim, having proficient counsel on your side can significantly reduce the stress of the entire process and ensure you receive just compensation. An attorney can assist in investigating the collision, gathering evidence to demonstrate fault and determine damages, and estimating the value of those damages. In addition, your lawyer may negotiate settlements when appropriate, represent you in litigation and fight on your behalf for your right to complete compensation. Contact our Bay Area personal injury firm today for a free consultation.