After a car accident, the most asked question is, “Do I have a claim?”
You may have been physically injured in a car crash and want to know if you can hold the other person responsible. If there is no case, you may be thinking, why waste your time?
Knowing whether a car accident victim has a claim is one of the most complex questions to answer. The surest way to confirm whether you have a case is by consulting a Bay Area car accident lawyer. Our knowledgeable lawyers can review your specific case since every single car accident is different. The cause is different. The damages are different. The insurance coverage will also be different.
There are a few signs that will indicate when calling an attorney might be worthwhile. Below are a few examples of what a lawyer will look for in a car accident case to determine whether a claim exists.
1. You Weren’t Entirely to Blame
Liability is an essential part of a claim. It refers to the person legally at fault or responsible for an accident. In California, a valid claim is one where you can prove that the other party is at fault for the crash. It doesn’t mean that you still can’t pursue a claim if you were partially at fault. Under the Bay Area’s pure comparative fault law, a plaintiff’s negligence in causing the accident will offset liability. While you won’t recover 100% of your damages if you were at fault, you may still be able to recover something.
2. Sustained Injuries
Pursuing a claim is dependent on damages. If you were involved in a car accident but did not sustain any injuries, then you may not have a claim. Minor bruising and scrapes might not generate much compensation. On the other hand, bills and personal suffering will likely be higher when extensive medical care is needed. That means that damages will also increase. The more severe the injuries, the more you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and potential pain and suffering.
3. Economic Damages
Every successful car accident claim involves actual losses. Put another way, you must have incurred actual damages — that you must be able to prove — as a result of the collision. Evidence that may contribute to your claim for economic damages includes medical records, hospital bills, pay stubs, tax returns, and receipts for reasonably necessary replacement services.
4. The Filing Deadline Hasn’t Passed
Every state gives victims a certain amount of time to file their claims. In California, that time is the “statute of limitations.” It is two years from the date of injury. If you miss that two-year window, you will not be able to seek compensation.
There are some exemptions to this two-year deadline. It’s always best to consult with an attorney shortly after your car accident so that you preserve your claim and build a strong case.
Bay Area Car Accident Lawyer
Are you still uncertain if you have a claim or not? The law offices of Daniel H. Rose have written about many car accident topics. You can read more about what you should do after a car accident on our blog. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific case. Simply schedule a consultation with our experienced Bay Area accident attorneys today.