Since you’re here, we assume you’re considering contacting a California car accident attorney about a potential claim. If that’s true, there are a few things you should know about our firm. (¿Necesita ayuda en español? Visite nuestro nuevo sitio web: https://www.suequipolegal.com)
- Personal Injury Attorneys: Samir Sheth and Julie Lu.
- Our firm takes the most personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay any attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for you.
- The hardworking attorneys at AR | Legal Team care about you, and we fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your case.
Contact our attorneys to start building your case today. Not ready to talk to a lawyer? No problem.
We invite you to keep reading to gain a better understanding of what it means to have a car accident claim and to hire a California car accident lawyer.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Getting in a car accident can be a jarring experience. Even if you aren’t sure if you are seriously injured, the experience of the crash itself can be very overwhelming. If you do think you might have an injury, the situation can be even worse.
There are specific steps that you should take after a car accident to preserve any potential claim you may have.
Here, we’ll walk you through them.
10 Steps To Take After Your Car Accident
- Assess your injuries. Before you move, take stock of your possible injuries. If you feel that you are seriously injured, do not move. Instead, ask someone else to call an ambulance.
- Prioritize your safety. Make yourself safe as soon as you can. If the car isn’t a hazard for oncoming traffic, leave it where it is, but make sure you are out of the road.
- Check on the safety of your passengers. If you were traveling with any passengers, check to see if they have sustained any injuries.
- Call 911. Even if you don’t feel that you or your passengers are seriously injured, you must call the police. When they arrive, the police can create an accident report. The report will contain their own documentation of the accident. Sometimes, the insurance companies may want a copy of the police report.
- Exchange insurance and contact information. If you are able, exchange information with the other driver. This information should include contact information such as full names, phone numbers, driver’s licenses, and vehicle plate numbers. It should also include insurance information, such as the name of their insurance company and their policy number.
- Document everything you can. If you can take photos or video at the scene, do so. Write down the make and model of the other vehicle, as well as any relevant details, like its color. You should also note the particular location of the accident. If there were any witnesses, and you are able, talk to them. Get the names and badge numbers of the police officers who respond.
- Don’t admit or suggest you were at fault. You should not make any indication of fault to anyone. Don’t apologize, and don’t say you did anything wrong.
- Get to your doctor or the hospital right away. Visit your physician or hospital as soon as possible. You may not know yet if your injuries are significant, but you must get checked out.
- File an insurance claim. Don’t delay filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance. You’ll also want to call your insurance company to understand your coverage options.
- Speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Set up an appointment with an experienced California car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Do I Have a Case for my Car Accident?
Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can help you assess your potential claim.
You’ll want to consider the following:
- Was the accident the result of the other driver’s negligence?
- Did you sustain injuries?
If the accident stemmed from the other driver’s negligence or if you sustained injuries, you could have a potential claim. Most major motor vehicle accidents involve one of these two situations, often both.
Even if you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to contact one of our experienced auto accident lawyers so that we can assess your situation. You might be entitled to damages that you don’t know about.
Can I Get a Settlement Without a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, it’s best to hire an attorney. If your car was significantly damaged, we also recommend hiring an attorney.
The legal claims involving car accidents are often complex. Your lawyer will know what to do to protect your legal rights. They will also be able to guide you through the process, letting you know what to expect.
Finally, your legal team can help you get the maximum amount of compensation available. Insurance companies can be very manipulative, so it’s challenging to get the best settlement on your own.
Contact one of our qualified attorneys as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your specific case.
What Possible Legal Claims are Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
You may have a number of claims available to you in your car accident lawsuit.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to pursue one or more claims.
Many car accident lawsuits are filed under theories of negligence. Essentially, negligence means that a party that had a duty to exercise reasonable care did not, and because of that failure, you were harmed.
Negligence has specific elements that need to be proven in court. All drivers owe other drivers a duty of reasonable care. If a driver was breaking the law, the breach of this duty is clear.
Car accident cases usually involve some kind of property damage.
You may be able to recover the cost of that property damage. Your insurance, or the other driver’s insurance, may not cover the full extent of the damage. The insurance companies will likely try to pay out less than you deserve.
Sometimes, in a car accident case, it may make sense to pursue punitive damages. If the other driver was acting intentionally, such as aggressively pursuing you because of road rage, the court might find it appropriate to award you punitive damages to punish them for their bad conduct.
If a loved one was killed due to another driver’s conduct, you and your family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
In a wrongful death case, the loved ones of the deceased may be able to receive damages for their loss. Economic expenses, such as medical treatment, can be covered. The family of the deceased may also be able to receive damages for the loss of their companionship.
What Damages are Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Damages for car accidents are designed to compensate the victim for both their economic and non-economic costs.
If you were injured in a car accident in California, the following types of damages might be available:
- Damages to cover medical bills and future medical bills
- Compensation for your vehicle repair or replacement
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The experienced attorneys at AR | Legal Team can help guide you as to what damages may be available for your specific case.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in California
In California, generally, personal injury cases that are the result of car accidents must be filed two (2) years from the date of the collision.
Property damages cases must be filed three years from the date of the accident. Car accidents usually involve both personal injury and property damage. Therefore, it’s a good idea to file your claim as soon as possible.
California also has a “delayed discovery rule” that may allow for a longer time to file a personal injury claim related to a car accident in certain circumstances.
The delayed discovery rule may apply as follows:
- If the plaintiff did not discover and did not know of facts that would have caused a reasonable person to suspect, that they had suffered harm that was caused by someone’s wrongful conduct; or
- If the plaintiff did not discover, and a reasonable and diligent investigation would not have disclosed, that a harmful situation (like an accident) contributed to the plaintiff’s harm.
In delayed discovery cases, the plaintiff may have up to one year after the injury was or should have been discovered.
Often, in car accident cases, the delayed discovery rule won’t apply. This is because in the case of serious accidents, the plaintiff will likely know they are injured. It’s therefore essential to speak to an experienced California car accident attorney as soon as you can after your accident.
What Our Clients Say
How Much Does a California Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Many people avoid contacting an attorney for their car accident because they are concerned about the cost of their lawsuit. The truth is, though, a car accident claim may cost you nothing out-of-pocket.
We take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. If you don’t recover anything for your lawsuit, even if we’ve taken it to trial, you don’t owe us anything. Taking cases on a contingency basis allows us to truly help those who need legal services after a car accident that was someone else’s fault.
Contact us today to begin discussing your car accident case. We will be happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions you have along the way.
How A California Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident that has caused significant injuries, you may not know where to turn. Besides filing a lawsuit, an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney will be on your side throughout the process. We can help deal with the other party and insurance companies on your behalf.
We will also fight aggressively to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you try to deal with the other party and insurance companies on your own, you may not be aware of all the different types of compensation for which you are eligible. Through our years of experience, we can make sure you are getting the maximum compensation available.
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, contact us to discuss your matter. A California car accident lawyer on our team can help. Our services and support will allow you to concentrate on your recovery and your family while we pursue just compensation for you.
Unfortunately, car accidents are all-too-common occurrences on California highways and roads. Every year, thousands of people suffer serious, life-altering injuries as a result of auto accidents. Often, these accidents are caused by negligence.
When this is the case, you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences on your own. Large insurance companies will often do everything they can to contest, devalue, or deny your claim—even when their insured driver is liable.
Fortunately, the dedicated team at AR | Legal Team understands how to navigate the legal process and is prepared to fight for you aggressively every step of the way.
Get a Free Case Review from a Car Accident Attorney at AR Legal Team
If you’re unsure where to turn after a serious car accident, we can help. We offer free consultations to help guide you to what is right for you, even if we don’t go to trial. Contact us today by calling (909) 548-3340 or by sending us a message online.