Automobile crashes frequently cause injuries that require accident victims to get medical treatment and take time off work, as well as cause them to sustain permanent disability. Although these injuries can be physically and financially devastating to victims and their families, the party that caused the accident is liable to anyone who suffered losses from the crash.
That said, demanding the appropriate damages from the liable party often requires help from our knowledgeable injury attorneys. Unfortunately, when injured individuals do not have legal representation, insurance companies attempt to resolve cases for less than the claim’s true value.
When you are hurt in a motor vehicle crash, a Fowler car accident lawyer will handle negotiations with insurers and fight to get you a reasonable settlement offer to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, and disability.
Determining Fault in a Vehicle Crash
Car accident liability laws in California make the party that caused the collision responsible for the damages of anyone who suffered losses in the incident. However, injured parties must prove that the at-fault driver acted negligently.
All motorists have a duty to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles. That said, when drivers violate laws and cause a crash, their failure to obey the law is negligence per se, or proof of reckless behavior. Additionally, when drivers do not follow the law, become distracted, or fail to drive with caution in negative road conditions, they are negligent.
A hardworking attorney in Fowler can investigate a crash to gather evidence of negligence, including police reports, witness statements, crash scene photographs, surveillance video, dashcam footage, and cell phone records.
Identifying All Potentially Responsible Parties
All California drivers must have insurance coverage. However, the minimum coverage limits are low—$15,000 for injuries to one person, $30,000 for injuries to multiple people, and $5000 for property damage. Furthermore, people who elect to self-insure must have $35,000 in a surety bond or cash deposit with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
These coverage limits are insufficient to pay the damages of an accident victim who suffered severe injuries. Instead, a negligent driver is personally liable for the damages their insurance does not cover unless they have minimal personal assets. In this case, an injured person might get reimbursed for their expenses. Similarly, many people break the law and drive without insurance and may not have assets to pay the damages of someone they injure in an accident.
In these cases, an attorney in Fowler can locate other potential sources of insurance coverage. For example, other drivers involved in a crash might share partial responsibility. Likewise, when a vehicle experiences a mechanical failure contributing to an accident, the manufacturer could be liable to the injured person. In other cases, state or local governments could be responsible. Bringing multiple parties to the negotiating table increases the likelihood of an injured person obtaining adequate compensation.
An Injured Person’s Negligence Could Impact Their Damages
Sometimes, an injured person’s conduct contributed to a collision. When this is the case, the injured individual can still collect damages, but they will have to bear some of the costs themselves.
California Civil Code §1714 requires a jury to apportion fault to each party in a wreck. For instance, if an injured person is partially at fault, they must pay a portion of the damages equal to their percentage of fault. Other negligent parties must pay the rest of the injured person’s damages.
Most car accident cases never go to trial, but insurance companies often negotiate the allocation of fault for an accident. A seasoned attorney in Fowler will prevent insurers from assigning an unfair portion of the blame to injured plaintiffs hurt in motor vehicle accidents.
Contact a Fowler Attorney to Handle Your Car Accident Claim
Car crash victims are sometimes reluctant to involve an attorney in a case, believing it might unnecessarily delay or complicate settlement negotiations. On the contrary, people who work with attorneys to settle their car accident claims often have a less stressful experience and a better outcome.
Our Fowler car accident lawyers will put their knowledge of the law and negotiation skills to work for you. Call our capable legal representatives today to begin filing your claim.