Motor vehicle collisions cause property damage, inconvenience, unexpected expense, and devastating physical and psychological injuries. The parties responsible for an accident are legally obligated to compensate anyone who suffered a loss because of it.
However, you might not receive adequate compensation without legal representation. When you suffer losses in a crash, speak with a local personal injury attorney immediately. An Oakland car accident lawyer can manage the process from beginning to end and ensure that your settlement provides adequate compensation for your losses.
What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Collision
The minutes following a car crash often profoundly affect an injured driver’s claim. However, victims can protect themselves by observing some common-sense rules.
Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
The most important thing to do after a wreck is to seek medical attention immediately or as soon as possible. Waiting more than several days could be detrimental to the victim’s health and weaken any claim they might make. Many vehicle crash victims do not immediately show signs of severe injury, but that does not mean they are not serious. A medical professional who knows that a person was in a crash could screen for common injuries and take measures to ensure their well-being.
Refraining From Speaking About the Vehicle Crash
Another fundamental rule is to say as little as possible about the car accident or its cause. Anything the injured driver says can be used against them. Instead, the best strategy is to avoid conversations with others at the accident scene beyond addressing immediate medical needs, like asking for an ambulance. Furthermore, respond to police questions with the most straightforward answers and do not volunteer any information. Finally, refrain from posting details about the accident on social media, and do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company before speaking with a knowledgeable attorney in Oakland.
Negligent Driver is Responsible for Others’ Damages
In California, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays the losses others suffer in a crash. Sometimes it is obvious who is at fault, but in many cases, it is unclear. Establishing who is responsible is a critical element of a car accident claim. Legal counsel can gather evidence, including the following:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- History of other accidents at the scene
- Video evidence from dashcams, traffic cams, and surveillance cameras
- Involved vehicles’ recall history
- The at-fault driver’s cell phone records
Once a hardworking Oakland lawyer can determine the factors that caused the motor vehicle crash, they can assert a claim against the responsible parties. Often, responsible parties include the at-fault driver and third parties such as vehicle manufacturers or a commercial driver’s employer. Under California’s pure comparative negligence rules, a claimant can collect partial damages from the other responsible parties even if the plaintiff’s conduct contributed to the wreck.
Types of Compensation Available in a Car Accident Claim
Vehicle accident damages should restore a claimant to the same financial position they were in before the accident. Of course, this is impossible—money cannot fix everything or turn back the clock—but damages can reimburse the claimant for the losses they suffered in the car crash. California Civil Code §1431.2 describes the damages a plaintiff could collect.
Economic damages are the claimant’s out-of-pocket losses, like missed time at work, medical and rehabilitation expenses, incidental costs, and property damage. An insurer or court must see documentation of these expenses, including invoices, receipts, tax records, and similar proof.
Non-economic losses are just as devastating but are typically harder to prove. The claimant could receive compensation for their inconvenience, embarrassment, physical pain, emotional suffering, disability, and lost enjoyment of life. An experienced Oakland attorney can help an injured person calculate their non-economic damages and prove liability after a car crash.
Consult an Oakland Attorney About Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can lead to significant injuries. Even when you are fortunate, and your physical injuries are minor, a crash usually leads to lost time at work, diminishes the resale value of your vehicle, and causes anxiety, inconvenience, and expense.
An Oakland car accident lawyer can manage your claim and relieve some of your burdens. Call immediately after the incident to get a knowledgeable professional working for you.