Ventura Car Accident Attorney
Ventura Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents happen every day, and with California’s busy streets and highways, it’s likely that you or a loved one will experience one at some point. When this happens, it’s important to get an experienced personal injury attorney such as Dan Higson.
A knowledgeable attorney can help you deal with the insurance companies and sift through tricky paperwork to get the compensation you deserve. After an accident, costs like car repairs, medical fees, and lost wages can pop up all over the place. Don’t let the damages from a car accident hold you back or take up any more of your time than necessary.
California Car Accident Laws
California has an “at fault” system for car accident insurance claims. A victim seeking compensation in a personal injury case must be able to prove that the other driver was at least partially at fault for the accident. The state also uses a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that when a personal injury case goes to trial, the percentages of fault for each driver will be calculated to determine liability. Under this system, if a driver sustained $1,000 in damages and was found to be 25% at fault, he or she can only claim up to $750 in compensation.
It’s also important to be familiar with the California statute of limitations for different kinds of personal injury cases, so that you can file a claim within the allotted time. In California, (http://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm) you must file a claim within 2 years for a personal injury case. This is reduced to 6 months if a government vehicle was involved, such as a police car. If an injury is discovered later, you have 1 year from the date that the injury was discovered. The statute of limitations for property damage is a bit longer at 3 years.
California personal injury law is unique in that it does not generally have a cap on the amount of damages that can be received, but it does have other limits. If a driver involved in a personal injury case has no car insurance, he or she cannot recover for non-economic compensation, such as emotional distress or pain and suffering. However, if the other driver is at fault, economic damages can still be sought, such as lost wages and medical and repair costs.
California also has a cap on the damages that can be filed for medical malpractice after an injury is sustained. If your injuries from a car accident are worsened by treatment from a medical professional, you can only get up to $250,000 in non-economic damages as a result.
Types of Damages
There are several types of damages that can be sought after a car accident. Some are more obvious and easier to see and calculate, such as medical expenses, vehicle repairs, car rentals, and lost wages. Common medical problems from car accidents include broken bones, cuts, head, neck and spinal injuries, and organ damage. Keep in mind that some injuries after a car crash might not appear immediately, and rather show up days or even weeks after the event. Make sure that you go to a doctor for all injuries. This not only makes sure that you are healthy and taken care of, but also ensures that each injury is well documented for future legal use.
Other damages are harder to calculate. Pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and other psychological and emotional problems can arise from a traumatic event such as a car crash. All of these factors must be taken into account for a personal injury case.
Do I Have a Claim?
If you have been the victim of a car accident, you might be wondering whether or not you can file a claim. The most important factor to determine is whether or not negligence was involved. Did the other driver have a duty (such as stopping at a stop sign), fail to perform that duty, and cause your injury as a result? Could the other driver have foreseen the dangers of his or her actions and avoided them? Did you sustain actual damages that will either cost money or cause pain and suffering? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are still unsure, contact a lawyer immediately. Dan Higson is an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you decide the best actions to take after a car crash.