Personal Injury Damages After an Accident
Deciding what to do about Elk Grove personal injury damages following a motor vehicle accident can leave the injured person with many questions. Even if both you and the other driver have minimum insurance coverage for bodily harm, compensation can depend on several factors. Deciding whether to negotiate with the insurance company or take the case to court can depend on the extent of injuries and insurance coverage.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury damages can be sought when someone is injured because of another’s negligence. In most cases, the negligent party is another motorist. That motorist may be driving drunk, too fatigued to be behind the wheel of a car or reckless. This means that the person injured because of such negligent acts can claim personal injury damages to pay the bills that arise from the accident.
Should the Accident Be Reported?
In California, accidents that result in injuries or fatalities or those that cause more than $1,000 in damages must be reported. If injuries occur, the police will respond to investigate the crash and file a report in most cases. The injured person should get a copy of the police report, take photos of the crash site and collect contact and insurance information. Information from witnesses can provide evidence to support personal injury damages. The injured party should also contact their insurance company and their lawyer if they have one.
What If I Was Partially Responsible?
Splitting the responsibility between parties in an accident does happen. For example, suppose one driver was speeding through an intersection, even though they had the green light. The other driver was texting on their cell phone and did not see the light turn red. That person erroneously entered the intersection. Both are injured, and both are found to be negligent.
Does Being Partially at Fault Mean I Can’t Collect Damages?
The first person is assigned 30 percent of the comparative fault in the above accident scenario. The second, because of the two traffic infractions committed, is assigned 70 percent. Both can still collect damages in a lawsuit. The first motorist can recover 70 percent of the award. The second motorist can collect 30 percent. In an accident where both parties are at fault, you can be assured the other person will have a lawyer to try and keep down their portion of blame. An experienced injury lawyer can protect your interests while working toward obtaining the financial recovery you need to pay your bills.
If the Other Driver Is at Fault, Should I Accept the Insurance Settlement?
The answer to this depends on the insurance coverage of the other motorist and the insurer’s offer. Under California Vehicle Code Section 16020, all drivers are required to carry motor vehicle insurance. The minimum insurance for bodily injury in California is $15,000 for the physical trauma or death of another person. With medical costs so high these days, it’s easy to go over that amount in personal injury damages. This is especially true if the injured person requires hospitalization. In addition, insurance companies tend to low ball with the initial offer. Keep in mind, an insurance company is a business, and their goal is to make a profit.
What Other Option Do I Have to Recover Damages?
A seasoned lawyer with experience in handling car accident cases and obtaining personal injury damages can be a good solution. The lawyer can deal with the insurance company for you. If this does not produce the results needed to pay your financial losses, the lawyer can work toward obtaining that compensation in civil court.
Elk Grove Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove personal injury lawyer. Being injured in a car accident can be a worrisome, confusing time when you wonder how to pay your accumulating bills. For my free and friendly advice, please give me a call at (916) 694-0002. Outside the area, use my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.
Having information about a lawyer before calling helps. I’ve worked for 37 years as an injury lawyer, helping Elk Grove residents. These include many types of auto accidents, traumatic injuries, and wrongful deaths.
I belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Members of this group are those who are recognized for their legal excellence. I also belong to the Million Dollar Forum. It is composed of trial attorneys who have obtained more than $1 million for a client.
Learn more about my law firm and how I’ve helped others by visiting:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/lawyers-personal-injury-accident-1000803/
:cd llo [cs 765]