Auto accidents fall into the list of the most frequent accidents around the world. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, about 37,000 people die in road crashes each year in the USA. Depending on the severity of the case, you can hire an auto accident lawyer to protect your rights and your freedoms on the legal grounds. In this article, we will focus on the cases when you need an attorney and how he/she can help you the most.
When to take attorney’s advice
There may be certain situations when though you don’t need to hire a full-time auto accident lawyer, nevertheless, you need some advice of him/her. The circumstances may be as such:
- No clear liabilities or shared liabilities among the parties of accident
- If you are a victim of an accident and don’t know how to evaluate the claim
- When the insurance adjuster asks you to submit your medical records made before the accident
- You can’t negotiate the case on your own behalf to reach a settlement
- The adjuster has offered you non-payment settlement etc.
Must-consult cases with auto accident lawyer
- When you are in a circumstance which may give an additional value to your claim but at the same time you don’t know how to prove your loss.
- Your insurance company denied your claim which you think is not fair.
- The settlement offer of the insurance company is too low to cover the damage
- You are injured and as a result, have to pay medical bills with or without disability
- The injured party is a minor. He/she has received more than slight injuries
- Your liability is under dispute. However, you don’t consider yourself responsible for the accident at all
- Your claim is ongoing after a long time and you are not aware of the statute of limitation regulating in your state
- The accident took place in rather complex circumstances which may need expert investigation
- The other party filed a claim against you etc.
If you are not sure about the essence of the case, don’t hurry up to find a ”remedy” with the insurance company. It may bring such settlement which may even make the things worse. So, in such not clear-cut cases, it is better to ask an auto accident lawyer for help.
Compensation laws in California
California, like other states, has ”at fault” rule (also known as ”tort”) acting for insurance claims. This rule refers to a driver who seeks compensation. The latter should show that the accident was the other party’s fault to get his/her deserved compensation.
But what happens when your case reaches a trial? The judge calculates the percentage of fault for each driver thus reducing each one’s liability based on the calculated results. For instance, if one driver has suffered $15,000 in damages, but he/she has 10 percent at fault, consequently the recovery will be 90 percent, i.e. $13,500.
In California, there are few traps which limit and/or eliminate your compensation after a car accident. One of the strictest limits is the time limit regarding filing a legal case. The state laws give two years for bodily injury claims and three years for property claims. Moreover, if a government party is involved, six months is the limit.
Proposition 2013 passed in 1996 states ”regardless of who is at fault in the accident, if a driver does not have insurance, they cannot recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. Economic damages, such as lost wages or damage to one’s car, are still available if the fault can be shown.”
Surely, having a car is a must. It makes the life quicker and keeps us connected to the world. Before driving your vehicle, each time reconsider twice before pressing on the gas pedal or writing a message while driving or else. Surely, time is money and you want to get to the determined point as soon as possible, but always remember that money can’t buy lives… So, have a safe drive!
P.S. In the case f any accident which could bring further legal responsibilities, don’t hesitate to contact a skillful auto accident lawyer to stand by your side.