Your Legal Options in the Aftermath of an Auto Accident
A motor vehicle accident can happen to any person and in the blink of an eye, the accident can change his or her entire life. According to the report Early Estimate of Motor vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2018 published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 37,000 people who passed away as a result of being involved in a car accident in 2018. Although not every car accident will result in a casualty, a motor vehicle accident can nonetheless have serious consequences.
Car accidents are common in California but while a majority of car accidents can have many similarities, no two accidents cases will be the same. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident where you have been injured, you may have several legal options that can help you recuperate monetary compensation. In most situations, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the other driver for causing the accident. However, contingent on the facts of your case, you may be able to file a claim against the city or town in which the incident took place.
In effort of obtaining financial restitution following a car accident, the following factors can affect your personal injury claim.
After the Collision
It is always difficult to plan for an emergency situation. Even if you have a plan in mind, when a catastrophic event takes place, your plan will likely be forgotten. As a motorist, planning for a car accident with complete accuracy is impossible. For one, the extent of your injuries will be uncertain. Second, your emotional state will also be unpredictable. Despite all of this, it is nevertheless important that you know what you can do in the event that you experience a car accident. If you have been the victim of a car accident, some of the most important steps you can take are: Calling the police, Taking quality pictures of the scene and other vehicle(s) involved, Detailing witnesses’ names and contact information, and Making records of your injuries and the physical conditions of the accident scene such as road conditions and weather.
Seeking Medical Attention for Your Injuries
Above all other factors, if you have been injured after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately. If it is possible, contact an emergency response team by calling 9-1-1. In the event in which you do not feel immediate pain, be aware that this can be due to the turbulent emotions you could be experiencing. Common reasons behind this can be the feeling of an adrenaline rush or even shock.
Seeking medical attention can also be very beneficial if you plan on filing a claim against the negligent party. Often, insurance adjusters will attempt to discredit your injuries if you did not seek medical attention immediately after the incident. Further, having a medical record will also further validate your claims.
Holding the Other Driver Accountable For the Injuries You Sustained
More often than not, if you were involved in an auto accident caused by a careless driver, that driver can be held responsible for the incident. This can even be the case if you were found to be partly at-fault for the accident. According to California’s comparative fault law, accident victims continue to have the opportunity to obtain restitution even when found partly negligent for causing the car accident. Their ability to obtain compensation, however, will be reduced by the percentage by which they were found responsible for the collision.
Filing a Claim Against the Municipality Where the Collision Took Place
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the other driver of the vehicle may not be the only responsible party – the city or town where the incident took place could also be held accountable for causing the accident. For instance, you could have the opportunity to seek restitution if any of the few examples given are true: There is a lack of street signs, such as a stop sign, The street sign was not visible or was otherwise worn out, There was unkempt vegetation, which obstructed your view of the road or the other driver’s view of the road, The road lanes are not clearly marked, The road has a defective design, There are potholes or other roadway hazards that have contributed to the car accident.
When it comes to filing a claim against a government agency, it is important to act swiftly. After a personal injury, municipalities have the obligation to fix the hazardous condition. Although this can help prevent injuries to others, it can hurt your personal injury claim because any evidence of the dangerous condition can be eradicated.
Seek Legal Assistance of a Competent Personal Injury Attorney
In the event of a car accident, the road to filing a personal injury claim can be very complex and stressful. Depending on the facts of your case, you may have more than one option on establishing liability. Because car accident cases can be multifaceted, it is important that you seek the professional assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney. Not only is the process of filing a claim a complicated matter, there are also many time constraints you might not be aware of. For instance, the State of California has strict deadlines that must be obeyed in order to file a successful personal injury claim. The deadline to file can vary depending on what party you are filing the claim against.
Further, a legal professional that is experienced in the matter will be able to know what current laws and regulations were broken by the responsible party. Seek the assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who will champion for your rights as a victim and help you obtain the financial compensation you are owed.
Attorney Justin H. King is a dedicated professional who has helped many auto accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. He has achieved numerous successful results for his clients by vigorously representing them against both insurance companies and municipalities. If you were involved in an auto accident, Attorney Justin H. King can help you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Learn more about car accidents and how you can protect your rights here.