Car accidents often involved serious, even life threatening injuries. You may be dealing with heavy medical expenses and lost wages, as well as needing additional treatments or rehabilitative therapies to help you recover from your injuries. Your injuries not only affect you but also those who love and depend on you as a partner, provider, companion, and worker. At a time like this, it helps to have someone in your corner, looking out for your best interests and making sure you have the best chances for making a full recovery. In order to get the help you need to recover from car accident injuries, you need someone qualified, who knows the laws regarding the types of compensation you may be entitled to, as well as how to apply those laws to your particular case. Having an experienced car accident attorney in San Francisco who can thoroughly review and investigate your case, advise you on accident claims and settlements, and defend your rights is the best way to ensure you get the settlement both you and your loved ones deserve.
Five Ways That Having An Attorney Works To Your Advantage in Car Accident Claims
Under California Vehicle Code Section 17150, drivers whose reckless or negligent acts result in car accidents and injuries to other drivers are liable for any damages to other drivers and their passengers as the result of those accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, costs associated with car accidents include tangible costs such as medical and hospital expenses, property damage, and lost wages, as well as intangible costs such as pain and suffering and the loss of quality of life. An experienced California car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need in the following ways:
- By representing you in dealing with insurance companies. The California Vehicle Code requires all drivers to have some form of financial responsibility in the event of a car accident. For the majority of drivers, this takes the form of automobile insurance. While an at fault driver may be liable through their insurance company for your injuries, these companies are in business to make a profit, and often attempt to save money for their companies by undervaluing or denying claims. While the insurance company looks out for their own best interests, you need an attorney on your side, looking out for your own interests by providing guidance and protection in any communications you have with the insurance company and reviewing any settlements offer before you sign them.
- By making sure responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. It is not uncommon for at fault drivers and their insurers to attempt to shift some or all of the blame onto other drivers, or to deny responsibility based on outside factors, such as road or weather conditions at the time of the accident. Your attorney will gather police reports, statements from witnesses to the accident as well as other drivers involved, and conduct investigations into the conditions and circumstances surrounding your accident. Your attorney can defend you and place blame where it belongs, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
- By seeking the maximum amount of compensation available by law. In many cases a person injured in a car accident can get a larger injury and property damage settlement by filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages rather than settling with the insurance company. An experienced California car accident attorney understands the types of damages available in car accident claims, and will make sure you get reimbursement for current, ongoing, and future expenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may also be entitled to punitive damages meant to punish drivers for particularly reckless or negligent behavior.
- By acting as your advocate as you recover from your injuries. Oftentimes, people who have been involved in car accidents tend to downplay their injuries, or underestimate the amount of time it may take to recover. An experienced car accident attorney understands the kinds of injuries that are common in car accidents, such a head, back, and neck injuries and muscle strains and sprains, and knows that recovering from these conditions is often a slow process. According to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can take as long as 18 months or more to get a full estimate of the medical damages resulting from your injuries.
- By not charging a fee until your case is won or settled. In many cases, your attorney will handle your case on a contingency basis, meaning that there is no charge unless a settlement is reached. Under the California Civil Code, attorney’s fees in car accident cases can be awarded as separate costs, in addition to your total damages and expenses.
When you have been injured as the result of a car accident, having a knowledgeable, trusted attorney on your side is not only an advantage, but can also provide peace of mind while you recover from your injury.