Based on data from the National Transportation Safety Board, a car crash happens nearly every 10 seconds. Sounds alarming, right? In just one year (2005) alone, there was a record of about six million car accidents in the US. These resulted in over 40,000 deaths and more than 2.5M injuries.
Road accidents can happen to anyone. That’s because even though you may be a careful driver, someone might think it’s a great time to jump behind the wheel after a couple of beers or text while driving. Yes, negligence, entertaining distraction, and driving under the influence are one of the causes of auto accidents. That’s why most state laws, including in California, allow you to file lawsuits against the responsible party in a car crash.
This means that protecting your legal rights is crucial if you are ever involved in a car accident. This is where you might need a San Francisco injury lawyer. That said, here’s a short article on how to protect your legal rights after a car crash, especially if you are in San Francisco.
San Francisco Car Accident Law: How Does it Work?
Before jumping right into protecting your legal rights, you might want to know how the law works or what it entails first. In San Francisco, including California, as a whole, and many other US states, an injured person, whether driver or passenger, has the right to sue the person responsible for a car accident. What’s more, if a person dies or perhaps becomes incapacitated (like being in a coma), the family or loved one can file a lawsuit against the responsible person.
The legal responsibility or what is referred to as liability for an accident is usually based on proof. It doesn’t matter if the person was deliberately driving recklessly or under the influence. Being able to prove that the supposed responsible driver operated his or her car in an unsafe way is usually sufficient evidence to establish liability.
Sometimes, a non-driver can also cause an auto accident. Non-driver factors include but are not limited to non-visible or poorly-indicated contrition sites, construction debris, rock, or gravel on the driveway. Bear in mind that there exists a statute of limitation when it comes to exercising your right. This means there are deadlines under the California state law to come forward with your lawsuit. The window can sometimes be as short as six months for accidents involving a public entity. Therefore, acting first is crucial if you intend to have favorable outcomes.
Being Partly Responsible
There are scenarios where a person can partly cause an accident. In California, the law allows you to seek compensation if the other party was primarily responsible in addition to being negligent. In this scenario, an investigation will be carried out to compare the other party’s carelessness to yours, which is referred to as comparative negligence. In the end, the amount of liability for the accident is established between you both.
What Compensation Can You Obtain If You File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
One other thing to take note of is the damages you can claim because you sustained an injury in a car accident. The following are the types of damages available to you.
- Physical pain and suffering (past or future).
- Mental and physical impairment.
- Medical or hospital expenses(past or future).
- Loss or impairment in earnings.
- Loss of earning capacity or capability.
- Property damage.
- Punitive damages, where there’s egregious wrongdoing.
- Death of victim.
How to Protect Your Legal Rights After a Car Crash
We know we are talking about protecting your legal right here, but the first thing to do after a car accident is to focus on your health. Get to safety if you are in the middle of the highway as there are many reported cases of multiple collisions.
- If you have visible injuries, immediately dial 911.
- Check if you are physically fit to get up. You’ll do well to take photos of the scene/collision. Injuries and of course, damage to your vehicle.
- You can proceed to the hospital and keep all medical records, including evidence of wage loss.
- You’ll also need a copy of the traffic collision report even if the report looks unfavorable.
- Whatever you do, you want to make sure you don’t admit to anything. Furthermore, avoid signing any document. It’s common practice for insurance companies to take advantage of insurance victims. This reason is that they want to limit or deny you the ability of full compensation.
- Avoid negotiating any “deals” surrounding the accident by yourself. In this regard, contact an experienced accident lawyer quickly. They know how to get the best outcomes.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim
Road or auto accidents can happen to anyone, even the best of drivers. If you are involved in an accident, you need all the help you can get and that includes the help of San Francisco injury lawyers. Whether you have insurance or not, or the collision report doesn’t look good for you, an experienced accident lawyer will help handle your case so that you can get the best and most favorable outcome.