Whether you’re involved in a minor fender bender or a major accident, it’s important to know your legal rights to seek compensation from at-fault drivers.
Driving around Los Angeles and the surrounding areas can be a risky endeavor. Traffic accidents are common on California’s congested highways and roads, and a good many of these collisions involve catastrophic injuries and loss of life.
“Damages” recovered in personal injury cases attempt to put a value on your injuries and financial losses. A qualified car accident attorney can assist you in the process of filing a claim for car accident compensation that should cover direct financial expenses (such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc) as well as emotional and indirect costs.
California time limits for filing a car accident claim
In the state of California, injured parties have exactly two years to file a personal injury claim for monetary damages after a car accident. There are certain exceptions to this statute of limitations, which your legal counsel can outline if applicable.
In addition, there are several parties that may be sued in an attempt to recover maximum compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, potential defendants may include:
- Another driver whose negligent or reckless behavior caused the crash
- The owner of the vehicle if it was being borrowed at the time
- Employers (who may be liable for employee’s actions during work hours)
- Mechanics in situations attributed to poor workmanship
- Government entities responsible for road defects or hazards
- Auto manufacturers responsible for vehicle defects or recalled parts
- Your insurance company for UM/UIM claims
What types of damages can you recover?
Following any type of motor vehicle accident, it’s critical to assess the full extent of your physical, emotional and financial losses. How has the accident affected your family and loved ones? What is the extent of your physical harm and mental anguish and will your injuries prevent you from returning to work?
A reputable attorney will thoroughly evaluate the scope and gravity of your car accident injuries, medical bills and related suffering to properly estimate the value of your case. It is the goal of your lawyer to maximize your settlement amount, ensuring you are justly compensated for all present and future expenses.
A car accident claim may seek different types of damages including:
Compensatory damages for all past, present and future hospital and medical bills, lost income, property damage and loss of future earning capacity.
General damages are a separate category of damages that are more subjective in nature. These include:
- Emotional anguish or distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium if the accident strained your spousal relationship
Because each injury claim is unique, there is no calculator to determine the exact amount of damages you can recover. It is largely up to the merits of your case and the skill of your lawyer to build a strong case that accurately documents the extent of your “general damages.” This may entail expert testimony from medical professionals who can attest to the long-term implications of your injury.
Aggressive car accident representation
The Salamati Law Firm has a reputation for success both in and out of the court room, and for more than 20 years has helped clients win fair compensation in their personal injury claims. Our team has the expertise, resources and legal know-how to maximize your settlement offer, and takes on all cases on a contingent-fee basis. The consultation is free and without obligation to proceed. Speak with an LA car accident lawyer today by calling 888-259-4060.
Additional “Car Accident Compensation” Resources:
- DMV.org, Damages in Personal Injury Cases http://www.dmv.org/insurance/compensation-for-auto-accident-personal-injury-claims.php
- California Department of Insurance, So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next? http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm
- California Legislative Information, CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE – CCP http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP§ionNum=335.1