Car accidents have been increasing in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,700 people were hurt in accidents in 2015 alone. While not everyone in car accidents suffers serious injuries, those who do often face physical challenges for the rest of their lives. Below are some things to remember if you are ever involved in a car crash. If you or someone you love has been injured in a California car accident, contact a lawyer for an evaluation of your case.
What To Do After An Accident
Most people are visibly shaken after a car accident, especially if they sustain injuries. However, it is important to keep a level head to avoid making mistakes that could cost you money later on. Some things you should always do just after an accident include:
- Pull Safely Off The Road If Possible
- Call 911
- Ask The Other Driver For His Contact Information, Driver’s License Number And Insurance Card
- Obtain The Case Number From The Police Or Get A Copy Of The Police Report
- Seek Medical Treatment
One of the most important things to remember after a car collision is to never admit fault to the other driver or anyone at the accident scene. Anything you say during these critical moments can be held against you if your case goes to court.
The law provides each accident victim with a certain amount of time in which to file a claim in court. In California, the time limit is 2 years from the accident date. If you fail to file your lawsuit in court within the appropriate time frame, you will most likely lose your right to have your case heard.
How Much Is Your Injury Worth?
If you are hurt in a collision in Hermosa Beach, you may be wondering how much your injury is worth if you file a lawsuit. While it varies from case-to-case, the following are some damages that are awarded in personal injury lawsuits:
- Unpaid Hospital Bills
- Cost Of Ambulance Service
- Doctor Bills
- Cost Of Devices Such As Wheelchairs And Crutches
- Lost Wages
- Pain And Suffering
- Therapy Bills
- Emotional Distress
These are some of the most common damages accident victims are awarded if they are successful in their lawsuit. However, if your injuries are severe, disabling or due to gross negligence on the part of the at-fault driver, you may also awarded punitive damages. These damages are harsh and designed to punish the at-fault party so he will not make the same mistakes again.
What Is Negligence?
In order to obtain a settlement after a car accident, you will be required to prove that the other driver was reckless or negligence and that is why you were hurt. You must also be able to prove your injuries are the result of the accident and were not pre-existing. Some things that may be considered negligence include:
- Driving Under The Influence
- Driving In An Aggressive Manner
- Driving While Distracted
- Failure To Yield For Pedestrians
It is often difficult to prove negligence in car accident cases. For this reason, it is best to have an experienced lawyer working to protect your interests.
What If You Are Disabled?
If you are permanently disabled due to the injuries you sustained in the car accident, you may be able to obtain a settlement for future lost wages. The purpose of this settlement is to compensate you for money you would have been able to earn if you had been able to work for your entire career. You may also be able to obtain a partial settlement for future lost wages if you can work, but cannot work in the same capacity as before the accident and will make less money than you would have if you had not been injured. In these instances, it is imperative to have a lawyer working for you that has experience in personal injury law and calculating income loss.
Contact a Hermosa Beach car accident lawyer for an evaluation of your case as soon as possible after your accident. After speaking with you, a lawyer will let you know the best way to move ahead with your lawsuit if you have a valid claim. Having a lawyer to work for you is the best way to increase your chance of obtaining a fair settlement in court.