Oxnard is a town positioned on the southern California coast. Because this area is well-populated, car accidents are a common occurrence. Car accident victims may sustain injuries that range from moderate to debilitating. While most car accidents are resolved fairly quickly, some are more difficult and require the filing of a lawsuit for victim compensation. The following is an overview of California personal injury law and how it may help you if you are injured and need to obtain compensation for your injuries.
California Is A Fault State
How you are compensated for your accident injuries depends on whether it occurred in a fault or no fault state. California handles accident injuries under a fault system, which is favorable to car accident victims. Under this system, there are few limitations placed on the victim who files a lawsuit for compensation. You may pursue a monetary settlement by:
- Claim The Accident Under Your Own Car Insurance Policy
- File A Claim Against The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Policy
- File A Personal Injury Lawsuit For Compensation
To be awarded a monetary settlement, you must first prove the other driver in the accident acted in a negligent way and caused you to be hurt. Some things that may point to negligence include:
- Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol
- Driving Aggressively
- Driving While Distracted By Passengers Or Mobile Devices
It is not always easy to prove who was at fault in a car accident. You may increase your chances of success by hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you during the legal process.
Damages And Expenses
As an accident victim, you may be entitled to obtain certain damages under the law. While damages can vary from case-to-case, some of the most commonly awarded damages include:
- Pain And Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Lost Wages
- Unpaid Medical Bills
- Hospital Costs
- Emergency Room Fees
- Cost Of Alternate Transportation If Your Car Is Not Driveable
- Physical Or Occupational Therapy Bills
- Mental Health Counseling Costs
- Price Of Medical Devices
You may be awarded an additional sum of money if you are disabled due to the accident. If you cannot work or can no longer perform the same job duties and suffer a loss of income, you may be awarded a settlement for future lost wages.
California Statute Of Limitations
Accident victims must be sure to file their lawsuit for accident related injuries within the appropriate time frame for their state. In California, personal injury law allows car accident victims 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the California statute of limitations, your case will most likely be thrown out.
How An Attorney May Be Able To Help
Personal injury cases are often complex and difficult to navigate. In many cases, insurance companies offer low settlements to accident victims who are not represented by an attorney. If you hire an attorney, he may be able to help you by:
- Obtaining Copies Of All Police Reports And Medical Records
- Hiring Accident Investigators To Recreate The Accident If Necessary
- Interviewing Witnesses
- Speaking To Medical Experts
- Negotiating A Settlement With The Insurance Company
- Filing Court Documents
- Attending All Hearings With You
- Representing You If Your Case Goes To Trial
Having an attorney cannot guarantee you will obtain a settlement for your injuries, but it may increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement. The at-fault driver and his insurance company will have excellent legal representation and you should, as well. Many accident victims are concerned about how much an attorney will cost, which is why they wait to seek counsel. However, many personal injury attorneys take cases for accident victims on a contingency basis. This means you will not pay anything, until you win a settlement for your injuries.
If you have been hurt in an Oxnard car accident in southern California, it may benefit you to speak with a personal injury attorney for advice. During a consultation, an attorney will examine your case and let you know if you should pursue a monetary settlement through legal action. Hiring an attorney may also help ease the anxiety associated with car accident cases, so you can focus on your recovery.