Car accidents have increased over the years, to almost epidemic proportions. Road rage, distracted drivers and heavy traffic have all caused car crashes to rise. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 6,700 people were injured in U.S. accidents daily and 96 people suffered fatal injuries in 2014 alone. Accident victims who survive, often face high medical bills and years of recovery. Fortunately, personal injury law allows accident victims to seek compensation for their injuries through the court system. If you have been involved in a Woodland Hills car crash, it may benefit you to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your options.
Common Causes Of Car Crashes
There are many different ways California car crashes can occur, but some are more likely to occur than others. Statistics show that the most common causes of car crashes in the United States are:
- Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs
- Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated
- Driving Over The Speed Limit
- Driving While Distracted By Mobile Devices
- Failing To Yield The Right Of Way
- Improper Left Turns
Common Car Crash Injuries
Car accident victims can display a wide variety of injuries. The severity of injuries typically depend on the type of accident and the force of impact. Some of the injuries seen most often after a car collision include:
- Crush Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Back Problems
- Neck Pain
- Severed Or Amputated Limbs
- Complete Or Partial Paralysis
- Facial Lacerations And Fractures
In order to obtain monetary compensation for your car accident injuries, you must be able to show the court the at-fault driver was careless or negligent and caused you to be injured. This is not always an easy task, as many different factors may come into play when proving negligence. For this reason, it is best to speak with an experienced Woodland Hills car accident lawyer before moving forward with a lawsuit.
California Comparative Negligence Law
California operates under a comparative negligence law. This means that each person involved in the accident can be assigned a certain percentage of responsibility in the crash. While this does not mean you won’t be compensated, your settlement could be offset according the percentage of fault the court assigns to you. If the other driver or drivers are found to be solely responsible, you will receive your the full amount awarded to you by the court.
Damages You May Be Awarded
While it is impossible to know how much your accident worth, the court typically awards certain types of damages to accident victims. Some of the most common damages awarded after an accident in California include:
- Lost Wages
- Doctor Bills
- Unpaid Hospital Fees
- Alternate Transportation Costs
- Cost Of Emergency Care
- Pain And Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Future Lost Wages If You Are Disabled Due To The Accident
- Physical Or Occupation Therapy Fees
- Mental Health Counseling Costs
Each state gives car accident victims a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit in the court system. Personal injury law in California gives you 2 years from the accident date to file your case. If you are seeking compensation only for property damage, you have 3 years to file your claim in court. It is extremely important to file your claim within the California statute of limitations, as failing to do so may result in your case being dismissed without being heard.
The Difference A Lawyer May Make
While you can attempt to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your own, most people find it difficult to do. Insurance adjusters are charged with keeping costs as low as possible for their insurance company. This means that most people are offered extremely low settlements right after an accident, especially if they do not have an attorney to represent them. Settling a claim quickly is also another tactic used to save their company money. In many cases, accident injuries appear minor but worsen over time. Settling too quickly could cost you a bundle in medical bills if your conditions becomes more serious or you cannot return to work.
If you have been hurt in a Woodland Hills car accident, it is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer for advice. After speaking with you, a lawyer can let you know if you have a valid claim and what it may be worth. Hiring a lawyer can also take the frustration out of navigating the legal system on your own.