After being harmed in a motor vehicle accident, there is a chance that you will require medical care and have to take time off work to recover. During this difficult time, it is important that you are aware of your rights and what you can do to protect them.
Unfortunately, there are many things that individuals are unaware of when it comes to car accident litigation. With the help of a car accident attorney Costa Mesa, you will be better equipped to protect your rights and get justice.
1. Hiring a Lawyer Can Help You
Car accident litigation can be incredibly confusing. Unfortunately, not seeking legal guidance can jeopardize your chances of maximizing your recovery. An attorney will be able to use their knowledge and experience to help fearlessly litigate your case and get the best possible outcome.
2. California Follows Comparative Negligence Laws
In California, victims of car accidents are able to file personal injury lawsuits against the responsible drivers. This is true, even if a petitioner shares some part of the fault for the crash. However, based on the state’s comparative negligence laws, the amount of money that can be recovered will be reduced to reflect the amount of fault a driver shares.
3. California is a “Fault” State For Car Accidents
After a car accident, California’s at-fault state laws indicate that the person who is at fault for the car crash is responsible for the resulting damages. Insurance companies will investigate the accident to determine who is at fault for causing the accident and the resulting damages.
4. The Insurance Company is Not On Your Side
After being harmed in a car accident, many victims want to believe that the insurance company will willingly give them any money they are entitled to for their damages. This is not true. Many insurance companies will actually do whatever they can to prevent victims from getting fair compensation.
5. You Do Not Have to Accept a Settlement Offer
After a car crash, insurance companies often rush to victims and offer them compensation. In many instances, insurance companies do not even wait for victims to leave the hospital before they approach them and offer compensation.
Victims are never required to accept any settlement offers from the insurance company. Instead, they should speak to an attorney who can provide them with further insight regarding their rights.
6. Accepting a Settlement Can Hurt You
Accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company after a car accident is not generally a good idea. Insurance companies often make lowball settlement offers to victims that barely cover their medical costs or any of the other damages they face. Unfortunately, accepting any type of settlement offer from an insurance company can prevent you from filing a claim for personal injury damages later on.
7. You Only Have a Specific Amount of Time to File a Lawsuit
After being involved in a car accident, you only have a specific amount of time to file a lawsuit. In California, the time that a person is required to file a legal claim within is referred to as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in California is set to a period of two years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations remains the same if an individual loses their life in an accident in families who want to pursue wrongful death claims.
8. The Statute of Limitations Can Change
Although accident victims have a period of up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash, there are circumstances that can shorten the amount of time that they have. If the automobile accident involved a government agency, a claim must be initiated within six months from the date of the accident. In some cases, the amount of time that a victim has to file that claimant may be extended to a period of one year following the date of the accident.
It is important for you to discuss the specifications surrounding your accident with a skilled legal team in order to determine how much time you have to file your claim.
9. You Do Not Need to Pay For a Lawyer Up Front
Many accident victims refrain from seeking legal representation following their crashes due to the fact that they often believe that they have to spend thousands of dollars upfront for legal representation. In California, the majority of personal injury lawyers handle car crash cases on a contingency fee basis. This payment arrangement ensures the victims are able to get legal representation for their cases without having to worry about paying any money upfront. In fact, if victims do not prevail on their personal injury lawsuits, most lawyers do not require any payment at all.
When victims win their cases, lawyers will retain an agreed-upon amount of money for their services from the recovered damages.
10. Going to Court Can Take Several Years
After being involved in a car accident and suffering injuries or damages, many victims would like to believe that they will receive money quickly following their crashes. The unfortunate truth is that it can take several months for a victim to recover compensation for their losses. The amount of time that it takes depends on a variety of factors.
When cases are able to be settled without going to court, victims may be able to receive compensation in a few months to a year’s time. If they have to go to court due to unsuccessful negotiations, it can take several years for victims to receive compensation.
Moving forward after a motor vehicle accident can be quite challenging. However, with the right legal guidance and a skilled team of legal advocates by your side, you will be in the best position possible to do so. Even though a motor vehicle accident can change your life significantly, it is still possible for you to move forward. Seeking guidance early on will provide you with the best chance of holding the negligent party accountable.