Injured in a California Auto Accident? Call The Heavy HittersTM! Award-winning Sacramento Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact the Sacramento car accident lawyers at Curtis Legal Group today to set up your free case evaluation. Our legal team is well qualified to guide you through the complicated and confusing legal process. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys are invested in the community and have worked hard to develop a reputation for seeking full compensation for our clients. For the car accident attorneys at Curtis Legal Group, success is working to ensure you receive compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
Table of Contents
- Building a Successful California Car Accident Case
- Filing Your Claim
- Understanding Car Accident Lawsuits
- Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- California Personal Injury Law and Duty of Care
- When Will a Driver Receive a Payout After a Car Wreck?
- Types of Damages
- Common Injuries Sustained After a Car Accident
Building a Successful California Car Accident Case
In order to build the strongest case, it is important that you do not speak to any insurance company about the car accident. Do not give telephonic statements to the insurance company representatives as they generally record them. Their job is to represent the insurance company. Our job is to represent you.
It is also important to remember insurance companies can use what you say against you and will do whatever they can to minimize your damages
Thoroughly Investigate the Car Crash
When building your case, we will thoroughly investigate the accident, taking in all evidence available, and determine what caused the accident to occur. For instance, one of the drivers might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol or were texting while driving. The driver at fault may have sped through an intersection or failed to obey a traffic sign.
Our law firm will determine if any of these or other factors might have caused or contributed to the auto accident. We will talk to witnesses and the Sacramento Police Department on your behalf. We will obtain any security camera footage available including footage that the City of Sacramento or Sacramento County may have captured. You do not have to worry about who to contact and what to ask. We will make sure all the right questions are being answered.
After a serious auto accident, your life may change dramatically, leaving you feeling helpless. If your car was totaled in the accident and you cannot afford a new one, you may not be able to provide necessary transportation for yourself or your family. With significant injuries, your medical bills could be piling up and you may be looking at years of expensive physical therapy to help you fully recover. Your injuries may even keep you from returning to work, which can put stress on your family and put your livelihood at risk.
Even if you have just missed a short amount of time at work, we understand that every dollar counts. Some car crash victims are left unable to care for their own families. After working on hundreds of cases involving motor vehicle accidents, we’ve seen countless families struggle with the resulting injuries – both from pain and suffering and also financially. Our car accident attorneys can evaluate your financial situation following the accident to determine a fair amount of compensation that puts your mind at ease and allows you to fully recover.
Filing A Claim After an Auto Accident
After an accident, the parties should contact the insurance companies and give an account of the collision. Always be truthful but do not voluntarily give unnecessary information. The insurance companies will try to settle for the lowest amount possible and likely try to place a percentage of the blame on all drivers involved.
Filing a claim can be accomplished by calling your insurance company or reporting the incident through an online portal. Regardless of who was at fault, all motorists should notify their insurance providers. If uninsured, a driver can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company if they believe that driver was at fault.
It is likely an adjuster will contact the parties to get a recorded statement. Neither party is required to give a recorded statement. If one chooses to give a statement, simply present the facts with no added details and avoid giving any information about impressions of the accident or saying any statements such as “I’m feeling fine” or “there is no serious damage or injuries.” Anything stated to an insurance adjuster will be used to deny a claim, delay a claim, or lower the potential financial value of a claim.
Understanding Car Accident Lawsuits
If the insurance company has denied a claim or if a settlement offer is lower than the cost of damages, a lawsuit may be necessary. If the insurance company has denied a claim because it determined both drivers were at fault, that does not mean a lawsuit will be unsuccessful.
Even if both drivers bear some percentage of fault, it is still possible to collect damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
When filing a lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of showing the defendant was liable for the accident by providing evidence of negligence. Filing a lawsuit requires some investigation into the car accident and collecting all evidence. It is important to keep any documentation of the crash, a car accident report, all receipts from repairs, and all medical and hospital bills. This will help you collect a higher amount of damages in a lawsuit.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Claim
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that the defendant was responsible for the car accident. Showing someone was responsible for an accident is typically done by proving negligence. To prove that the other person was the negligent driver, the following four elements must be met:
- Duty of care to other drivers
- Breach of the duty of care
- The breach caused the accident
- Damages resulted from the breach
Common Causes of Car Accidents
When showing negligence after an accident, the first element of duty will always be present because all drivers owe all roadway users a duty of care. The breach of this duty can be the most difficult to prove, but common examples of a driver breaching their duty of care to others with whom they share the roads include:
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Excessive speed
- Not obeying traffic signals and signs such as running a red light
- Distracted driving
California Personal Injury Law and Duty of Care
When a driver is not properly adhering to all the rules of the road, then they are likely in breach of their duty of care. Once a breach has been established, then it must be shown that the breach caused the accident. This will require some type of evidence to prove, such as police reports, victim testimony, and statements from a witness.
The last element – damages – is generally easy to show because when there is a car accident worth filing a lawsuit over, generally it will involve property damage and personal injury or death.
When Will a Driver Receive a Payout After a Car Wreck?
Insurance companies in California are required by law to conduct a good faith investigation within 15 days of being notified of a claim. It is not necessary to provide notification in writing. The insurer must accept or deny the claim within 40 days after proof. Proving an accident to an insurance company entails proving that the driver is entitled to car accident compensation and how much.
When fault is less clear, the process can take longer, especially if anyone has been seriously injured. If the case involves proving fault, it can take months or even years to resolve.
Types of Damages One Can Collect After a Roadway Accident
When filing a claim with an insurance company, drivers will be able to collect compensation for any damages to their car and injuries sustained in the auto accident. However, the insurance company can limit this through settlement offers or by denying a claim.
In a car accident lawsuit, the judge or jury will ultimately decide the award of compensation. The plaintiff can sue for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include but are not limited to:
- Emergency medical costs
- Hospital bills
- Medical bills and medical costs related to the injury
- Recovery and therapy costs
- Repair costs
- Lost wages from missed time at work
Non-economic damages can include but are not limited to:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium/partnership
- Loss of future pay/ability to work
Economic damages are easier to prove because they can typically be shown through evidence and/or receipts or bills. Noneconomic damages are harder to quantify because these types of damages are for intangible suffering.
Common Injuries Sustained After a Car Accident
A car accident can cause any type of injury ranging from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries that are life-altering or even wrongful death. Back and neck injuries are the most common type of catastrophic injury after an auto accident, especially in rear-end or head-on collisions because of the whiplash motion. Other types of car accident injuries include broken bones, hand injuries, facial injuries, burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, internal bleeding and organ damage, and paralysis.
Regardless of the type of injury, anyone involved in a car accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, like internal bleeding, are harder to recognize, and with emotions running high after a crash, such injuries can go undetected.
It is important to keep track of the medical expenses associated with the injuries caused by a car accident. Evidence of injuries can be submitted as part of an insurance claim and/or pursued as damages in a civil lawsuit. This will allow the injured party to receive financial compensation for all damages sustained.
Why Choose Curtis Legal as Your Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
First and foremost, the auto accident attorneys at Curtis Legal Group are part of the local Sacramento community. We are not a national law firm that will push your case to a young and inexperienced attorney. We have built a strong reputation in Sacramento and all of Northern California and we aim to keep it.
Our CEO and supervising attorney Ralph S. Curtis has over 40 years of legal experience, and has helped countless Sacramento clients recover financial damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. He sits on the Sacramento County Bar Association and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Parish Council.
Vice President Andrew Mendlin has over 25 years of experience litigating personal injury cases, and holds an AV Preeminent rating. Having once worked as an insurance adjuster, Mr. Mendlin now uses his insider knowledge to successfully negotiate on behalf of accident victims.
When a reckless driver injures you or someone you love, our auto accident lawyers will make sure to hold the responsible parties accountable. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Sacramento car accident, contact us to begin your case investigation today. Remember, under California law, there is limited time to make a claim.
Our law firm will provide you with the legal advice you need to navigate this complex legal process. We will handle all negotiations with the insurance carriers and fight for the maximum compensation available. Insurance companies are well aware that settlement payouts are much greater for car accidents when the victims have lawyers. Do not let them lure you into a quicker payment when you can get more money by working with experienced Sacramento car accident lawyers.
While we are able to successfully settle many cases out of court, we are also always ready to go to trial to fight for you and your family when needed. We know just how awful a traumatic experience like a car accident can be for you and your family. You can trust the Sacramento car accident attorneys at Curtis Legal Group to handle all the legal aspects of your case so you can focus on healing. Contact us today to setup your free consultation.