14 Apr How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help In California?
Wondering how can a car accident lawyer help? If you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident, the first step is to assess the situation and make a plan. You may need to call 911, get medical help, or file a police report. Once you are under medical care, consulting a car accident lawyer in California is the next step.
Your car accident lawyer helps you understand your rights, legal options, and the steps to take to safeguard your interests.
Read on to understand the process involved in getting the compensation you deserve and the answers to “how can a car accident lawyer help in Yuba City?”
Car accidents in California: How common are they?
Unfortunately, car accidents occur quite frequently in Yuba City and across California. According to the state OTS (Office of Traffic Safety) 2019 data, traffic accidents killed 3606 people in California, while 420 people were either injured or killed in Yuba City.
The most common reason behind these accidents that lead to severe injuries or death is alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired driving.
Before getting to “how can a car accident lawyer help in California?” it is important to understand what a car accident lawyer does and the types of injuries in a car accident.
What a car accident lawyer in Yuba City does
Car accident lawyers are experienced in handling all types of car accident cases. They can provide legal advice, representation, and support during the entire process, from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement.
A good car accident lawyer will have experience in both personal injury law and auto insurance law. This will allow them to understand the complex legal system and how it works to benefit their client. These lawyers have extensive knowledge of insurance companies and their policies. This allows them to identify potential weaknesses in the claims process or negotiations, which can result in a better settlement for their clients.
Types of car accident injuries
There are a variety of injuries that can occur in car accidents, including those sustained in frontal crashes, side-impact crashes, and rollover accidents. Regardless of the type of crash, every victim is likely to experience some form of physical and emotional trauma.
This is because when two vehicles or cars collide, there is a rapid application of a huge amount of force. Some injuries such as cuts and bruises are immediately apparent while others can appear several days after the accident.
Contusions or bruising –Bruises can be caused even by minor car accidents. When your car collides with another vehicle, the impact can slam you against the seat belt, which can cause bruises to appear some days later.
Whiplash injuries – The impact of a collision can result in straining your ligaments and muscles, particularly in your neck which may move suddenly forward and backward. Known as a whiplash injury, the key symptom of this type of injury is a pain in your neck and shoulders. This can take a few weeks to heal and can impact your ability to carry out your normal activities.
Severe back or neck injuries -The rapid force of a vehicular collision can lead to serious damage to the back and neck that may not become apparent immediately. These injuries include spinal disc rupture or herniation that limits your mobility and causes severe pain.
Internal injuries – Depending on the force and nature of the collision, many types of internal injuries can occur. Fractures of bones in the arm, leg, or other parts of the body can occur. While minor tears heal in a few weeks, extensive fractures require surgery and physical therapy.
The other serious consequence of a car accident is internal bleeding as organs may be subject to a sudden and severe force. As this type of injury can be life-threatening, prompt medical attention is vital.
Head injuries –From a minor concussion to traumatic brain injuries, car accidents can lead to head injuries of varying severity. Concussions can cause problems with memory or headaches that require immediate medical attention. The right treatment helps prevent any further damage to your brain while alleviating potentially debilitating headaches. Traumatic brain injuries are more severe in nature and tend to alter the functioning of the brain. While immediate treatment is vital, in some cases, lifelong care may be required.
Impact on mental health –Anxiety, stress, and phobia are some of the manifestations of the trauma of being involved in a car accident. Symptoms can range from sleeping problems, and fear of driving to panic attacks.
The effect of these injuries is far-reaching and the costs involved go beyond the medical expenses that you may estimate without legal representation.
The true cost of car accidents
No matter the type of severity of the injury, there are substantial costs to deal with after a car accident. These relate to:
Medical expenses: The medical expenses involve:
- Doctor bills
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency room care
- Surgical expenses
- Diagnostic tests
- In-patient expenses
- Physical therapy
- Medical supplies
- Follow-up care
Loss of income/missed work –Injuries such as whiplash can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to heal. While this may not impact your income, serious injuries can mean losing your job if you are no longer able to do the tasks you are required to do. If your employer does not offer sick time or paid vacation, managing your daily expenses and the costs related to the accident can be difficult.
Auto repairs – The cost of getting your car repaired after an accident can run into hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the damage. These expenses are typically covered by your insurance company or the party that was responsible for the accident. However, if you do not have adequate insurance, you may have to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket.
Car rental/car loan payoff – While your car is getting repaired, you may need to rent a car for moving around. There may be additional fees apart from the daily rental costs. If your car’s repair costs are more than what it is worth, your insurance company may pay the latter. If the down-payment you made is low or if your car is new, the amount you get from insurance may not be enough to cover your car loan.
Emotional trauma –Many people who have been in a car accident suffer from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), anguish, depression, and recurring nightmares. While it is difficult to estimate the ‘costs’ of emotional trauma, in many cases, these symptoms can severely affect the quality of life.
If you have suffered any of the above injuries, it is important to know that you are entitled to compensation – both economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are the expenses you incur because of your injuries. Non-economic damages include the indirect losses suffered due to pain, suffering, emotional distress, and impaired quality of life.
Your car accident lawyer in Yuba City can help you receive the compensation you deserve to cover these expenses and minimize your financial challenges after a car accident.
If you want more clarity on how can a car accident lawyer help, here is a list of the benefits.
How can a car accident lawyer help in California?
A car accident lawyer helps you file for the compensation you deserve and build a strong case. The lawyer can help you understand your rights and options following a collision and can provide invaluable support as you try to rebuild your life.
Providing the right guidance and support: Being in a car accident is a traumatic and confusing time. You may have so many questions and concerns in your mind as to what happens next, who you should contact, and who will pay your medical bills.
The car accident lawyer is equipped to answer all your questions and addresses your concerns on the next steps to take. They will explain the process of building your claim.
Estimating the expenses: At times, minor injuries can blow up into something serious over time that necessitates ongoing medical expenses. Many victims tend to underestimate the future expenses resulting in insufficient settlements. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you estimate the potential expenses following an accident.
Advising you on gathering evidence: California being an “at-fault” state, the person responsible for the crash has to pay the medical bills. If you are the victim of a car accident, it is important to prove that the injuries you sustained are because of the other party’s negligent driving.
Your car accident lawyer in Yuba City will advise you on the things you need to do to make sure your case is as strong as possible. These include gathering
- Physical evidence that could help support your case can include photos of the crash scene, videos of the incident, or eyewitness testimony. If you were a passenger in the other vehicle, your car accident lawyer can advise you to save copies of any documents that show who was driving at the time of the crash.
- Getting statements from any witnesses who can corroborate your story. Your car accident lawyer will advise you on including those who were on the scene of the accident, including drivers, passengers, and bystanders.
If you were a passenger in another vehicle, your lawyer will advise you to ask for statements from the driver and other passengers in the car.
- Establishing that you had to miss work because of the injuries from the accident. Your lawyer will ask you to save copies of documents that will help you prove that you missed work including:
- Your employer’s letter detailing your time off
- Income tax returns
- Tax documents
Protecting your rights –Building a strong case involves knowing what information to reveal and which ones to safeguard. Your car accident attorney protects your rights and strengthens your case by telling you what to reveal to other parties (including insurance companies).
An attorney experienced in car accidents will also pursue all the damages you are entitled to. Apart from your current and future medical bills, the damages you can claim can be related to emotional distress, property damage, lost wages, suffering, and impaired earning capacity.
Negotiating with insurers –Filing a claim after a car accident involves dealing with insurance companies, that typically have vast experience and resources at their disposal. It is not uncommon for these companies to try to reduce the compensation they have to pay. Typically, an insurance company will make an offer to cover the current medical bills that may be grossly inadequate to cover your future expenses.
A seasoned car accident lawyer knows the way insurance companies work and is able to negotiate for the right compensation. The lawyer also handles the phone calls, emails, and paperwork involved in making an insurance claim. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while the lawyer takes care of the important details.
In case you do not have medical insurance, your car accident lawyer may be able to negotiate with the hospital and doctors to lower the bills.
Bringing a legal action– In California, you need to file a lawsuit within two years of the date the car accident occurred. Consulting a car accident attorney is an easy way to understand your options and get a strong legal representation in case you decide to pursue legal action.
The right time to consult a car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Steve Gimblin
While the first step is to get the medical attention you need, seek advice from an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Steve Gimblin as soon as possible. The skilled lawyer can provide legal guidance and support throughout the entire process, from filing a claim to negotiating a settlement.
It is important for every driver to be aware of the possible legal repercussions of a car accident. The experienced car accident lawyer in Yuba City helps you understand the various legal options and gets the best possible outcome for you or your loved ones.