The state of California has the highest number of car accidents in the U.S., with over 4,000 fatalities in 2021. Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of personal injuries in California.
Car crash injuries can result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, car repair expenses, and lost wages. That can be very unfair and devastating, especially if the accident was caused by the negligence of another person.
While the causes of car accidents vary, oftentimes they are due to speeding, inattentiveness, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, fatigue, and failure to comply with state regulations, weather, and traffic conditions. Under California law, the party at fault for causing the crash, or their insurer, is liable to the other driver and passengers for their injuries and damages.
For more information about other types of automobile accidents, check out our pages on Motorcycle Accidents and Truck Accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions
What You Should Do After a Car Accident
Get medical help: The most important thing you should do after a car accident is to get medical care. This will not only aid in your recovery, but will also allow you to document your injuries in your medical records.
Document the accident scene: It is important that you collect as much information about the accident as possible before leaving the scene. That includes gathering witness names and contact information, photographs of the accident, property damage, and injuries, and requesting the other driver’s important documentation such as a picture of his/her driver’s license, insurance information, license plate number, vehicle information (make, model, color, year), and contact information.
Call 911: State laws require that you report accidents resulting in injury or death to law enforcement within 24 hours.
Do not post about the accident on social media.
Do not admit fault.
Do not give any statements, or sign any documents: Keep in mind that you are not legally required to sign any documents or provide any statements.
Get A Personal Injury Attorney: The next important step should be hiring an experienced California personal injury attorney. As you focus on recovery, your lawyer will help with contacting the insurance company and filing a personal injury claim to get you the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at Golden Gate Legal are experienced in dealing with personal injuries sustained by car accident victims and are ready help you through the claim process. Contact us here to get professional legal help.
Proving negligence and, thus liability, depends on several factors and can require a complex investigation depending on the nature of the accident. If you believe that the other driver was responsible for causing the accident, we can help you prove it.
However, if you were partially at fault for the accident, your contributory negligence may lower the amount of damages you are entitled to.
California’s Statute of Limitations
Under California state law, you have a limited time window to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car accident. If you fail to file suit within two years from the date of your accident, you may be barred from seeking compensation.
With time, memories will begin to fade, evidence will destroyed, and it may become difficult to locate key witnesses. Therefore, you must seek legal help immediately after the accident.
Your Compensation Rights Under California Law
California allows individuals who have sustained injuries in a car accident to seek compensation for damages incurred from the at-fault driver. The process of claiming compensation commences with the filing of an insurance claim with the insurance company that insured the at-fault driver.
Compensatory damages for car accidents in California include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Vehicle repair
- Future medical care and treatment
- Pain and suffering
More often than not, the insurance company will try to undervalue your claim in order to keep their profits high. This is why it is important to have experienced California personal injury attorneys working on your case.
How Golden Gate Legal Helps Secure Your Compensation
At Golden Gate Legal, our first objective is to connect with you to have a genuine understanding of what you are going through. We want you to know that you are not alone. Our second objective is to understand the severity of your injuries. This could mean referring you to specialized doctors who will provide you with the medical treatment you need for your recovery.
While you focus on your recovery, we will ensure that the insurance company pays you the compensation you deserve, including damages for your pain and suffering.
Injured In A Car Accident? Let Us Help You Recover Damages
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, it is imperative that you seek legal representation immediately. The attorneys at Golden Gate Legal are ready to fight on your behalf and have the experience necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.