When it comes to cars, California is king. The state registers more vehicles per year than any other state and records nearly 900,000 auto sales in the same time frame. If you’ve driven on any road in Los Angeles or a California highway, these numbers probably don’t surprise you. And even though accidents happen every day, they are far from routine.
Whether you are involved in a minor fender bender or a more serious accident, dealing with the insurance companies while you try to recover can be stressful and confusing. So when should you get an attorney for a car accident, and how can they help you?
California Auto Insurance Laws
Like every state, California requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. When two or more vehicles get into an accident, liability for accident damages falls on the at-fault driver or drivers. California follows the majority of states in applying an “at-fault” system for liability purposes.
In an at-fault state, each insurance company pays for damages according to the degree of fault of its policyholder. Therefore, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages of injured parties. But determining fault and damage amounts is where auto accident claims get tricky.
How Can a Lawyer Help with an Auto Accident Claim?
Although many auto accidents don’t need legal intervention, getting a lawyer for your car accident can be a wise step if you run into issues with a claim. There are several ways that a personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process and provide legal support if needed.
Determining who was at fault for the collision is a point of great contention after an auto accident. How this blame is attributed can affect any settlement amount or jury award, leaving you at risk of losing entitled compensation. An attorney knows what evidence can help prove your claim and how to obtain that evidence; This may include police reports and witness statements and also more sophisticated evidence like expert opinions from doctors and accident reconstruction specialists.
Dealing with the Insurance Companies
Auto insurance in California operates under an at-fault system, where each driver is responsible for the damages they cause in an accident. But insurance companies are for-profit enterprises with access to resources that the average person does not have, which they use to their advantage. If you get the runaround from a claims adjuster, become bogged down in unnecessary paperwork, or have your claim denied, a lawyer can step in on your behalf.
Taking It to Trial
Sometimes an injured driver will file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company only to run into a policy cap or other limitation. That doesn’t mean that a plaintiff will lose the balance of compensation. Drivers in California can retain their right to sue the at-fault for additional damages, even when their insurance claim is accepted and paid; This usually happens when the plaintiff suffered significant physical injuries and property damage. An attorney can advise you on when a trial may be necessary and represent you throughout the process.
Car Accident Victim? Call the Farzam Law Firm for Help Today!
Whether in a minor accident or a severe one, all auto accidents can be confusing affairs. You may be watching the medical bills pile up while you try to get car repairs done and still face the stress of making ends meet at home. If you are struggling, it may be time to get an attorney for your car accident claim.
The personal injury team at the Farzam Law Firm has over 20 years of experience in California, and we are here to help make your life a little easier. We will be aggressive advocates for your rights, whether it is through settlement negotiation or in a trial setting. From our base in Los Angeles, we are ready to put our law knowledge to work for you.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at 310-226-6890 or contact us here.