Car Accident Lawyers in Little Italy San Diego
When and why would you need one
If you were recently injured in a car accident in Little Italy San Diego, you probably have plenty on your head right now. Your health is your priority, as it should be, but you also need to pay your bills and put food on the table. All these take money, especially your medical care. How are you going to pay for all this? If you put all your hopes in the damages you’re going to get from the insurance company, you must be very careful. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They’re not into charity and they’re going to fight you for every penny. You need to fight back and this is where talking to an experienced car accident lawyer in Little Italy San Diego can make all the difference.
How do you file an accident claim in Little Italy San Diego?
Accident victims in Little Italy San Diego must file a claim under California’s personal injury law. Personal injury law deals with all types of accidents caused by negligence, including motor vehicle crashes, slips and falls, use of defective products, medical malpractice, etc.
To claim damages from someone you must prove they were negligent. Easier said than done. You will want seasoned lawyers working on your case as soon as possible to establish the four factors that constitute negligence:
- Duty of care – the other party had a duty to be cautious and look out for your safety
- Breach of duty – their negligence (speeding, drunk driving, tailgating, etc) led to the accident
- Injuries – the health issues you’re struggling with were directly caused by the accident
- Damages – you have sustained both economic damages (medical bills, lost wages) and non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering damages.
What is California’s comparative negligence law?
If you file an accident claim in Little Italy San Diego, the insurance adjuster will use California’s comparative negligence law to assign fault. If there’s anything at all that might be considered negligence on your part, you’ll want a skilled lawyer by your side.
The pure comparative negligence law divides the fault between all those involved in a motor vehicle accident.
This is how this works:
Driver A had just got out of a restaurant in Little Italy San Diego and was quite intoxicated. Still, he got into his car and three blocks down the road he slammed into Driver B’s car. So far, so good, you have a clear case of DUI. The problem is that the insurer adjuster in charge of the claim will start investigating what Driver B was doing at the time of the crash. Maybe he was a bit over the speed limit or he was texting his girlfriend. This makes Driver B also negligent. The insurance adjuster may decide that, yes, Driver A had most of the fault, say 70%, but Driver B is also 30% to blame.
Under the comparative negligence rule, Driver B’s damages will be slashed by 30%. Imagine you’re Driver B and you sustained serious spine damage in the crash. You may need surgery and physical therapy to get back on your feet and your total damages will be around $100,000. As you were found to be 30% to blame, you’ll only get $70,000 in damages.
How much is my Little Italy San Diego accident claim worth?
In minor property damage-only accidents, that’s not a problem. If it was only your car that took damage in the accident, your mechanic will immediately tell you how much money you need to get it fixed.
For an accident resulting in severe injury, you have two options – let the insurance company decide how much your claim is worth or ask a reliable lawyer. If you know what’s good for you, talk to a trustworthy Little Italy San Diego lawyer first.
There’s a very simple reason why you should never trust the insurer representative to tell you the truth. They’re the ones who will pay your damages so it’s in their best interests to give you as little as possible.
A knowledgeable lawyer will look at legal precedents and their own professional experience when they calculate the value of your claim.
When you file a personal injury claim, you can seek economic and non-economic damages, which fall under compensatory damages.
A good lawyer can help you keep track of your medical bills. They’ll also refer you to experts to determine what medical expenses you may face in the future if you’re left with an impairment. Keep in mind that once you settle the claim you won’t be able to go back and ask for more money. Any additional medical expenses you may have will come out of your pocket.
There’s also your lost wages to consider and again your lawyers will also look to the future. If you were forced to take three months off work to take care of your injuries, you deserve to be compensated for the wages you lost. However, if you’re left with a disability you may not be able to get back to your old job, or maybe you won’t be able to work at all. Your lawyers will make sure that your lost future earnings are included in your settlement.
When you file an accident claim in Little Italy San Diego you are entitled to monetary compensation for your pain and suffering, both physical and mental. California does not cap pain and suffering damages in motor vehicle accident cases.
On the one hand, the amount of damages you can seek depends on the severity of your injury and the extent to which it impacted your life. If you sustained some bruises and whiplash you can hardly expect the same money as someone who suffered spine damage and spent months in the hospital.
On the other hand, the value of your non-economic damages also depends on the skill of your lawyers in presenting a convincing case. They will gather testimony from your friends and family who can talk about your daily struggles, but they may also call medical experts and mental health professionals to give an account of your suffering since the accident.
Bottom line – If you were injured in an accident in Little Italy San Diego, never assume getting money from the insurance company will be easy. There are a lot of elements to consider when you make a claim and you need sound legal counsel if you want to get the damages you are entitled to.