Hiring a personal injury lawyer helps victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. However, not every case requires legal representation. If you were involved in an auto accident in San Diego County, here is how to determine if you should hire an accident attorney for your case.
The Claim Is Being Disputed by the Other Party’s Accident Attorney
You may be sure that the other motorist caused the accident. But if you and the other driver have different accounts of the accident, it may lead to an investigation by each insurance company. Your car accident may result in litigation if a lot of money is on the line.
If there’s so much at stake and neither side is willing to accept responsibility for the accident, hiring an experienced accident lawyer may be necessary. They can get a police report that details how the car crash happened as well as speak to witnesses.
This helps them gather testimony to prove that the other party was negligent and breached the duty of care. Additionally, your attorney can enlist the services of accident reconstruction specialists to help you weren’t at fault.
Serious Injuries and Damages Were Sustained
If you got severe injuries or property damage after a car accident, you may want to have a professional personal injury lawyer on your side, even if you weren’t to blame for the collision.
When you decide to make a substantial but reasonable claim to cover your injuries and damages, there’s a high probability the at-fault driver’s insurer will try to dispute your claim or refute that your losses aren’t that significant.
Proving injuries and damages for a sizable claim isn’t easy. Hiring a lawyer will ensure your rights are protected. First, they will help prove that the other party’s breach of duty caused your injuries and damages.
They can also help you collect evidence supporting the existence of your losses, including medical reports, a photograph of visible injuries and property damage, and medical bills. Your attorney will also get past income statements and paystubs to prove reduced earning capacity or lost wages.
In addition, the accident attorney will help you calculate the damages and injuries and determine what’s worth.
A Potential Criminal and Civil Suit Can Be Filed
Car accidents as a result of distraction or negligence are typically considered civil cases since they harm an individual. But when a driver’s behavior threatens and poses a severe danger to the general public. Situations that can lead to criminal charges include hit-and-run accidents, reckless driving, or driving while intoxicated.
When your car accident case also becomes a criminal charge, it can be tricky since criminal charges only punish the at-fault party for breaking the law.
If you aren’t knowledgeable about the law, you may only focus on the criminal charge and forget about the civil lawsuit. A personal injury attorney can help you file a civil claim so you can demand fair compensation. This way you not only get justice but also money to cover your losses.
The Insurance Companies Are Being Difficult
The insurance claims process can be very difficult. Even when you have a clear-cut case, you may come across an insurer that’s not easy to work with. They may try to downplay evidence that you weren’t at fault for the collision and offer you an unfair settlement.
Additionally, they can drag out the claims process to frustrate you into accepting a lower settlement that doesn’t cover all your losses. Having an accident attorney on your side can be helpful.
They are familiar with the tactics that insurers use to reduce the amount of compensation they pay out. Your lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. This will also protect you from giving statements that the insurer may use against you to lower your claim.
A personal injury lawyer will also negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement with the insurer. If they fail to reach an agreement, the attorney will take your case to trial and prove to the judge and jury that you deserve compensation.
Whether it’s an out-of-court settlement or trial case, your lawyer will handle all the stresses of the lawsuit.
You Are Partially Responsible for the Car Accident
Understanding blame and liability for an accident can be challenging. Negligence is usually the fault theory that helps determine liability in most auto accident cases. There are two forms of negligence theories the judge or jury can use to determine a car accident claim contributory and comparative negligence.
California uses the pure comparative negligence theory. This means injured victims can get compensation for damages even if they are 99% at fault for an accident.
But the courts will reduce the plaintiff’s award depending on the percentage of fault. For instance, if you have $200,000 in damages, but are 20% at fault, you can only recover $160,000.
The Accident Involved a Commercial Vehicle
A collision with another passenger car can be a traumatic and confusing experience. It can be even more complex if the crash involved a commercial vehicle. There are a lot of parties other than the driver that may be at fault, including the driver’s employer, the firm responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance, and the corporation that owns the vehicle.
What’s more, trucking companies and truck drivers are governed by state commercial driving regulations, commercial regulations, and federal laws that do not apply to regular, non-commercial car drivers.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to interpret these regulations and understands how the courts interpret them. This is important in evaluating the proper way to position your claim so you can get the compensation you deserve.
To determine fault in a trucking accident, your lawyer must show the liable party breached the duty of care and caused the crash.
Hit by Uninsured Driver
California traffic safety laws require a car owner to buy auto insurance or offer proof of financial responsibility to the DMV. But unfortunately, some drivers don’t have insurance. As a victim involved in a car crash with an uninsured driver, you may worry about the possibility of financial ruin.
While health insurance can cover most of your medical costs, it won’t cover other losses you suffered like lost wages, pain, and suffering, or future financial losses.
Contacting a car accident lawyer in San Diego is the first step toward protecting your interests. They can help you evaluate your options. If need be, they can file a civil claim for monetary damages against the uninsured party.
While most uninsured drivers may not have money for you to win in a lawsuit, there is a good chance they have an asset that you can lien. Your lawyer can check into the uninsured driver’s finances via discovery to see if you can get any form of compensation from them.
Talk to Top-Rated Accident Lawyers in San Diego
Got into an accident but it isn’t your fault? Look no further than Harbor Accident Lawyers. Our San Diego accident attorney helps victims of car crashes get maximum recovery. We specialize in auto-related accidents and maintain a 99% success rate. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.