Car accidents are a common occurrence. When you are in a densely populated state such as California, your odds of being involved in a car accident are even higher. Despite various measures put in place by the state and local agencies to improve road safety, negligent and reckless drivers are still a major problem. Regardless of how careful you are, you can’t control the actions of other drivers. When a driver decides to get behind the wheel when intoxicated, drives while distracted, exceeds the speed limit, or drives recklessly, they can cause an accident leading to serious injuries and even deaths.
Victims of car accidents and their families are usually left suffering and the injuries or death of a loved one can have life-long consequences on them. A Desert Hot Springs car accident lawyer can help you hold the parties responsible for the accident accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve justice as well as full and fair financial compensation, under the law.
At Crockett Law Group, we are committed to assisting victims of car accidents and their families get the justice they deserve. Our team of experienced Desert Hot Springs personal injury attorneys will fight aggressively for your rights and we will not settle until you are fully and fairly compensated. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free consultation.
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Car Accident Statistics
According to recent statistics, in 2018, the state of California recorded a total of 3,563 deaths as a result of traffic accidents. While this was an 8.3% drop from the previous year, those figures are still high. In 2018, California had a car accident death rate of 9 per a population of 100,000, making it one of the states with the highest traffic accident death rates.
Desert Hot Springs reported 4 traffic fatalities in 2018 – an increase of 100% from the previous year. One of the four fatal car accidents involved a drunk driver. 2 pedestrians were killed that year as a result of car accidents.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
One of the biggest worries for car accident victims seeking justice is how much hiring a car accident lawyer will cost them. To put your mind at ease, our car accident lawyers at Crockett Law operate on a contingency basis, which means that you only pay us after we’ve delivered a favorable settlement or verdict for your case. It is basically a ‘no win-no fee’ arrangement. We only deduct a small percentage (previously agreed upon) from the awarded amount.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Here are some of the most important steps you should take following a car accident in order to protect your rights and your well being:
It is always important to get the police involved after a car accident, even if it seems minor. Not only will they help facilitate the exchange of information, but you will most likely need the official police report to prove your claim later on.
Check on Other Involved Parties (Do Not Leave!)
Assess your surroundings and if you are in a position to do so, move around and check on everyone involved in the accident and contact emergency responders if need be. You shouldn’t leave the scene until you’ve been allowed by the police to do so. Remember, you can be charged with a hit and run felony if you flee the scene of an accident, especially one involving injuries or death.
Ensure to collect the other driver’s names, contact details, address, and license and insurance information. Also, remember to provide yours. Leaving a scene of an accident without exchanging information is considered a misdemeanor.
Record the Scene
Take photos of the scene of the accident as this can help preserve crucial evidence. Remember to capture images of any visible injuries you’ve sustained, damages inflicted on the vehicles involved, placement of the vehicles, presence/absence of skid marks, and other details that may serve as crucial evidence.
Never Admit Fault
Regardless of how you feel about the accident, you should never apologize or admit fault for the accident. Keep in mind that actual fault is determined after thorough investigations and admitting fault can seriously hurt your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
An accident can be a very traumatizing experience. And while you might feel physically fine and unhurt, the rush of adrenaline can mask your pain and injuries. It is therefore crucial that you seek medical attention immediately. Medical documentation not only helps to prove that you were indeed injured, but it also helps to prove the extent of your injuries.
Call a Desert Hot Springs Car Accident Lawyer!
Once you’ve received medical treatment, contact a Desert Hot Springs attorney as soon as possible. Do not discuss details of the accident with any party involved without first talking to your attorney. Your attorney will guide you on the best course of action and will ensure that the case goes in your favor.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Each car accident is different and the details surrounding each case are unique. Thus, there isn’t an average settlement amount when it comes to car accident claims. How much you can expect to receive will depend on factors such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- The severity of your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Availability of punitive damages
When Should I Get a Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after being involved in a car accident, preferably the same day. This is particularly important if you’ve suffered serious injuries, lost a loved one or there is a risk of fault being disputed.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
Having an attorney on your side when dealing with a car accident claim, significantly helps your case. Your attorney helps to simplify the process and ensures that everything properly to guarantee the best chances of success. Here’s how an attorney can help you:
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
Our attorneys prepare your case as if they are taking it to trial. Once your attorney has notified the insurance company of your intention to file a claim, your attorney will get hard to work investigating the incident and collecting all the necessary evidence to build a solid case for you. No stone will be left unturned. Your attorney will also help you to file a lawsuit ensuring that everything is done accordingly.
Most car accident cases usually end in settlement. Insurance companies typically don’t want to deal with court cases as they rarely end in their favor and they also have to deal with hefty legal fees. When you have a lawyer on your side willing to take your case to court, the insurance will take your case more seriously and will try to negotiate a favorable settlement. Your attorney won’t settle for anything less than the full amount you deserve.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If the insurance company fails to present a favorable settlement offer, your attorney will prepare your case for trial where he will defend your rights before a judge/jury.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
You can recover three types of damages depending on the specifics of your case.
Economic Damages – These refer to monetary losses incurred by the victim and their family as a result of the injuries including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, etc.
Non-Economic Damages – Generally referred to as pain and suffering, they refer to non-monetary losses sustained by the victim including physical pain, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
Punitive Damages – Punitive damages in California car accident cases are usually awarded in cases where the driver was extremely negligent or acted maliciously. While these types of damages are uncommon, they are often awarded in cases where the defendant was drunk at the time of the accident. In California, there is no official cap on the amount awardable in punitive damages.
How is Fault Determined?
Fault is usually based on the principle of negligence. This means that to prove that the defendant is indeed liable for your injuries, your attorney has to prove the following elements of negligence.
- Duty of care: The other driver owed you a reasonable duty of care. All drivers owe other road users a duty of care to drive safely.
- Breach of duty of driver: The other driver violated this duty of care, for example, they were overspeeding or drunk.
- Causation: Your injuries were caused by the other driver’s breach of duty of care and not something else.
- Damages: As a result of your injuries, you suffered legally compensable damages.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that accident victims can still recover damages if they are 99% at fault, however, the recoverable amount will be deducted by the percentage of fault.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations in California gives car accident victims up to two years from the date of the accident to reach a settlement or file a lawsuit against the liable parties.
What Can I do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
If you believe that your claim was wrongly denied, you can raise a claims dispute with California’s Department of Insurance Claims Mediation Program. This unit facilitates disputed claim negotiations between the affected victim and the insurance company.
Alternatively, you can hire a lawyer and file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurance company.
Do I Have a Case?
Given the complex nature of car accident cases, it is important to consult an attorney who will help you determine whether you have a valid case in the first place and whether it is worth filing a lawsuit.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
While the law requires that all drivers carry a minimum amount of car insurance to cover injuries your car causes to others, some drivers, for one reason or the other, don’t. In such a case, you should turn to your own insurance company for compensation, that is if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Otherwise, you will have to file a lawsuit against the driver. However, this is often a hopeless option since most uninsured drivers don’t have sufficient financial assets or resources to cover their damages.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
In California, you can obtain a copy of your official accident report you can visit the records unit of the police department in the county where the accident happened. Alternatively, you can obtain it online at a fee.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries suffered in a car crash include:
- Brain Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Facial Disfigurement
- Leg & Knee Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
Our Desert Hot Springs personal injury lawyers represent those injured in:
- Driving Under the Influence Accidents (Drinking & Drugs)
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Head-on Collisions
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Reckless Driving
- Rideshare Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Speeding Accidents
- Uninsured Motorist Accidents
Contact An Experienced Desert Hot Springs Car Accident Lawyer Today
Being involved in a car accident is one of the most traumatizing life experiences. The situation becomes even worse when you have to deal with serious and life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to an accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve justice. We can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. We have all the necessary resources and experience to provide you with the best legal representation. Contact the Crockett Law Group today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free initial consultation.