While traveling on California roadways every day, we always hope that we will arrive at our destination without incident. However, there are hundreds of accidents on California roads, and most of these often lead to countless injuries and even fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance to cover the cost of damages such as medical bills, lost income or wages, and other financial damages that are a direct result of the accident.
At Crockett Law Group, our Fullerton car accident lawyers handle cases for people in Fullerton and throughout California. We have a great track record of success and have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for previous clients. Our dedication and commitment have been meeting the demands and needs of our clients and striving to achieve the best possible outcome in every case we handle.
Our Fullerton car accident lawyers are focused on the needs of people like you. We never shy away from tough cases, and we are ready to help you no matter the circumstances surrounding your case. Call our Fullerton personal injury lawyers today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your initial consultation for free.
Car Accident Statistics
The following are some important car accident statistics for the United States and California:
- There were 38,800 car accident fatalities in 2019 in the U.S., which was a 2% decrease from 2018 which saw 39,404 people lose their lives in car accidents.
- 58% of the total fatal car crashes reported to the police were single-vehicle collisions. 38% of the fatal crashes were caused by a collision with another motor vehicle. The most common crash occurred when a vehicle was traveling at an angle.
- Since California reopened after coming from a complete halt due to the pandemic, vehicles on the road have dramatically increased. Road deaths went up around 19% to about 20,160 road fatalities in 2021. Drinking and speeding played a major role considering fewer cars were driving on the roads.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most personal injury lawyers, including car accident lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the client and the lawyer agreed that the lawyer will represent the client with no upfront payments and that the attorney will receive a portion of that financial settlement when the client receives monetary compensation.
In case the lawsuit is not successful, the client doesn’t have to pay any attorney fees. If the case ends up in a settlement or compensation award, your lawyer only receives a percentage of the recovery as payment based on the agreement made at the beginning of the case.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Contact the Police
Even after a minor traffic collision in California, calling the police to the scene can help not only to redirect the traffic as necessary, but also make sure that everybody is safe and the injured parties are attended to. It will also ensure that there is an official police record for the accident.
Check on Other People
Never leave the scene of an accident, as you risk being charged as a hit and run driver. Be sure to also check on other people at the scene of the accident and ensure that they receive first aid and are safe from potential hazards.
Exchange Contact Information
You also want to get the contact details of the people at the scene of the accident, including their other drivers as well as witnesses. Note down their full names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance details information, license plate details, and any other relevant information.
Record the Scene of the Accident
If you can, take photos and videos of the scene of the accident. Be sure to capture details such as injuries sustained, damage to your vehicle and other vehicles, any skid marks, road conditions, any road signs close to the scene of the accident, and any other relevant details. This will come in handy when presenting your case to a jury or judge.
Never Admit Fault
It’s crucial to avoid making any statements or records without fast considering the impact they could have on your claim. Avoid making apologies or saying things that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Any statements you make could be used against you later on in the case.
Seek Medical Attention
Following the crash, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter that your injuries seem minor, you should still see a doctor. Keep in mind that certain injuries will take time to show and failure to seek immediate medical attention could make them worse.
Get a Fullerton Car Accident Lawyer
When filing your car accident claim, you should consider hiring a Fullerton car accident lawyer as soon as possible. This will ensure that your rights are well protected and give you the best chances of recovering the full compensation for your case.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Based on data across the country, most reported car accident cases settled for between $14,000 and $28,000. The average settlement for California is about $21,000. You might be wondering what this means for your case. Well, nothing really. Every case is different, and we have handled cases that settled for a few thousand dollars, and others that went into millions. There isn’t any magical number.
When Should I Get a Fullerton Car Accident Lawyer for My Auto Accident?
Well, the answer here largely depends on the circumstances and the consequences of your car accident. But generally speaking, you should get a car accident lawyer when:
- You were badly injured in the accident
- Insurance adjusters are placing blame on you for a part of the accident, and you believe you weren’t at fault
- Your accident is complex or involves multiple parties
- Your accident was caused by a professional driver such as a ridesharing driver or a truck driver
You should also seek legal counsel if you are involved in an accident involving a public vehicle or a government employee. This is because accidents involving government agencies will often be complicated and will usually require you to meet tight deadlines when filing an injury claim.
Moreover, there’s no drawback to talking to an experienced car accident lawyer. A good Fullerton car accident lawyer will offer a free initial consultation, and advise you whether or not you have a case, and how they can help you get justice.
Why Do I Need a Fullerton Car Accident Lawyer?
When you hire a Fullerton car accident lawyer, they will immediately get to work to investigate your case and establish the cause of your accident. They will also interview witnesses, hire experts such as accident reconstructionists, file the necessary paperwork, and prepare a bulletproof case on your behalf.
A car accident attorney will also handle any negotiations with the defendant and their insurance company. The aim here will be to negotiate a suitable settlement based on the available evidence and the findings of their investigation. Our Fullerton car accident lawyers will bring their wealth of negotiation experience and ensure that the defendant reaches an acceptable settlement amount. Otherwise, we will not be afraid to proceed to trial.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Most car accident cases are settled out of court. However, if the negotiations don’t yield a suitable settlement, the case proceeds to trial. Our Fullerton car accident lawyers will be by your side to give you all the advice and guidance you need to ensure a favorable outcome. We have extensive trial experience, and you can be certain that we’ll be able to convince the judge and jury of your innocence.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
Seems every car accident case is different, there’s no one size fits all number. In other words, we can’t say that a certain injury will equal a certain amount. There are so many variables involved here. The best way to get more of an answer is to contact an experienced Fullerton car accident lawyer.
The amount of settlement you can expect will depend on the following factors:
- The length of time you spent in the hospital
- The length of time you need to make a full recovery
- The nature of your physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments
- The kind of interference your injuries had on your ability to work
- Whether there was any permanent scarring or disability
- The emotional impact of the injury
- The kind of rehabilitative therapy required
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
When pursuing a personal injury claim in California, there are two main types of potential compensation you may be eligible for: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are out of pocket expenses, and they generally consist of:
- Medical expenses to treat the injuries. These include costs of hospital visits (to and fro), prescriptions, ambulance and ER, hospital stays, etc.
- Property damage
- Future medical bills and costs for long term care
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Costs incurred with vocational rehabilitation
Non-economic damages are human losses that cannot be easily calculated or quantified. In these kinds of cases, they typically include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Disfigurement and physical impairment
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Anxiety and depression
Based on the circumstances of your case, you might be eligible for a third category of compensation: punitive damages. While rare, punitive damages are awarded to serve as extra punishment to the defendant and serve as a deterrent to the members of the public. It’s worth noting that California law requires that you and your Fullerton car accident lawyer prove the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression to award punitive damages.
How is Fault Determined?
California adheres to the at-fault insurance system to determine who is liable for the damages incurred in a car accident. The person who is deemed at fault will be required to pay the victim’s compensation. The amount of compensation to be paid usually accounts for the extent of the damages, how much the victim contributed to the crash, and the extent of negligence of the defendant.
To legally prove a claim, you and your Fullerton car accident lawyer have to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the other driver was negligent. Being negligent means that the other driver had a duty to act reasonably and failed to do so when the accident happened. The factors used to prove negligence are as follows:
- Duty of Care: the driver had a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely
- Breach of Duty of Care: the driver who was in breach of this duty at the time of the accident
- Causation: this breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident
- Damages: the accident directly caused losses and damages to the victim
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
According to California law, personal injury claims (including car accident claims) should be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident. Failure to file the claim within this deadline will be taken as forfeiture of your right to bring a personal injury claim in the future despite the strength of your claim. This is why its imperative that you seek advice from a skilled Fullerton car accident lawyer.
How Can a Fullerton Car Accident Lawyer Help Me File My Insurance Claim?
The process of filing a car accident claim can be quite overwhelming, not to mention emotional and time-consuming. With a lawyer by your side, you’ll be able to focus on making a full recovery while your Fullerton car accident lawyer handles your claim through the necessary steps, which usually include the following:
- Gathering, organizing, and compiling the available evidence
- Drafting demand letters
- Communicating with all parties on your behalf
- Obtaining, preparing, and submitting the necessary paperwork
- Interviewing witnesses
- Sourcing industry experts to testify in your case
- Building a comprehensive case file with all the supporting evidence and documentation
- Keeping you updated on the progress of your claim
Our Fullerton car accident lawyers are experienced in handling these kinds of cases and can ensure that your case follows the right procedure and that all the necessary deadlines are met.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denies My Claim?
If the insurance company denies your claim, your situation is not hopeless; you might still be able to get the compensation you deserve. Here are some of your options:
Request an Explanation
Request a letter outlining why your claim was denied. This is an important step as it gives you a written verification as to why your claim was denied. It will also help you and your Fullerton car accident lawyer assess whether your provider is right or wrong for denying your claim.
Request a dispute. This is the formal process of challenging the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. You and your Fullerton car accident lawyer will have to provide all the necessary verification as to why your provider owes your money based on the policy in question.
Seek Independent Claims Adjuster
Hire an independent claims adjuster. These are third-party adjusters that can help your case by verifying that all the information about your damages and your vehicle are correct.
Department of Insurance
You and your Fullerton car accident lawyer can contact the Department of Insurance. This will put your case into arbitration, where that party considers both sides and comes to a legally binding decision on whether your claim should be denied or upheld.
Seek Advice from an Attorney
Hire an experienced Fullerton car accident lawyer. When you work with us, our experienced attorneys can appeal your denied claim in higher courts or file a complaint with the Department of Insurance on your behalf.
Do I Have a Case for My Car Accident ?
It’s normal to wonder whether you have a case, especially if your case is complex. To be sure, you should consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer to assess your case. Keep in mind that the more the time you’ll take before contacting a Fullerton car accident lawyer, the harder it becomes to collect evidence and build a strong case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
In California, all drivers are encouraged to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You are actually supposed to carry it unless you specifically choose to opt out of this supplemental coverage in writing.
The uninsured motorist coverage serves as a safety net in case you are injured by a driver who is underinsured or uninsured. To recover insurance benefits, you will only need to claim from your insurance policy. In case you don’t carry uninsured motorist coverage, or the amount that you can recoup won’t be enough to cover all of your damages, you can always take legal action.
For the lawsuit to be meaningful, however, the defendant should have some way of raising the money to cover your damages. If the defendant in your case has no assets, it might be difficult to recover damages through a lawsuit. Our Fullerton car accident lawyers have years of experience with these types of cases.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
If your accident was investigated by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), you can request a copy of your collision report by mail or in person. To request the report in person, you can simply visit Fullerton’s CHP office. To request your report by mail, you can simply download and complete the request form and then submit it (at a fee) along with a copy of your driver’s license.
You can also go to the department of motor vehicles to ask for a copy. Alternatively, you can purchase copies of your crash report online through services such as LexisNexis® Buy CrashTM. A Fullerton car accident lawyer can help you to get a report if needed.
Contact a Fullerton Car Accident Lawyer Today and Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you don’t have to cover the cost of the damages you incurred. Contact an experienced Fullerton car accident lawyer for legal help.
At Crockett Law Group, we never shy away from a challenge, and we are always ready to fight for the rights of our clients and help them recover their losses. We want you to be able to take a rest and make a full recovery – you can leave all the heavy lifting to us.
Call Crockett Law today at (800) 900-9393 to learn more about how one of our Fullerton car accident lawyers can help.