Car accidents have the potential to ruin your life. They can result in life-changing injuries and astronomical medical bills, not to mention pain and suffering. The stress that ensues can be overwhelming. You don’t have to go through all this alone. An experienced San Diego car accident lawyer at Crockett Law Group can help you get through such tough times by handling your claim as you concentrate on your recovery.
At Crockett Law, we are dedicated to getting you your deserved compensation to get you on the path to financial recovery. If you are a recent car crash victim, trust the skilled and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Crockett Law Group to come to your rescue.
We offer free case evaluations and handle auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. Call (800) 900-9393 to set up a free consultation.
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Car Accident Statistics
In 2020, around 3,723 deaths resulting from car accidents were reported in California, indicating a slight increase from 2019. Most of these fatal car accidents involved passenger cars.
How Much Does A San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most car accident lawyers in California charge a contingency fee instead of an hourly rate. You don’t need to worry about attorney fees or other costs when hiring an attorney who handles cases on a contingency payment plan. You only pay the lawyer after they recover money for you. Typically, a lawyer will take a percentage of whatever the judge or jury awards you. You will not be responsible for paying any lawyer fees if they do win you money.
What Should I Do Following an Auto Accident?
After a car crash, the most important thing to do is to remain at the accident scene. Do not make a run for it, even if it’s a minor crash. The Road Traffic Act requires you to stay at the scene of the crash. Here are the steps you should take after a car accident.
It would be best if you informed law enforcement right away. Call an ambulance, too, if there are any injuries. The responding officers will document the scene and prepare an accident report. This is important because you will need a police report when filing your claim with your insurer.
Check on Others
Check on other involved parties. Do not leave! Check if anyone needs urgent medical care and help where you can. In case of any fatalities, call the cops immediately.
Gather basic information about the other parties involved in the crash. Be sure to get the phone numbers, names, drivers’ license numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, among other details. This is usually the job of investigating officers, but if they do not show up on time, it’s up to you to gather this information.
Record the Scene
Document the incident and scene. Take pictures of any visible injuries and damaged cars from different angles. Note down the names and addresses of all involved parties. Remember also to get the names and contact information of witnesses.
Never Admit Fault
Don’t take the blame for the accident. It is not your job to determine fault. Furthermore, if you admit fault for the accident, your statements might be used against you.
Seek Medical Attention
Visit a doctor to get medical treatment or a medical check-up if you do not have apparent injuries. Sometimes injuries manifest themselves after a couple of days or weeks.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer!
Get a car accident attorney right away. A San Diego car accident lawyer will carry out investigations alongside experts, file your case, get your files in order and represent you in court.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
You are not required by law to get representation. However, you would be missing out on many benefits if you do not hire a lawyer. An attorney knows the law better than you and is, therefore, better equipped to represent.
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
You need a lawyer to help prepare your case. An attorney will work with experts from various fields to investigate your case and determine fault. A lawyer will make sure that you file your claim within the stipulated timeline to avoid your claim being denied.
After you file your claim, an attorney can help you compute the value of your claim to begin negotiations for a reasonable and fair settlement amount.
Keep in mind that insurance companies only aim to make profits. Insurers will do their best to make sure they pay out the least amount of money possible. They might try to lowball you or refuse to payout altogether. A lawyer knows all these crude tactics used by insurance companies. An attorney will protect you from any exploitative tactics that the insurer might try to employ.
The car accident attorneys at Crockett Law group are good negotiators. They will see to it that you get a fair settlement.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If your case goes to trial, a lawyer can help you prepare for trial by sorting out the required paperwork, gathering evidence, taking on defense attorneys. Most importantly, an attorney will represent you in a trial before a judge.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for My Damages?
The amount of money you can expect to receive depends on your damages and losses. The total for a car accident settlement should include your financial losses and an extra amount for your pain and suffering. You can only receive car accident settlement money if you meet California’s legal standards for compensation.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Car accident victims in San Diego, California, can recover both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include all the financial and non-financial damages incurred.
Economic damages are all the calculable financial losses and expenses you have incurred due to the accident. They include:
- Medical treatment
- Prescription drugs
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Property/vehicle repair or replacement
- Rehabilitation or therapy
Non-economic damages are all the damages that are not quantifiable. Car accident victims can receive compensation for non-financial damages, which may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Amputation or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life or activities
Unlike the other two counterparts, punitive damages are not compensatory. Rather, they aim to deter and punish the at-fault driver from ever engaging in similar egregious behavior in the future. Courts in California may award punitive damages to injured car accident victims when they find the guilty party to have been grossly reckless or negligent.
How Is Fault Determined?
Since California is a comparative fault state, responsibility for San Diego accidents is divided among anyone and everyone who is at fault for the accident. This means that if you are found to share blame for your crash injuries, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to hold.
For instance, if you are involved in a crash, and the court determines that you shoulder 30 percent of the responsibility, the court will withhold 30 percent of the damages awarded to you.
How Long Do Auto Accident Victims Have to File a Claim in California?
You have two years beginning from the date of the accident or discovery of injury to bring forth a civil claim against the responsible party. If you don’t bring your claim forward within this period, you may not be able to pursue compensation anymore.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me During the Claims Process?
An auto accident lawyer can be an invaluable asset when filing your car accident claim. They can handle everything on your behalf, including but not limited to:
Report the Claim
Having handled many similar cases before, no one understands the claim process better than a car accident attorney. This is how a San Diego car accident attorney can help file your insurance claim.
Investigate and Gather Information
Lawyers have many resources at their beck and call. A lawyer will seek the help of experts from various fields to help investigate your claim and gather crucial evidence. In addition, a lawyer will have a claims valuation expert compute the value of your car accident claim.
Appeal an Unfair Settlement or Denied Claim
If you are dissatisfied with the ruling or settlement verdict, an attorney can help you appeal the decision. An attorney can also help you appeal a denied claim.
What Can I Do if Insurance Denied My Claim?
If insurance denies your claim, all is not lost. Do not panic because insurance denies car accident claims for numerous reasons. You can file a formal complaint with the insurance department in California. Has the insurance company denied your claim after a car accident? Let our experienced and dedicated San Diego car accident lawyers fight for you.
Do I Have a Case?
Once our teams evaluate the details of your case, we can establish whether your claim is legitimate and tell you if you have a case after a denied claim.
How Can I Obtain an Accident Report?
First things first, you must be a party of interest to get a copy of your Traffic Collision Report. A party of interest can be a driver, passenger, vehicle owner, property owner, a victim’s legal guardian, or a parent of a minor.
The San Diego Police Department allows you to get a copy of your car accident report in person, by mail, or online. Alongside your request should be a $12 money order or check payable to San Diego’s city treasurer. You can request and order an online copy after searching for your report on the eCrash site.
Contact an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a car accident can turn your life and that of your loved one upside down, especially if you have sustained severe injuries and have a mountain of medical bills.
At Crockett Law, we understand the implications of a car accident and can handle every aspect of your claim, and give you ample time to recuperate. We are committed to recovering compensation for our esteemed clients in San Diego and all over California. Get in touch with the Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393 for a free case review.