Crash, Claims, and Clarity: How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Car accidents are among the leading causes of civil litigation in San Jose, as victims seek fair compensation and justice for their damages and injuries. The city is one of the biggest urban areas in California, meaning it gets massive traffic activity. Plus, the roads, transit systems, and bridges have been deteriorating for years, and before these issues are addressed, the city will continue experiencing significant car accidents.
Motorists, pedestrians, and other residents are not without legal options following involvement in a car accident. Indeed, car accidents cause injuries and damages for which involved parties can ask for compensation via insurance claims or civil litigation. If you or a loved one was hurt, consult a San Jose car accident lawyer about your claim and how to navigate the legal process.
San Jose’s Absolute Comparative Negligence Concept
California allows parties involved in a car accident to seek compensation regardless of their share of responsibility for the incident. The absolute comparative negligence rule doesn’t change even if the case involves multiple at-fault parties. In civil litigation, the jury will determine compensation based on the individual’s shares of fault.
However, a defendant claiming that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the case must also be ready to prove that the plaintiff acted negligently and it contributed to their (plaintiff’s) injuries.
In any case, you’ll be wise to retain the services of an experienced car accident attorney. Car accident claims in California are governed by statutes of limitations, so get a lawyer involved as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to compensation.
Steps a Car Accident Lawyer Can Take for You
Successful personal injury claims involve various elements, and seasoned car accident lawyers know how to handle such cases. An experienced car accident attorney will assist you by:
Assessing Your Claim
Personal injury cases involve intricate legal concepts and processes. Indeed, some people don’t even know they have a claim unless they speak with a lawyer. As mentioned, California follows a pure comparative negligence model, meaning all parties involved in a car accident can claim compensation.
That being said, there are statutes of limitations, and claims have to be filed in time, or you forfeit your right to compensation. Get a lawyer involved early so they can assess your case and tell you what kinds of claims you are entitled to seek. The earlier they start, the better they’ll be able to determine damages, gather evidence and build a strong case.
Investigating Your Car Accident
The burden of proof is an important aspect of civil litigation. To obtain compensation, you and your lawyer must prove that the other party breached a duty of care and caused the accident. That means showing that they did not behave as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances.
Furthermore, you must prove that the accident caused your injuries, medical expenses, pain, and suffering. In other words, you and your lawyer must gather evidence to prove a breach of duty of care, causation, and damages.
A lawyer can do this by tracking down and speaking to third-party witnesses, examining accident photos and footage, scene reconstruction, reviewing hospital records, bills, etc.
Negotiating with Insurers
Car accident cases go against insurance companies. Insurers will send investigators to look into the claim following claim filing. It’s important to avoid getting buddy-buddy with insurance investigators. They are not your friend. Don’t record any statements.
Don’t engage without legal representation. Look into offers carefully. The first offer may not encompass all the money you are owed. Insurers are typically ready to negotiate fairly when dealing with an experienced attorney. In case negotiations fail, your lawyer can take the matter to trial.
Car accident attorneys and their teams will use evidence to identify all parties responsible for an accident and seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, disability, pain, and suffering. Some car accidents involve defective vehicle parts. Adding a strict liability claim to your car accident case increases the chance of obtaining bigger compensation.