When someone finds themselves the victim of a car accident brought on by someone else’s negligence, they face a bevy of costs. The medical bills from injuries, lost wages from missing work, and costs of repair to your vehicle can be significant, in addition to the psychological impact of the situation. A Woodcrest car accident lawyer can help you seek restitution for these losses.
At Karlin & Karlin, you’ll find a team that is dedicated to your claim. Our firm has extensive experience helping clients get the restitution that they are owed. Whether through a negotiated settlement that meets their needs or through making the case in court, we’re prepared to seek the compensation that our clients deserve.
A car accident claim is only going to provide compensation for those costs that can be directly linked to the injuries that the accident caused. One of the elements of a trial would be demonstrating the link between injuries and costs. This is usually done with documentation, which is why it’s important to keep a good record of your costs, including medical bills, bills for property damage, and anything else that proves these costs.
Those losses will then be compensated through two forms of damages:
Comparative negligence is a part of personal injury trials in California. It will allow the defendant the opportunity to argue that the plaintiff was at least partially at fault for the injuries they suffered. They will need to demonstrate fault in the same way that the plaintiff’s side was required to. If they are successfully able to do so, the court will determine a share of fault that belongs to the plaintiff.
The damages awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced proportionately to the share of fault that they are given. For instance, if a plaintiff is awarded damages of $100,000 but is determined to have been 25% at fault for the accident, then the final amount paid will be $75,000. Because so much is at stake with comparative negligence, preparing to defend against these accusations is a critical part of what your lawyer does to prepare for a claim.
When you hire a Woodcrest car accident lawyer, like those at Karlin & Karlin, to represent you, it is their responsibility to seek fair compensation for the injuries that you suffered. We do so, though, by making sure that we are attentive to your needs and what’s important to you in the final outcome.
We typically begin with a thorough investigation of the accident. While another driver is often liable for an accident, there is always the possibility that another party may be liable. It’s important that we identify the properly liable party; otherwise, we could be seeking restitution from someone who may be able to easily defend against the claim.
Beyond identifying liability, another major component of our investigation is to gather evidence. If the claim should go to trial, we must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Additionally, we need to be prepared for the possibility of comparative negligence rules allowing the defendant to argue your fault. Therefore, we also work to gather evidence that can help defend against those claims.
Before taking a claim to court, it may be advantageous for both parties to consider a settlement. Whether or not a settlement is worthwhile is a risk-reward calculation, as a trial always contains some risk. It could also be a quicker option than a trial. However, the reward portion must be fair and significant enough for many people to consider that option. It’s our job to try to negotiate the strongest settlement package that we can.
In most cases, these negotiations will involve an insurance company on the other side of the process. When you have a lawyer on your side, these companies will often take the process a little more seriously. The insurance companies tend to realize that, because of our experience, they won’t be able to make lowball offers and try to push us around the same way they may with others.
The presence of a lawyer on your side also carries the implicit threat that if a fair offer doesn’t come, then the claim will end up in court. If the company is particularly motivated to avoid that outcome, then this could speed the process up somewhat.
There is a possibility, though, that a fair settlement just can’t be reached by both parties. When this is the case, the claim will need to go through litigation in Woodcrest, CA. We can continue to represent you through this process and argue on your behalf. Demonstrating that the defendant was negligent, and that their negligence caused the accident and your injuries, is the central component of the trial. Without that connection, they cannot be held liable for the costs that they caused.
Additionally, we need to demonstrate how the costs were a direct result of the injuries. We may also need to preserve your damage award against claims of comparative negligence and that you were at least somewhat at fault for the accident. Our experience in taking claims to court can often be critical to getting our clients the compensation that they deserve.
A: There can be a couple of advantages to settling a car accident claim rather than taking it to court. One of these is the benefit of time. A court case could take months or even years to reach a conclusion, thus delaying the funds that you need. A settlement, though, could be achieved quickly if both sides are interested, allowing you to obtain your compensation much sooner.
It also has the benefit of eliminating the aspect of risk that comes with a trial. There’s always a chance that a trial could result in a ruling against you, but a settlement guarantees that you will receive what’s been agreed to.
A: In most cases, a car accident claim will need to be filed within two years of the accident, which is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. However, there are some circumstances where the deadline to file may be shifted based on factors such as if a minor was involved, if an injury was discovered later, or who the claim is being filed against. It’s important to talk with a Woodcrest car accident attorney soon after your accident so that they can help you understand the deadline for your claim.
A: If someone dies in a car accident, then the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This is similar to standard personal injury claims but also includes the ability to collect on additional costs, such as funeral and burial costs, along with the psychological impact of the death on the family.
A: It is rare that punitive damages are awarded in a car accident claim, but it is not impossible. As they are meant to serve as a kind of punishment and deterrent, they are not typically awarded unless it can be shown that the defendant acted out of ill intent or otherwise egregiously. Most car accidents, being the product of mistakes, don’t meet that criteria, but a lawyer can help you understand if there is a possibility of them being awarded in your case.
The costs of a car accident are steep, and it’s critical that the victims of these incidents get proper restitution from those who caused them. At Karlin & Karlin, we help our clients seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, damage to their vehicle, psychological impact, and other costs. It can be challenging getting proper compensation from the insurance companies typically responsible for paying on these claims, but our experience can be an invaluable help.
Whether through the negotiation of a favorable settlement or in the courtroom, we are able to call on our experience to make the strongest claim for our clients’ right to collect restitution. If you’ve been in a car accident, contact us for help seeking the compensation that you deserve.
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