Legal Ramifications of a Car Accident
Car accidents can result in serious and complicated legal cases when negligent parties and insurance companies intend to defend the claim to the fullest extent of the law. This situation never bodes well for the injured plaintiffs involved in the crash. Accidents that produce injuries change the injured victim’s life immediately when the injuries are serious or debilitating. Many times injuries can also result in lost time from work and extensive medical bills, not to mention the pain-and-suffering associated with rehabilitating from the physical problems. In addition, many accidents that occur at high speeds or include commercial vehicles can easily result in fatalities, which later will lead to wrongful death claims when the negligent party is identified. The potential complications involved in all of these accident scenarios means that it is always a good idea to know which Inglewood car accident lawyers you will call if you are involved in a car accident in California.
What to do after an accident
Accidents that require first responders to be dispatched can be different from some relatively small mishaps, and all of those seriously injured should follow the recommendations of the ambulance technicians. Many times it is a matter of life and death and the victim is unconscious or incapacitated. Individuals who are not injured to the level of needing transportation to a medical facility should still seek medical attention as soon as possible after the impact because internal injuries are not always apparent and can manifest quickly, including resulting in death from internal bleeding. This should be done regardless of perceived fault in the accident because California uses pure comparative fault law, which dictates that anyone injured in an auto accident in California will be entitled to some amount of compensation unless they are totally at fault for the wreck or it was the result of an intentional act by the injured party.
It is always vital to call the authorities as soon as possible, especially when someone is seriously injured or trapped in a vehicle. This can be a very dangerous situation that could also result in fire hazards or unleashed chemicals when tanker trucks are involved. In addition, always follow the instructions of the investigating officer, but never give an official statement or admit fault. Leave that determination to your lawyers and the court system.
There are essentially two types of damages that can be claimed following an Inglewood car accident. Those are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Standard compensatory damages are financially-based and include recovery for medical bills, necessary expenses, and lost wages, along with a non-economic settlement for the level of pain-and -suffering endured as a result of the wreck. Property damages can also be recovered, but are often settled first and are a good indication the rest of the accident damages will be available as well. Many insurance companies require cases to go to court as policy, especially those of a significant value. The amount of insurance protection available can also be a problem, regardless of whether the cap is inadequate or there is a significant amount of coverage that the insurance company wants to settle under the maximum.
Punitive damages may also be available in egregious accident cases that usually include wrongful death or permanent injury, especially when illegal behavior is a material case factor or the negligent respondent has significant assets that can be attached Many times this includes a major trucking company or bad faith insurance company. These damages can only be assigned by a jury, and can still be limited by a judge, but this is also where attorneys actually do their most aggressive work when the plaintiff is permanently injured or was an accident fatality. The potential claim denial situations will require the expertise of your own professional legal negotiators representing your case for a fully equitable settlement in an effort to be recovered and made financially whole regarding all available damages.
How an attorney can help
It is never a good decision to attempt handling an auto accident claim personally. Insurance companies that know they will be required to pay some level of settlement will use this opportunity to reduce the claim value as much as possible, including encouraging the claimant to represent themselves so the case can be settled well under the available insurance recovery amount. Many accidents also have multiple negligent actors as well who could also be pursued for damages, especially when commercial vehicles are parties to the crash and significant contributors.
Comparative negligent percentages assigned to the injured drivers can impact a claim value greatly, and this is exactly where all defending insurance providers will attack in order to lessen the value of a claim or even deny responsibility outright. These denials and unnecessary delays in obvious claims cases can also result in bad faith damages being assigned to the insurance company as well when a jury finds the company has been grossly negligent. An aggressive Inglewood car accident lawyer will be needed to prove these claim damages in a trial.
Anyone injured in a car accident in Inglewood, California should contact car accident lawyers for a full and free investigation into the potential value of your car accident claim.