According to data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 770 car crashes involving 408 injuries were reported until the year 2018 in Lemon Grove. It can be overwhelming to deal with insurance companies offering settlement amounts you don’t understand while recovering from your injuries after a sudden car accident.
The California personal injury law talks about your eligibility to claim a certain amount of compensation for the injuries you sustained in the accident from your defendant’s insurance company. You need strong legal support and representation to get out of the atrocities of an accident that may have caused pressure in your physical as well as financial state. That is when a Lemon Grove car accident lawyer may be of help.
This article will cover everything you need to know about the process of a personal injury claim and compensation after you have been in a car accident.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Lemon Grove suffers from comparatively more car accidents on larger freeway roads where the traffic is heavy, and the speed limit is higher. Broadway street, the only east-to-west arterial four-lane street, experiences heavy daily traffic. At the same time, the SR-94 is a six-lane freeway that caters to in and out regional city access. Similar street structures are prone to car crashes.
Some common causes of car accidents in Lemon Grove are:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Tailgating accidents
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Drunk driving, or Driving under the influence(DUI)
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Why Choose Shamon Law As Your Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers?
An injury can leave you with mounting medical expenses, lost income, and an inability to participate in your life fully. No accident victim should be left to fend for themselves.
Shamon law understands how important these cases are for our clients. Our experience includes going up against the big insurance companies and winning. We use our expertise to develop powerful cases, negotiate the best possible settlements, and win cases at trial.
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What are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Some common car accident injuries are as follows:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries/Traumatic brain injuries(TBIs)
- Internal Bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle injuries
What to do after a Car Accident in Lemon Grove?
If you are in a car accident in Lemon Grove and can get up and move around, the first and most important step is to bring yourself and everyone to safety. If someone is bleeding, in a lot of pain, or unconscious, immediately call 911. There may be further threats in car accidents, like fire or explosions, so you must help everyone get away from the accident scene. Once there are no further threats, the paramedics have arrived, and the injuries are taken care of, you can proceed with the next stages.
At the Scene of the Accident
If you are physically able to and it is safe, there are certain things you can do at the scene of an accident that may later help you gather evidence and investigation. For instance, you can take pictures or videos of the accident scene. It may be crucial to investigate what happened and how it may have happened. Pictures of the damage to your car may also help determine how much property damage compensation you deserve. At the same time, you can gather the contact information of the witnesses of the accident, who may later give a witness testimony when gathering evidence.
Seek Medical Assistance
If your injuries weren’t severe enough for emergency assistance of paramedics, but you are injured or are in pain, visit your doctor immediately. You never know the severity or further health complications an accidental injury can cause. It is better to receive immediate treatment. If you do not experience any physical pain, we still suggest you go for a check-up in case any invisible wounds may have severe consequences later.
Your medical report and the doctor’s note are important pieces of evidence later when investigating your accident.
Report the Accident to Authorities
If 911 was called when the accident happened, the accident may have already been reported to the police. It is a legal responsibility of the able party or a witness to inform the accident to the police or the CHP within 24 hours of the accident per the California Vehicle Code CVC § 20008. If there was a loss or damage worth more than $1000, the accident must be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 5 days of the accident per the Vehicle Code CVC § 16000.
To be on the safe side, we advise you to call the designated authorities after your injuries are treated just to be sure that the report is being made. These reports also provide essential evidence for your personal injury case.
Talk to a Lemon Grove Car Accident Lawyer
No matter the severity of your case, consulting with a professional car accident lawyer in Lemon Grove is a must. You may not initially be familiar with the laws and insurance policies connected to your accident. This can be seen as an opportunity for the insurance companies to take advantage of your vulnerable state and inexperience and offer you a much lesser amount than you deserve.
A car accident attorney will review your accident and injury to determine its severity. They will then compare it with the laws and policies to calculate how much your injuries and losses amount to. During the process, they will also educate you on how the amount is calculated and what benefits the state grants you. Depending on the severity and complexity of the case, they will suggest whether it is best to hire a lawyer or pursue the case immediately.
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Gather Evidence and Investigate
After hiring a lawyer, they will now start working on gathering all the information about the accident. All your medical reports, bills, and authority reports will be collected and properly documented to present as major accident evidence in the negotiation process. They will then work on gathering other evidence like photos or video documentation, or nearby CCTV footage of the accident. All witnesses will be reached out to, and they will also collect their testimony. If you doubt any intentional tort or negligence, they will also investigate the past status of the other party and their history of a traffic offense, drug or alcohol problem or any past criminal offense.
With all necessary evidence in hand, they will now investigate how the accident happened and the fault division. If more parties were involved, they may apply the pure Comparative negligence rule in California to determine the faults. If you were partly responsible for the accident, they will help determine your share of fault and predict how much will be deducted from the amount. The investigation process will help you understand how much you deserve and have a confident standpoint to negotiate with the amount the defendant’s insurance company offers you.
Deal with the Insurance Company
Hiring a Lemon Grove Car Accident Lawyer means they will handle all conversation and paperwork from the defendant’s insurance company. You will be assured that no mistakes in the application forms and statements or miscommunication in the phone calls and meetings are being made once an injury attorney is involved.
All the evidence and investigation outcome will be put forth in the negotiation meeting, and your lawyer will propose a settlement amount accordingly. If the negotiation goes well, as the evidence is too solid to deny, and both parties are satisfied with the compensation amount, the settlement is made. You will then have to sign a release in the next couple of days, and you will receive the cheque through your lawyer within a couple of weeks.
If there was a disagreement in the settlement and an unfair argument was made, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the defendant’s insurance company with your car accident attorney as your representative.
File a Lawsuit
While the state does allow you to file a lawsuit and represent yourself in court independently, we recommend working with a car accident lawyer as you may not have the needed experience for a lawsuit, pre-trial procedures and court representation.
According to the statute of limitation, the deadline to file a lawsuit for personal injury is 2 years, and for property damage is 3 years from the accident date. You must fill out 3 forms; a Complaint, a Summons, and a Civil Coversheet.
Your lawyer will represent you throughout the process of solidifying your evidence, filling in the arguments made by the defendant during the negotiation against your evidence, the mediation process, and all the stages before the trial. During the trial, the situation will be addressed before a judge or a jury, and a verdict will be made accordingly.
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How much is Car Accident Case Worth?
The worth of your Lemon Grove car accident case is calculated based on the following three types of damage compensation:
Compensations for direct expenses that came as a result of the accident are considered to be economic damage compensation. They include the cost of property repair, medical fees, lost wages, therapy or rehabilitation, medication cost, etc. Initially, you may have had to pay such expenses out of your personal budget or personal insurance. Some medical facilities in Lemon Grove, San Diego, have medical liens provisions. They do not initially charge for your treatment but are liable for the expenditure percentage from the insurance money you will receive.
The pain and suffering and the temporary or permanent loss of enjoyment or degradation of the quality of life are the kind of losses that cannot be measured in price or eased with a certain amount of compensation. But the non-economic damage compensation intends to balance such losses with a different kind of gain to make it easier for you in other aspects of life. The price is calculated by multiplying the total amount of economic damage compensation with a number between 1.5 to 5, based on the severity and prolongation of suffering and losses.
Rather than helping a victim cover for some kind of loss, punitive damage compensation is intended to punish the defendant. If the defendant was responsible for being negligent in their decision-making and intentionally disregarding someone else’s safety in their action, the court charges them with punitive damage compensation.
Contact a Top-Rated Car Accident Lawyer Today
Car accidents come suddenly and can have devastating implications in your life. After everything you have had to go through, you deserve fair compensation that can even slightly ease the financial strain caused to you. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can make the process much easier and help you avoid any wrongdoings or invalid accusations from the defendant’s side.
Shamon Law is here to help. We are a law firm with a team of professional car accident attorneys dedicated to standing up for fair compensation for our clients. Our lawyers have access to various resources and contacts with accident-related medical experts and engineers to help you gather solid evidence to back your accident and injuries.
Fair compensation can be a silver lining after you have suffered through a devastating accident. Dealing with heavy medical expenses can be extremely difficult while suffering so much pain and loss. The personal injury law allows you to claim a certain amount of compensation for the injuries you sustained or your property damage in California. There is a high chance the defendant’s insurance company can take advantage of your naivety regarding personal injury cases. That is when a car accident lawyer can help you investigate and hold such insurance companies accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.
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Lemon Grove Car Accident Lawyer FAQs
You do not need a lawyer to make a car accident claim in Lemon Grove. However, it is extremely important to consult with one. They will review the severity of your case, educate you on the laws and policies, and help you understand what to expect from this point on as you proceed with your case. If it deals with weak evidence, complex fault sharing and uncertain settlement amounts, they suggest you hire a Lemon Grove car accident lawyer to make the personal injury claim.
The California statute of limitation states that the deadline for filing a lawsuit for personal injury caused by a car accident is 2 years from the accident date. While that of property damage is 3 years. If the injury was discovered later, the deadline is 1 year from the date of discovery.
The pure comparative negligence rule is applied in California if the accident was partly your fault or you share faults with multiple parties. The level of fault is divided into percentages out of a total of 100%. Depending on your share or fault, a certain amount will be deducted from the overall compensation amount.
For example, if you, driver B, and driver C share 20%, 30% and 50% of the fault, respectively, 20% will be deducted from your compensation amount, 30% will be deducted from driver B’s compensation amount, and 50% will be deducted from that of driver C.
If the at-fault party’s insurance company contacts you before you have had your case reviewed by a car accident lawyer, you must tell them you will get back to them after you have talked to your lawyer. Then, consult with your lawyer about your rights and what you deserve. Talk to the insurance company to proceed with the case and make an injury claim.
A Lemon Grove car accident lawyer doesn’t charge you for consultation; you do not have to worry about paying them until after you win the case.
We have a ‘When we win, we pay you’ system where you do not have to spend any money out of your pocket. Instead, your lawyer is liable for one-third or 33% of the insurance money you receive after you win the claim.
In a car accident case in Lemon Grove, on average, it may take from a month to six months to gather evidence, investigate, and negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company. If your case had to go to trial, it may take around six months to 2 years for the trial date.
After the settlement, you will receive the cheque after 2 to 4 weeks of signing the release form.
If you were injured or your property was damaged in the accident, you can sue the other driver for compensation. Based on the pure comparative negligence rule, the amount of the percentage of your share of a fault will be deducted from the total settlement amount. For instance, if you were at 20% fault, 20% would be deducted from the total amount.
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