Glendale Accident Lawyer
Helping individuals in Glendale, California pursue personal injury claims arising out of auto accidents
Auto accidents can lead to serious injuries, high medical bills, missed time from work, and other serious consequences. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, it is important that you reach out to an auto accident attorney in Glendale as soon as possible.
At Blair & Ramirez LLP, an experienced Glendale car accident lawyer can discuss the details of your case, provide you with a plan for action, and start the process of recovering compensation for your injuries. Call our team today at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.
Statute of limitations in auto accident cases
If you have suffered one or more injuries in an auto accident, you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your personal injury claim or lawsuit. The California statute of limitations stipulates that auto accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against any and all potentially responsible individuals or entities.
The statute of limitations clause is very unforgiving, and if you fail to file a lawsuit within that time, you will not be eligible to pursue compensation against the at-fault person or persons at any point in the future. Working with an experienced Glendale accident lawyer ensures that you name all potentially responsible parties and that your claim or lawsuit is filed within the proper time period, safeguarding your legal right to pursue compensation in your case.
How does the state of California view car accident cases?
When it comes to motor vehicle accident cases, California is a fault-based state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, then you have a legal right to file a claim or lawsuit directly against that driver and to pursue monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurer.
In order for you to be successful when pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit in California, you must be able to demonstrate the following:
- That the at-fault driver owed you a duty to act as a reasonable driver under the circumstances and to obey all applicable traffic laws and rules of the road while operating his or her vehicle.
- That the at-fault driver violated this duty of care by breaking one or more of these traffic laws while operating a motor vehicle in the state.
- That the at-fault driver’s violation of the standard of care resulted in the motor vehicle collision.
- That you suffered one or more physical injuries and damages—and that these injuries and damages were caused by (or exacerbated by, in the case of a preexisting injury or condition) by the accident.
Pursuing a personal injury claim in auto accident cases
If you have suffered one or more physical injuries in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may elect to bring a claim against that driver’s insurance company. Bringing a personal injury claim, however, is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit. In some instances, car accident cases can be settled prior to filing a lawsuit—especially in cases where fault for the accident is clear-cut and/or where the accident victim suffered serious injuries that required intensive medical treatment. At other times, however, a lawsuit will need to be filed, and the accident case must proceed through the court system.
The claims process begins by gathering all of the accident victim’s medical records, bills, and lost wage verifications from their employer and submitting all of that documentation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, along with a demand for settlement. In some serious accident cases, the accident victim might claim policy limits in the demand letter.
Once a claim is reported to the insurance company and an adjuster is assigned to the case, the adjuster will review all of the submitted documentation, make a determination as to fault, and possibly make a settlement offer on the case. In the majority of auto accident cases, regardless of the insurance company, initial settlement offers are low. Insurance companies do this to see if they can try and make the case go away for as little money as possible on their end. In fact, the less money that the insurance company pays out in satisfaction of a personal injury claim, the more money that it is able to keep in-house to distribute to its shareholders.
This is why having an experienced auto accident attorney standing by you is so important. Our attorneys can help you navigate this complex process, negotiate with the insurance company, and back up your claim with the potential of a lawsuit if the settlement offer is unacceptable.
Following the initial demand and settlement offer, an auto accident claim typically goes through several more rounds of settlement negotiations until the matter either settles or the parties reach an impasse. If an impasse is reached, the accident victim will usually decide to go ahead and file a lawsuit in the California court system against the at-fault driver and any other potentially responsible individuals or legal entities.
Filing a lawsuit for personal injuries and damages arising out of a car accident
Filing a lawsuit in the California court system officially begins the litigation process. Just because suit has been filed, however, does not mean that the case cannot settle at some future point. In fact, the case could settle at any point up until the end of the jury trial. Even after suit has been filed, the parties will still try and make attempts to resolve the case through a mutually agreeable settlement, at which point the lawsuit could then be dismissed.
During the litigation phase of the case, the parties will likely engage in various forms of written and oral discovery. During the written discovery portion, the parties will exchange questions, called Interrogatories, to learn more about the other side’s version of the case. The parties will also likely exchange documents, including medical records, bills, police reports, and lost wage statements. In general, once something is in writing, it is discoverable by the other side and must be turned over as part of the discovery process.
Also, during discovery, the at-fault party’s lawyer will likely take the accident victim’s discovery deposition. A discovery deposition gives the insurance company a chance to learn more about the accident victim’s version of the case, including the specific injuries which he or she is claiming, along with the nature and extent of those injuries and any claimed permanency. In some instances, discovery completion puts an insurance company in a better position to offer additional settlement money in a car accident case.
Once the discovery portion of the lawsuit is concluded, the parties may take part in a mediation or settlement conference in an attempt to facilitate a monetary settlement of the case. If the car accident case is still not resolved by that point, it will go to trial, where a jury will decide the outcome of the case and what damages—if any—to award the accident victim. While going to trial can have its advantages in some cases, there are also some potential drawbacks. One risk for the accident victim is that a jury decides the fate of your case, and may or may not award you a sufficient amount of compensation.
An experienced Glendale auto accident lawyer can explain the risks and benefits associated with going to trial and can help you make an intelligent decision in your case.
Compensable damages in car accident cases
If you have been injured in a car accident that someone else caused, then you may be eligible to pursue damages for everything that you were forced to go through. You can pursue compensation in the form of a settlement, or you could take your case to trial. If you take your case to trial, the jury will be tasked with awarding you damages that are fair and reasonable in your case.
In addition to recovering monetary compensation for your medical bills and other treatment, along with any lost wages, you could also recover compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of use of a body part
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of spousal companionship and/or family support
An experienced Glendale car accident lawyer could bring a claim or lawsuit for damages on your behalf and work to help you obtain as much compensation as possible in your case.
Contact a Glendale auto accident lawyer today
If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident, it is important that you have a team of personal injury attorneys on your side who will zealously advocate for you and pursue the monetary compensation you need. The skilled legal team at Blair & Ramirez LLP will pursue a strong settlement in your car accident case, and—if necessary—litigate your injury case to a favorable conclusion.
To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a car accident lawyer, please call us at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online.