There were 3,606 deaths from California car accidents in 2019. That year there were 16,427 serious injuries from crashes. When a crash happens, the devastation that it could cause can be considerable. The aftermath of a car accident can range from mild to moderate and deadly.
When a driver behaves recklessly and is not operating their vehicle responsibly, they put all other vehicles and pedestrians around them at great risk for an accident. Individuals that are hit and injured in a car crash may be able to hold the negligent driver accountable for the harm and losses they suffered.
If you were in a vehicular accident in California, you may be wondering if you can file a claim for financial compensation. You very well may be able to do so, and you might have a strong case to make against the driver that caused your collision.
Taking your case to an attorney to have it examined is a good way to find out more about how strong your case is and if you should file an injury claim. In California, the Costa Mesa car accident injury attorneys at Beckerman Anderson have decades of experience helping car accident victims understand their rights and fighting for them to get the full amount of compensation they are entitled to.
Top 3 Things to Do Right After a Crash
It can be overwhelming and devastating when you are injured in a crash. Even if your injuries are not life-threatening or disabling, car accidents are still traumatic experiences for anyone. It can be confusing in the aftermath of a crash to figure out what you should do next. When you consider the cost that medical treatment will be to help you recover from your injuries and how expensive car repair costs can be, you may be thinking about how you will ever pay for it all.
There are three things that are typically recommended to individuals who have just been in a crash. These are:
- Seek medical attention. The best chances for full recovery come with understanding what the injuries you suffered are and then taking the doctor’s orders for healing. Additionally, the information you get from the doctor can help your claim because it can show that you were hurt in your accident and that the car crash is what caused your injuries.
- Do not speak to the insurance adjuster, and do not provide any written statements without having an attorney. An attorney looks out for you and protects your interests, while the insurance adjuster looks out for the insurance company and protects their bottom line.
- Speak to an attorney as soon as you can after a crash. When you do not hesitate to connect with an attorney you give your attorney a running start to work on your claim and for gathering the most evidence to build it.
Damages After a Car Accident
When a car accident happens, a victim can suffer several losses, also known as damages. Damages can be any of the following:
- Medical expenses for the cost of medical treatment and doctor’s appointments.
- Payment for wages that were missed if you were unable to return to work.
- Repair work and associated costs for property damages.
- Payment for the pain and suffering you had to go through.
- Loss of consortium.
- Burial and funeral expenses.
- Punitive damages.
The damages that you include in your claim really depend on what happened to you and how extensive your losses were. Usually, car accidents with catastrophic results yield the most compensation, but there is no single case that is exactly the same. As a result, the compensation that you may obtain for your crash can be vastly different from that of another person who is harmed in a car accident.
How Does Insurance Coverage Affect a Car Accident Injury Claim in California?
California car insurance laws mandate that all drivers must have at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of coverage for bodily injuries. A driver must also carry a minimum of $5,000 for property damages.
What this means is that to be a lawful driver in the Golden State, one must have at least California’s car insurance mandatory minimum. Often, it is advisable for a driver to go beyond the mandatory minimums because of how expensive car accidents can be. Though, obtaining more insurance coverage than the mandatory minimums set by the state is not required.
As a result, if you are injured in a crash, and the individual that caused the crash only has the mandatory minimum coverage, there is a good chance that you may only recover $30,000. This is because that is the full amount of coverage the driver has.
It can be possible in these cases when your damages far exceed the insurance coverage of the liable driver to sue them for the rest of what was not covered by their insurance. However, this can be risky and may not prove to be fruitful. When the liable driver has little to no assets, there is nothing of value to you that you would be able to get from them through a suit.
Underinsured coverage insurance is one option that may help make up the difference in this situation. However, this coverage is optional. As a result, if you did not purchase the extra insurance, this safety net would not kick in when a driver that hit you had insufficient coverage for your damages.
Speak with an Attorney at Beckerman Anderson
Several factors are used to calculate what the full amount of compensation or a fair amount would be for your harm after a crash. But, because there are so many considerations that go into what you can actually get, the amount of financial compensation you can recover from a car accident injury claim can vary. It is best to consult with an attorney that will know how to review your claim and advise you of not only what your claim is worth but how to get the most from it.
Victims of car accidents in California can call the California car accident attorneys at Beckerman Anderson to schedule a free consultation for more information. Please call today at (949) 474-2254.