Car accidents are increasingly one of the most common causes of injury in California. Unfortunately, in addition to significant property damage and other related losses, car accidents can frequently lead to serious injury and even wrongful death. With insurance companies failing to accept responsibility and neglecting to offer fair reimbursement, it is imperative that you retain the help of a qualified and tenacious accident attorney who will fight for just compensation on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or if your loved one suffered a wrongful death from a motor vehicle accident, it is essential that you receive the full and just reimbursement for all damages suffered, including pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Only by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party can you truly begin the process of financial recovery.
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates, Your Car Accident Lawyer in Huntington Beach
You want a car accident attorney with the right professional resources and experience to handle your case when facing a car accident claim in Huntington Beach. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has a unique background in personal injury cases, as its founder, Kenneth M. Sigelman J.D., M.D., is a medical doctor who brings his extensive understanding of injuries and medical knowledge to the courtroom to fight for and obtain just compensation on behalf of his clients.
Our team has extensive experience proving fault in auto accidents, properly assessing injuries, and fighting for an accurate and fair compensation amount that factors in the severity of injuries and loss, both immediate and long-term. Whatever the details of your case, if you’ve suffered a serious injury at the fault of another driver, let Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates provide you with the proper legal guidance and support you need to navigate the often complex process of pursuing the compensation you deserve.
What Kind of Injuries Result From a Car Accident?
Car accidents are among the most common causes of injury across the country. Many people who experience an auto accident suffer a range of injuries, many of which are serious and debilitating, all of which cause disruption to every aspect of their daily lives. The most common include:
Traumatic brain injuries
Neck muscle and ligament strains
Spine damage, spinal stenosis, hernias, and ruptured discs
Facet joint injuries, and
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many other potential injuries that could arise from an auto accident. It is important to receive a full medical examination following an accident to account for any and all injuries resulting from the collision.
How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was Negligent?
All personal injury claims rely on the legal concept of negligence. This refers to one party’s failure to act with a reasonable duty of care owed to another party. In the case of vehicle accidents, a driver has a legal responsibility to all other drivers and pedestrians on the road to exercise safe driving behavior, accounting for all applicable laws and road conditions. A driver demonstrates negligence by failing to adhere to and uphold this duty, which can result in extensive property damage and serious injury.
Proving negligence requires the following elements to be properly demonstrated:
Duty of care. You must prove that the driver had a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely. If there were adverse road conditions that contributed to the accident, you must adequately show that the motorist both should have and could have anticipated any hazards and acted in an appropriate manner to avoid harm to themselves and others.
Breach of duty. You must prove the other driver’s action or inaction breached their reasonable duty of care to follow all applicable traffic laws and account for all road conditions. In addition to reckless behavior, driving under the influence, and distracted driving, failure to prevent a car accident is a legally-recognized offense that lays responsibility on the at-fault driver.
Causation. You must prove the other driver’s action or inaction directly led to the accident in question, whether in whole or in part. Even in cases where most of the fault lies with you as a driver, the other driver can be held responsible for their part in allowing the accident to occur.
Damages. Finally, you must provide evidence for all damages arising from the accident and demonstrate that the accident caused by the breach of duty of care by the opposing driver directly led to the damages, injuries, and other losses in question.
How Is Fault Assigned in California?
California is a comparative fault state. This means that fault for an accident can be split between multiple parties. When determining fault, the court can assign anywhere from 0% – 100% of the fault to either driver. This fault percentage will factor into the final compensation amount you will receive. For instance, if you are awarded $20,000 in damages but are determined to have been 20% at fault for the collision, your final settlement amount will be reduced to $16,000.
Due to California’s comparative fault law, it is imperative to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can provide strong evidence and arguments thoroughly demonstrating all matters of fault in your case. They can prove negligence on the part of the other driver and defend you against unfair attribution of fault, thereby protecting as much of your final settlement as possible.
Even if you believe you are rightly at fault for some or most of the accident, your attorney will uncover any and all action or inaction on the part of the other driver that contributed to the collision, allowing you to file for damages. Whether they are determined to be only 20% or even 1% at fault for the accident, they are nevertheless legally responsible for providing retribution for any damage caused.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
California law does not require you to obtain a lawyer in the event you are involved in an auto accident. However, by seeking help from a qualified and experienced car accident attorney, you will be better positioned to ensure your rights are upheld and to maximize your compensation to achieve the most successful possible outcome in your case.
Your attorney will review the specific details of your particular case and can evaluate the necessary steps to take for your claim. In most cases, your attorney will be able to do most or all of the following:
Offer legal guidance and protection. Your attorney will inform you of your legal rights and will fight to protect them throughout the claims process.
Investigate and gather evidence. Your attorney will analyze the evidence surrounding your accident and conduct a thorough investigation into all the details involved in your case.
Complete necessary documentation. Your attorney will assess all damages and losses associated with your claim, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. They will organize appropriate documentation demonstrating these damages, collecting all necessary supporting evidence.
Prepare and file a claim. Your attorney will communicate with all applicable parties, including the at-fault driver’s insurance company, to prepare and submit a personal injury claim against the driver. They will ensure all deadlines are met and they are fully complying with any legal requirements.
Negotiate settlement. Your attorney will present all evidence demonstrating the responsible party’s negligence and breach of duty of care. They will accurately assess damages, negotiating with the insurance company to receive fair compensation. If negotiations fail, they will initiate litigation for a claim for proper settlement.
Represent your case in court. If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court, acting as your advocate throughout the entirety of the legal process.
Car accident claims can be particularly complex cases, making them difficult and overwhelming to handle alone. Procuring the services of a car accident attorney in Huntington Beach will make navigating the claims process easier and will provide the easiest opportunity for achieving your desired outcome. A qualified attorney can obtain recovery compensation that extends further than what insurance companies are able or willing to provide.
What Is a Wrongful Death Case?
If another driver’s negligence in an auto accident caused the death of a loved one, a surviving family member can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. Wrongful death cases fall under personal injury law and work to function as a claim the deceased party would have filed if not for their untimely death.
While no settlement outcome, however just, can bring back your loved one, seeking proper compensation is essential, as you have a right to damages incurred from medical bills, funeral expenses, the pain and suffering experienced by your loved one, lost income, future wages, and loss of consortium.
Wrongful deaths arising from car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, car accidents can cause wrongful deaths when the other driver:
Drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Operates their vehicle in a reckless manner
Engages in dangerous or illegal maneuvers
Is distracted while driving
Fails to legally adhere to traffic signals and posted signage, including speed limits
Legally, wrongful death cases will follow many of the same steps as other personal injury cases, having been the result of many of the same kinds of negligence. There are, however, several types of compensation afforded to plaintiffs of a wrongful death claim that are not available in typical personal injury claims. Having a reliable and experienced attorney supporting your case will help you recover from the economic and emotional loss of your loved one.
Q: How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge in California?
A: As personal injury lawyers, car accident attorneys will not charge any upfront costs or fees. Instead, they will agree on a contingency fee, taking a percentage of the final settlement amount. This percentage can vary but can typically be around 33% of the settlement. As car accident lawyers will only receive this fee if they win the case and secure your claim, most lawyers are happy to take on your case.
Q: What Is the Maximum You Can Sue for a Car Accident?
A: California personal injury law does not have a damage cap on compensation amounts in settlements. This means that you can sue an at-fault party for any and all damages sustained as the result of a car accident, including injuries, property damage, time lost at work, and pain and suffering. You will be required to properly demonstrate actual losses for each type of damage. For wrongful death, additional damages, such as funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of consortium, are applicable.
Q: How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take in California?
A: The length of time that a car accident lawsuit will take in California can vary substantially. Since car accident lawsuits fall under personal injury law, several elements must be proven in order to settle a case. Determination of fault, evaluation of injuries, and the quality of evidence provided will all impact how long a case will take. Some claims can be resolved in a few months, while others may take years to settle.
Q: Can You Sue for a Car Accident in California?
A: If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Huntington Beach, you can absolutely sue to recover any and all damages incurred as a result of the accident. Because California is a comparative fault state, you can sue for damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. The other driver is responsible for paying for any injuries, damages, or pain and suffering sustained as a result of the accident, commensurate with their portion of fault for the accident.
If you are ready to begin taking steps toward your recovery from an auto accident or from the wrongful death of a loved one, seek the help of a qualified car accident lawyer today. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates will tenaciously fight to earn a fair and just outcome in your personal injury or wrongful death case. Though victims of car accidents can have so much taken away from them, our experienced and caring attorneys can help you take the actions necessary to begin recovering to the fullest extent. Contact our team today.
KEN SIGELMAN J.D., M.D.
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