Car accidents are a leading cause of economic damages, accidental injuries, and fatalities each year. These incidents happen in various ways, many of them unpredictable. If you or a family member recently experienced an accident, you’re likely to have many questions regarding your recovery and how you can secure recompense for your losses.
How to Recover Your Damages From a Car Accident
Even if your recent car accident resulted only in property damage, you could be entitled to claim more compensation than you may initially expect. Every driver is legally required to have car insurance, and this insurance must include three basic forms of coverage for bodily injury to a single person, bodily injuries to multiple people in a single accident, and property damage. If you only sustained vehicle damage in your accident, and your repairs cost less than the coverage limit on the at-fault driver’s policy, you could recover fully through insurance alone.
If you were not injured in your accident, this does not necessarily mean you can only recover recompense for your vehicle repairs. Any car accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience, and state law grants the right to seek compensation for emotional distress as well as physical pain. You could be entitled to claim more than just the vehicle repair costs, and a San Diego car accident attorney can be the ideal resource to consult if you want to maximize your compensation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Your Accident
Whether you cannot recover recompense for your damages through auto insurance or the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you will need to start a personal injury claim to recover your damages. When you did not suffer physical injuries in the accident, you can still claim recompense for the emotional suffering you experienced, lost income from the time you had to take off from work to address the issues arising from the accident, and any property losses not covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance.
On average, car accident claims in the state generate roughly 1.5 times the total of the victim’s economic losses. This is to account for pain and suffering as well as the other unpredictable losses that might arise from an accident. Additionally, the defendant’s behavior could influence your compensation. If they caused the accident through any illegal activities like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may owe you punitive damages along with compensation for the other damages they caused.
Ultimately, you could be entitled to claim more compensation than you initially expected, but you have the greatest chance of maximizing your case award when you have legal counsel you can trust on your side. The sooner you connect with a reliable attorney, the sooner they can start resolving your recovery issues on your behalf.
Q: How Much Can You Claim for Emotional Distress in a Car Accident Claim?
A: State law does not limit compensation for non-economic damages in most personal injury claims, and a plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for both physical and emotional pain. Your attorney can offer valuable guidance when it comes to determining suitable compensation for emotional distress. This amount should reflect the severity of the psychological impact the accident has had on you and any long-term mental health complications you are likely to experience.
Q: How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
A: Attorneys will typically use two common methods for determining pain and suffering compensation for their clients. The per diem calculation is more suitable for clients expected to make full recoveries in the short term, and this awards a set amount of compensation for each day until they reach maximum recovery. The second method is the multiplier method, which involves multiplying the plaintiff’s total economic losses by a factor of one to five. This is more often used in cases in which plaintiffs have suffered catastrophic permanent harm.
Q: What Happens if I Partially Caused My Recent Car Accident?
A: Proving liability for your recent accident is essential to your recovery efforts. California enforces the pure comparative negligence rule, so if a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing the damages, they can still recover compensation from the defendant. However, the plaintiff will lose a portion of their award equal to their portion of fault for the accident. Your attorney can help minimize any fault assigned to you and preserve as much of your final case award as possible.
Q: Can I Claim Against My Own Insurance if an At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured?
A: You can only file a claim against your own auto insurance policy if you have purchased uninsured driver coverage. While this type of coverage is not strictly required by the car insurance laws of the state, it is strongly encouraged for all drivers. If the driver who hit you does not have insurance and you cannot claim against your own policy, you will need to file an injury suit against the at-fault driver.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case?
A: When you choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to handle your case, there is no fee until we win compensation on your behalf. You pay nothing upfront and will not pay ongoing legal fees for the duration of your case proceedings. When we win your case, we will take a percentage of the total award, but if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf for any reason, you will pay nothing at all. This contingency fee system ensures that legal counsel is affordable and accessible when you need it most.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has the professional experience and resources necessary to guide you through your recovery efforts after an accident. Even if you were not seriously injured, you could be entitled to claim more compensation than you might initially expect. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about the legal services we can offer in this situation.