Automobile insurers are rarely concerned with making restitution to car accident victims. After a crash, the insurer for the other driver will begin collecting evidence and trying to reduce the liability of its insured right away. Although the adjustor may seem friendly, he or she is not on your side and owes you no duty of loyalty. It is important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who is working to gather evidence and build a persuasive case against the at-fault driver. If you are hurt in a crash, the Sacramento car accident attorneys at Travis G. Black & Associates can assist you. From our Folsom office, we have helped victims in many California communities assert their rights.Establishing Liability for a Car Accident
If you are hurt in a car accident, your attorney will need to identify all of the parties that were potentially at fault, possibly including other drivers, property owners that permitted dangerous conditions on the road, and manufacturers of malfunctioning automobile parts. Many car crashes result from negligence by one or more drivers. To prove a driver's negligence, you will need to establish that the other driver breached the applicable standard of care while driving and that this breach was the cause of your injuries.
In order to establish causation, you will need to show that but for the driver's actions or omissions, you would not have gotten hurt. For example, if a driver fails to stop at a red light and hits you when you were proceeding on a green light, there likely is causation because the crash would not have occurred if the driver had obeyed the signal.
A jury may award special (economic) and general (noneconomic) damages when liability is established in a car accident case. Special damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and household services. General damages may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment.
Many defendants in California raise the affirmative defense of comparative negligence. This means that they will try to show a jury that you were partially or fully to blame for the accident. The jury will consider all of the evidence and determine the total damages, and it may also assign percentages of responsibility to all of the parties. The amount of damages will be reduced by a plaintiff's own percentage of fault.
In some cases, drivers do not have sufficient insurance or assets to cover injuries to another driver. This is why it is important to look at all of the parties that might be responsible for the accident and examine whether more than one party may be at fault. California follows the rule of joint and several liability with respect to economic damages. This means that you may be able to recover the full amount of economic damages from any defendant that the jury determines was partially at fault.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Sacramento Attorney
Our principal, Travis G. Black, spent a decade working for the insurance industry before establishing his own firm, and he understands how insurers think. It is crucial to consult a Sacramento car accident lawyer before discussing your case with the other driver's adjustor. The Folsom firm of Travis G. Black & Associates provides dedicated legal advocacy to victims. Contact us online or call 916-962-2896 to set up a free consultation with a car or truck accident attorney.