Compton Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States each year. These incidents happen in many ways, and each state has different laws for resolving car accident claims. In Compton, California, if another driver harmed you in an accident they caused, they are fully responsible for all the damages you suffered from the incident. Any car accident has the potential to be a life-changing event in many ways, and if you or a loved one is struggling with the aftermath of a car accident someone else caused, you need a Compton car accident attorney you can trust to help you hold them accountable for your losses.
Helping Compton Clients Recover From Car Accidents
McLachlan Law, APC, is an experienced team of Compton personal injury attorneys with years of experience handling all manner of car accident claims on behalf of our clients. We take time to provide each client with individualized and compassionate legal counsel so they can approach their civil cases with confidence. The aftermath of any car accident can be chaotic, stressful, and painful in many ways, and our goal is to help our clients recover as fully as state law allows.
Your recovery process after any car accident caused by another driver is likely to entail an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury suit. Every driver is legally required to have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements, and this insurance comes into play whenever a covered driver causes an accident that harms another motorist. However, dealing with auto insurance companies can be difficult, and even a straightforward claim may not yield full compensation for your damages. Regardless of how complex you anticipate your upcoming recovery efforts to be, the right attorney is an invaluable asset for maximizing the compensation you obtain for your damages.
Proving Liability for a Car Accident in Compton
The first thing your Compton car accident attorney will help you accomplish in your recovery efforts is proving exactly how your accident happened and identifying the party or parties responsible for your damages. The state uses the fault rule to determine liability for car accident damages, so you must prove fault for your recent accident before obtaining any sort of recovery for your losses.
Car accidents can happen in many different ways, but a few of the most common causes of accidents that generate personal injury suits in Compton include:
- Inattentive driving. Across the United States, distracted driving is consistently cited as the most common cause of all vehicle crashes each year. Any level of distracted driving is dangerous for both the distracted driver and everyone else around them. Cell phone use behind the wheel, eating while driving, and cognitive distraction are just a few examples of how inattention can easily result in devastating losses to others.
- Speeding. Any time a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, they inherently increase their chances of causing an accident. Additionally, accidents that happen at higher speeds are more likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries to those involved.
- Moving violations. When a driver fails to navigate an intersection correctly and runs a light that has turned red or performs an illegal turn, they can startle other drivers around them and cause serious accidents. Accidents like this that happen in busy urban areas are likely to result in multi-vehicle accidents and complex questions of liability.
- Reckless driving. Typical negligence behind the wheel can easily result in devastating crashes, but intentional reckless driving is more serious and likely to lead to criminal prosecution of the at-fault driver. Excessive speeding, intentional moving violations, and aggressive driving are all examples of reckless driving that can lead to accidents.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This is a violation of state law and will lead to criminal charges against the at-fault driver. In addition, they will face prosecution for breaking California’s DUI laws, and their penalties will automatically increase if they cause an accident resulting in bodily injury or death.
Before you can secure any form of compensation for your damages from a car accident, you must prove exactly how the accident occurred and identify the driver or drivers responsible. Your Compton car accident attorney will be a crucial asset in this endeavor. When you choose McLachlan Law, APC, to represent you in your car accident case, we can identify key pieces of evidence you are likely to require for establishing liability. This may include the at-fault driver’s cell phone records, vehicle computer data, and footage from traffic cameras in the area where your accident occurred. It’s also possible that eyewitnesses who saw the accident happen could provide valuable insights that assist you in substantiating your case.
Most car accidents happen because of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel. If negligence caused your recent accident, you must identify the defendant responsible for the accident, prove they owed you a duty of care they failed to fulfill, and prove that your claimed damages directly resulted from their negligence.
Alternatively, if your accident happened because of any type of intentional misconduct, such as DUI or reckless driving, the at-fault driver will face criminal charges filed by the state along with your civil claim for damages. If this applies to your situation, your Compton car accident attorney will advise you as to how the illegal nature of the defendant’s actions may influence your case proceedings and recovery.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in California
Every driver must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. A minimum coverage policy must provide bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, bodily injury liability coverage for multiple persons injured in the same accident, and property damage liability coverage. The state’s minimum coverage requirement for these three types of coverage is $15,000, $30,000, and $5,000, respectively.
After you have received medical attention for your injuries, the first step in your recovery process is likely to be an insurance claim against the at-fault driver. Your Compton car accident attorney can assist you with this, helping you compile the evidence you need to establish their liability and prove the full scope of the damages you caused. Once an insurance company representative notices that you have legal representation, they will be more inclined to process your claim quickly and in good faith.
McLachlan Law, APC, can help a client draft their demand letter to an insurance company and address any issues that might arise with their claim. However, if your damages exceed the scope of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you will need to file a personal injury claim against them to secure full compensation for all the damages they caused.
Compensation Available in a Personal Injury Claim
Any car accident has the potential to cause severe physical injuries, and the experience itself can be traumatic. California’s personal injury laws enable the plaintiff in a car accident case to hold the defendant liable for the entire scope of damages their actions caused, both economic and non-economic. After exhausting the compensation available from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, the plaintiff can seek accountability for all their outstanding damages, including:
- Medical treatment costs. If you suffered severe injuries, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance might only cover a fraction of the total cost of the medical treatment you require. You can include any remaining medical expenses in your personal injury claim as economic damages.
- Long-term treatment costs. If the defendant caused a severe permanent injury, you are likely to require extensive ongoing treatment and various forms of rehabilitation. State law allows you to include all medical expenses, immediate and future, in your personal injury claim.
- Lost wages. Your accident may have left you unable to work while you recover from your injuries. The defendant is responsible for the income you were unable to earn during this time, and you can also hold them accountable for any vacation time you were forced to use during your recovery.
- Lost future income. In the event the defendant caused permanent harm that resulted in a disability, your earning power may have been greatly diminished. In addition, if you cannot go back to work at all due to the severity of the injuries they caused, they are liable for your lost future income as well.
- Property loss. The at-fault driver’s car insurance may cover some of your vehicle repair costs, but any remaining repair or replacement expenses can be included as economic damages in your personal injury claim.
Once your Compton car accident attorney has helped you calculate the full range of economic damages you can seek from the defendant, both immediate and future, you may be surprised to learn that your claim is worth more compensation than you initially expected. However, your recovery does not end there, as state law also permits you to seek accountability for the pain and suffering you endured because of the defendant’s actions.
Calculating Pain and Suffering for a Car Accident Claim in Compton
The state does not limit or cap pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims, so there is no limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can include in your personal injury claim. However, the amount sought must be reasonably reflective of the damages you suffered. There are two methods most commonly used to calculate pain and suffering in personal injury cases:
- The multiplier method is most often used when a plaintiff has suffered permanent damage of any kind. The attorney multiplies their client’s total economic losses by a factor indicative of the severity of their experience. For example, if the plaintiff claimed $200,000 in economic losses and developed a permanent disability from their accident, their attorney may seek several times this amount in pain and suffering damages.
- The per diem method is used when a plaintiff should make a complete recovery in a relatively short time. This method entails a set compensation awarded every day until maximum medical improvement from their injuries is reached.
Your Compton car accident attorney will advise you as to which method would be most appropriate for your car accident claim. When you choose McLachlan Law, APC, as your legal representation in a car accident case, we will do everything we can to maximize the total compensation you obtain from the defendant, including seeking the most pain and suffering compensation we can to ensure your experience is properly compensated.
Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases
California is one of few US states to uphold the pure comparative fault rule. This means that if a plaintiff bears any level of partial liability for causing their claimed damages, the plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award to reflect their shared fault. There is no threshold of fault that bars plaintiff recovery; once the judge overseeing the case assigns the plaintiff a fault percentage, this percentage is then deducted from their final case award. For example, bearing 10% fault means losing 10% of the final case award.
If you are concerned about bearing partial liability for your car accident in Compton, a car accident attorney can carefully review the details of how the incident occurred and help you gauge the level of comparative fault you might bear for your damages. McLachlan Law, APC, has extensive experience handling complex car accident cases, and our goal is to help our clients preserve their ability to recover compensation as much as the law allows. If you bear any measure of partial liability for your recent car accident, we will do everything we can to maximize the compensation you obtain from the defendant.
Car Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: How Much Is My Car Crash Claim Worth in Compton?
A: State law allows the victim of a car accident caused by another party to hold that party accountable for any and all economic losses they suffered, and they also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation as well. On average, car accident victims typically secure 1.5 times their total economic losses. However, many variables can influence a plaintiff’s final case award, and you need an experienced Compton car accident attorney on your side if you want to maximize your final case award as much as state law allows.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Secure an Auto Insurance Settlement?
A: If another driver is clearly at fault for your recent accident and you have a Compton car accident attorney you can trust to help you with your insurance claim, it may only take a few weeks to secure the compensation you deserve from their insurance policy. McLachlan Law, APC, can help you draft a compelling demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier to streamline this process and minimize the chance of any disputes arising against your claim.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Compton Car Accident Attorney?
A: McLachlan Law, APC, accepts personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis, so the client pays no upfront or ongoing legal fees for our representation. Our client only pays their contingency fee once we win their case, and the fee is a percentage of the total compensation they obtain. This ensures their legal representation does not cost more than their total case award. Our team will carefully review our billing policy with you before any contracts are signed, so there are no surprises in terms of the cost of our representation.
Q: What Happens If Multiple Drivers Bear Liability for an Accident?
A: California’s comparative fault rule can apply to plaintiffs and defendants as well as cases in which multiple defendants share fault for a plaintiff’s damages. In this situation, the judge overseeing the case assigns each liable party a fault percentage based on their level of contribution to causing the accident. For example, if two defendants share fault, and one is 60% at fault, and the other is 40% at fault, they will be responsible for 60% and 40% of the plaintiff’s damages, respectively.
Q: Will the At-Fault Driver Go to Jail for Causing an Accident?
A: It’s possible for the defendant responsible for your recent car accident to face criminal charges depending on exactly how they caused the accident. If they were egregiously negligent in any way, or if they broke state law in causing the accident, the state is likely to file criminal charges against them, and jail time could be an element of their sentence. For example, DUI penalties increase dramatically when a DUI driver causes injury or death.
McLachlan Law, APC, has years of personal injury experience, and our team has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of car accident claims. We have the resources necessary to guide our clients through the most challenging civil cases, and we know the obstacles you are likely to face in your pursuit of recovery from your damages. We are ready to provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to approach your car accident case with confidence. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Compton car accident attorney you can trust.
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