Following an auto wreck, you could be left with serious injuries that could lead to loss of income, medical bills, and property damage. A Sacramento car accident attorney from our firm can help you fight for the compensation you might deserve due to another party’s negligence.
Every day, accidents happen on Sacramento roads due to negligence. In any car accident case, negligence is a key component to prove that you deserve compensation. If you’ve been injured in Sacramento, here’s what you need to know about this important legal concept.
What Is Negligence in a Car Accident?
If another party’s negligent actions caused your accident, they might be liable for your medical bills and other damages. Every driver has a duty of care to drive safely by California law. Breaching this duty of care is known as negligence.
It’s not just drivers, either. If a faulty car part or repair causes a wreck, the manufacturer of that part may have been negligent in their care to provide a safe product. The same goes for road repairs. A bad road that causes a wreck could open them to a negligence claim.
Proving negligence is one of the main jobs of any car accident lawyer in Sacramento, but there are other things you’ll need to prove in order to get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Four Things You Need to Win a Sacramento Car Accident Case
When you file a claim or a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer, you’ll work together to prove fault through four determinants:
- Was there a duty of care? — The person you’re suing must have had a duty of care to protect you. In most car crashes, this is the driver. You couldn’t sue the passengers without proving they had a role in the negligence.
- Was there negligence? — Did the driver act in a way that put the public in danger? Any violation of the road rules, from speeding to DUI, can be seen as proof of negligence.
- Did the negligence cause the crash? — Even if the driver was negligent, there could be other factors that caused the crash instead. We need to rule out those other possibilities.
- Were you injured? — Proving you were injured is easy. Proving how badly you were injured and how it will affect your life is the key to getting more compensation.
Your Sacramento car accident attorney will question you about the facts of the case, gather evidence from reports and expert witnesses, and use their experience to decide whether a settlement offer is good or should be challenged in court.
Possible Damages in a Car Accident Case
There are three main types of damages in personal injury cases. The first kind is economic damages, which you can prove through bills, receipts, or pay stubs. Keep careful records of your expenses to maximize this number.
The second kind is non-economic damages, the kinds of damages you can’t pin an exact number on. These are things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other forms of emotional loss you wouldn’t have to go through if the other party wasn’t negligent.
The third is punitive damages. If the court agrees that the other party was especially negligent, they may grant you more money as a way to punish your opponent. Many of the huge injury cases you’ve seen have punitive damages.
How Much Time You Have to Sue in California
Do not wait too long to get started on your claim with auto accident lawyers. If you cannot settle your case outside of court, you can pursue a lawsuit. However, your right to sue in California is bound by the statute of limitations.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, you typically have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The clock on this deadline starts when your injuries occurred, or at the time of your family member’s death.
How Good Are Your Lawyers?
The simple answer is to look at our case results page and see how much we’ve been able to recover for some of our past clients. We’ve helped many people recover over $1 million in compensation for what they’ve suffered.
That said, not every case is eligible for a payout that large. What we can promise you is that we will do everything in our power under the law to get you the compensation you deserve. The amount you can get hinges on the circumstances of your case.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Legally, no, you do not need to hire a personal injury lawyer to file a claim against someone’s insurance. However, you will get far less than you would like, or even need, for what you’ve suffered.
A competent and ethical lawyer will push to get you more than you would have received without their help, even after they take their fee out. Otherwise, what would be the point? Plus, insurance companies know that if you have a Sacramento auto accident lawyer, you mean business.
Do I Have to Go to Trial?
Most cases end in a settlement with the insurance company. Going to trial is expensive and time-consuming for both sides, but it opens up opportunities for greater awards in court if you win. In a settlement situation, you may only get what’s allowed in the policy.
The decision to go to trial or not rests solely on you. We will give you advice about the pros and cons of a trial for your case, but we will not force you to go to trial or to settle. The power is always in your hands.
Why Hire Our Car Accident Lawyers in Sacramento?
A car accident lawyer in Sacramento with Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices can handle the insurance companies and numerous other tasks for you. Our team can help you collect evidence, prove negligence, file claims, and review settlement offers.
To learn more about your legal options in a free case review with a member of our team, contact Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices today. Tell us your story and learn if you’re getting a fair deal on your settlement before you sign.