Ewing Law Group

Placer County Car Accident Attorneys

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Placer County Car Accident Lawyer

The Golden State has beautiful, scenic highways and roads that are traveled by thousands of people every day for both work and leisure. Unfortunately, the convenience of using the roadways comes at a cost: thousands of car accidents. According to NHTSA, there were 485,866 reported car accidents in California in 2017. There were 276,823 injuries and 3,898 deaths because of those accidents. Since 2013, car accident deaths have increased by 23.5%, and California alone accounts for 11% of the nation’s auto-related deaths. These statistics include car-on-truck accidents,motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

With these car accidents comes the potential to deal with multiple issues: liability, personal injury, and even death. Trying to sort out the legal aspects of a car accident can be difficult, especially while you are trying to physically and emotionally recover from the accident itself. Thoroughly handling a car accident may require a lawyer experienced with the legal nuance associated with California traffic laws. Ewing Law Group understands California laws and can help you understand your options following a car accident. Since 2004, we have represented clients in their car accident cases, whether it is personal injury cases, liability cases, or even wrongful death cases.

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How to Handle an Auto Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a terrifying experience, but there are actions you should take to ensure your well-being. Understanding those steps before experiencing an accident is critical to handling it in the best possible way.

At the Scene of the Accident

  • Remove the vehicles involved to the side of the road if it is safe and possible to do so.
  • Determine if you or a passenger has been injured. Do not rush this assessment, as adrenaline can mask any injuries you may have experienced.
  • Dial 911, even if you think no one has been injured. California law requires any car accident that results in injury or death to be reported by the driversto the police or highway patrol within 24 hours.
  • Obtain contact information, auto insurance information, and license numbers from the other drivers involved in the accident.
  • Do not accept responsibility or admit fault for the accident to anyone, including the other drivers and police officers on the scene.
  • Record vehicle damage, weather conditions, road conditions, and proximity to other roadways with photos and videos.
  • If there were any present, collect contact information from witnesses of the accident.

After the Accident

  • Be examined by medical professionals, even if you do not believe you were injured. Symptoms from brain or internal organ injuries may take days or weeks to appear.
  • Inform your insurance company of the accident and pass along the contact information you collected on the scene.
  • Acquire a copy of the California accident report.
  • Continue to not admit fault for the accident, especially if another driver’s insurance contacts you.
  • Maintain thorough records of medical appointments or vehicle repairs required after the accident.

How Fault Is Determined in a Car Accident Case

Determining the at-fault, or responsible, party for a car accident is important from a legal standpoint and insurance standpoint.Each determining party may choose the at-fault party independently from the other.

Police will arrive on the scene and investigate by interviewing drivers, passengers, and witnesses. They will attempt to piece together the sequence of events leading to the accident, then submit their report to their department. Police reports may not identify an at-fault party, and even if it does, that does not necessarily mean the person will be held legally responsible. The police will issue any relevant traffic citations at the scene of the accident; these citations do not prove fault, but they can be used as evidence to identify a negligent driver.

Insurance claims will need to be filed by the car accident victims. The insurance companies will then assign a claim adjuster to oversee the investigation and settlement of the claim. Their job is to research the accident, look at the medical reports, determine the amount of vehicle damage, speak with any witnesses, and clarify insurance policy details. This investigation will identify who was at fault and the percentage of fault belonging to each driver if the fault lies with more than one person. California is a pure comparative state, meaning a victim can recover some damages, even if they are found to be 99% at fault for the accident. This is different than modified comparative fault, which states that plaintiffs with more than 50% fault in an accident cannot recover any damages.

If a lawsuit is filed by the victim to recover money for damages and injuries, the court will also decide who is at fault for the accident. Their decision will consider negligence – or a failure to take reasonable caution under the specific circumstances of the accident. The court will hear arguments and see presented evidence from the parties’ lawyers. Testimonies from police officers, witnesses, and experts relevant to the case may be heard to fully identify an at-fault driver. Depending on the type of case, a judge or jury will then use the evidence to determine the negligent party and if any money is due for injuries or losses.

When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

Sometimes car accidents just happen and could not be avoided. More commonly, there is a driver at fault for the accident. In this case, you may have grounds to take legal action against the at-fault driver. As mentioned above, there are many ways a party can be determined at fault, but there are some major conditions that will play a large role in deciding an at-fault party. If you believe the other driver caused the accident due to negligence, inattention, reckless driving, or driving while under the influence, then it is time to contact a car accident lawyer. If you sustained injuries in the accident, it is important to choose a lawyer with experience in personal injury law to ensure you are fully compensated for the medical issues resulting from the accident. The faster you contact a car accident/ personal injury attorney, the faster you can let them fight your case for you so that you can focus on your recovery.

What Will Happen if Both Parties Sue Each Other

As mentioned above, both parties can be at fault for an accident. If one party sues the other party, then the second party can file a counterclaim. If they are both found to be partially at fault, damages and fault will be determined separately by a jury. The jury must determine each party’s damages and percent fault separately, then the parties will receive separate awards,or the damages will be offset against each other. For example, Ashley and Chad are involved in an accident. It is determined that Chad is 80% at fault with $20,000 in damages, and Ashley is 20% at fault with $15,000 in damages. Chad will be awarded $4,000 (20% of $20,000) while Ashley will be awarded $12,000 (80% of $15,000).

Typical Car Accident Settlement in California

No two car accidents are exactly alike, as they are very specific to the case. There are many different factors that can affect a total settlement value.

  • The total amount of medical bills
  • Current and future lost wages due to injury or trauma
  • Estimate for medical treatment required
  • Damages for any pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages depending on the case circumstances
  • A determination of who was at fault for the accident

There are no maximum values that can be sought in a personal injury claim. The value is tailored to the specific situation, and the number chosen is meant to cover all legal damages. You are entitled to damage compensation, even if you are partially responsible for the accident. The percent you are considered at fault will play into your awarded compensation, but that does not mean you should not speak with a legal team to determine how your case will likely end.

In the United States, reported cases usually settle for around $21,000, and the typical range of settlement value is $14,000 and $28,000. However, your case is specific and unique, so these numbers will likely not help you in anticipating any settlement you could receive. It is best to speak with an experienced attorney so they can help you make realistic expectations.

Who Pays the Settlement

The responsible party’sinsurance will cover the settlement if the driver was adequately and fully insured. Fully insured drivers are ideal to work with;their coverage limit is lower than thesettlement amount determined by the courts.Unfortunately, not all drivers in California are adequately covered by their insurance. These drivers are underinsured; their insurance will compensate the victim, but only to the policy limit. The remaining amount must be paid by the responsible party with personal assets or some other party.

In the case of uninsured drivers, they will have no liability coverage to pay the settlement against them. It must be noted that California requires every driver to maintain auto insurance, but not every person will follow that law.Unfortunately, this circumstance makes it difficult for the victim to collect their settlement from the responsible party because it must come entirely from personal assets. A potential way to solve this problem is to carry uninsured motorist coverageinsurance that will pay out on the settlement instead of relying on the responsible party to acquire your owed compensation.

Wrongful Death Accidents

Wrongful death occurs when an individual, business, or other entity’s negligence results in another’s death. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience, but it is even more traumatic if it is sudden and unexpected. Unfortunately, the roadways claim thousands of people every year.Some of those deaths are caused by the poor and illegal actions of others.

In these cases, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. Only the victim’s spouse or domestic partner, their surviving children, or their surviving grandchildren can file for wrongful death. If no family members listed above are available, then California’s intestate succession laws allow for anyone entitled to the victim’s property to file a wrongful death claim.Wrongful death accidents are a very traumatic situation, but that does not mean you shouldn’t get help with holding the other driver(s) accountable. A knowledgeable lawyer can get you financial compensation to cover the bills that arise from any death-related costs. Though a court case will not bring your loved one back, it may get the closure you need to move on.

Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the victim’s death, so delaying finding an excellent attorney is not in you or your family’s best interest. You will lose the right to pursue the case if you file for wrongful death outside of these strict parameters, meaning you will lose the chance to hold the responsible party accountable.

Placer County Car Accident Lawyer

Vehicle use is a requirement for many California residents. Even if you drive safely and follow all the laws, you may still find yourself in an accident due to another’s poor actions. Injuries or even death can result from another’s negligence, and it is important for those people to be held accountable for the damages they cause. Though they may be prosecuted by a criminal court, that prosecution does not help you recover or get closure. This reason is why it is important to retain a lawyer, even if the car accident was not your fault.

Ewing Law Group can examine your case and determine if there are legal grounds for you to continue with a lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident.We will handle your case’s procedural requirements while helping you understand the nuances of a personal injury or wrongful death claim in California.Ewing Law Group has the tenacity and strong record that you are looking for in a Placer County, California attorney. A consultation with us can help you explore your options and make the best choice for you and your loved ones moving forward. Contact Ewing Law Group today to see how we can help you get the results you deserve.

Get Qualified Legal Assistance From Our Experienced Lawyers

Ewing Law Group provides a wide array of legal services to clients in Sacramento and throughout Northern California.

To see how our law firm can help in your case, contact us online or call us at 279-900-8848 and schedule a consultation.

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