It’s possible for a car accident to happen unexpectedly in various ways, and the average person is likely to have many important questions in the aftermath of an accident in Lake Forest, CA. While some car accident victims make full recoveries in relatively short periods of time, others are left with permanent disabilities and a host of economic losses that complicate their lives in various ways. If you believe your recent accident happened because of the actions of another driver in Lake Forest, a car accident attorney can help hold them accountable.
The Law Offices of Steven Zwick provides compassionate and responsive legal counsel to every client we represent in the Lake Forest area. We listen to each client’s story, helping them identify their greatest areas of concern as they seek compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the negligence and misconduct of others. Time is a crucial concern for any car accident victim as they have a limited time in which to file a personal injury suit and a much smaller timeframe in which they can file an auto insurance claim. After receiving medical care for your injuries after an accident, it is vital that you reach out to a Lake Forest car accident lawyer you can trust as soon as possible.
California upholds the fault rule for car accidents. This means that whoever is at fault for causing an accident faces liability for the resulting damages. Your first challenge in the aftermath of an accident someone else caused is proving exactly how they caused it. Most of the car accidents reported in Lake Forest are the results of “negligence,” a legal term to define a failure to use reasonable care in a given situation. A few common examples of negligence responsible for accidents throughout the Lake Forest area include:
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways that can result in a serious car accident, just a few of the most common. Proving negligence in a California civil case requires proof that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, breached their duty of care in some way, and consequently caused the victim’s damages.
Alternatively, many car accidents happen because of drivers’ illegal misconduct behind the wheel. For example, reckless driving or driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can not only lead to civil liability for damages the defendant causes to others but also criminal charges from the states. Whenever anyone breaks the law they face harsher penalties if their actions result in bodily harm or death.
If your recent car accident in Lake Forest happened because of another driver’s illegal misconduct, your attorney can advise you as to how this may affect your recovery efforts. You could recover additional compensation in your civil suit in the form of punitive damages, and it is also possible for the defendant to face restitution as an element of sentencing in criminal court.
Every driver in California is legally required to have auto insurance meeting basic coverage requirements. At a minimum, an individual auto insurance policy must have at least $15,000 to cover bodily injuries to a single person, at least $30,000 for bodily injuries to multiple people hurt in a single accident, and at least $5,000 to cover damage to property. These coverage amounts may be enough to resolve a minor accident but are unlikely to cover the full extent of the losses you might incur after a serious accident.
Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy, and having the right Lake Forest car accident attorney on your side can make this phase of your recovery process much easier to manage. Your attorney can help you navigate the claim filing process with confidence, resolving any issues raised against your claim. Once the insurance company delivers their offer, your lawyer can ensure it is suitable under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy; if you have outstanding damages they can help you proceed with filing your personal injury claim against the defendant.
When another party is responsible for causing a car accident in Lake Forest, they are liable for the entire extent of the damage they inflicted. Their insurance may only cover some of these losses, in which case the victim will need to file a personal injury suit to recover the remainder of their damages. After proving fault, your Lake Forest car accident attorney can assist you with proving the full extent of the damages you are legally entitled to claim from the defendant.
California law allows you to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages the defendant caused. Economic damages are the direct financial losses you suffered because of the accident and may include:
You might learn that your case is more valuable than you initially anticipated if you choose the right attorney to represent you. Once you have uncovered the full value of your immediate and future economic damages that you can claim from the defendant, the next step of your recovery is determining a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to reflect the severity of your experience.
Your Lake Forest car accident attorney can assist you in calculating your claim’s total potential value and filing your initial complaint with the court. Once the defendant receives your personal injury complaint, your case can go one of two possible ways. Either the defendant can accept liability and agree to negotiate a settlement, or they can deny liability and demand a trial. Settlement is generally the preferable method of resolving personal injury cases as it allows all parties involved to have more influence over the outcome of the case while saving them time and money they would otherwise spend in litigation. If your case must be resolved in court, the judge has the final say on the outcome and how much compensation you will receive from the defendant.
The right legal team is an invaluable asset for a car accident claim in Lake Forest. The Law Offices of Steven Zwick has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of motor vehicle accident claims, and we have the resources and experience necessary to handle the most complex accident cases. Whether you anticipate recovering fully through auto insurance or are bracing for a difficult personal injury case, we can provide ongoing guidance throughout every step of your recovery process. The sooner you reach out to our team, the more time we have to develop your case.
A: Yes. If you recently lost a family member in a fatal accident, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim against them. This type of civil case is similar to a personal injury claim in some ways, but instead of focusing on the victim’s damages, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the victim’s family. California has strict rules for wrongful death claims that you must understand to succeed with your case, and the right attorney can provide invaluable guidance in this situation.
A: You have the right to seek complete repayment of any financial losses you suffered from your recent accident, including vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and lost income from your inability to work. You also have the right to compensation for future damages like long-term medical treatment costs and lost future earning capacity, and your attorney can also help secure pain and suffering compensation to reflect the severity of your experience.
A: California law does not place any restrictions on pain and suffering compensation in motor vehicle accident claims. This means a plaintiff may claim as much as they deem appropriate to reflect the severity of the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma they suffered from their recent accident. It’s possible to claim pain and suffering compensation that reflects the time it takes the plaintiff to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries or the overall severity of permanent harm they suffered.
A: Yes, you can still claim compensation for your damages if you are partially to blame for your recent car accident. However, your share of the total fault will be assigned as a percentage and then you will lose this percentage of your final case award. For example, bearing 25% fault in a $100,000 case would mean losing 25% of the total or $25,000. Your Lake Forest car accident attorney can assist you in minimizing any fault percentage you absorb for your recent accident.
A: If you are concerned about the potential cost of hiring an attorney to help you recover from a recent car accident, this is no cause for alarm when you choose The Law Offices of Steven Zwick to represent your case. There are no fees until we win your case under our contingency fee billing policy. We will take a percentage of the total compensation we recover for you, but you pay nothing unless and until we recover a case award for you.
You have a limited time in which to file a personal injury claim after a car accident and an even shorter timeframe in which to file your auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. The sooner you connect with a Lake Forest car accident lawyer, the more likely you are to maximize your total compensation. Contact The Law Offices of Steven Zwick today to schedule a free consultation with a Lake Forest car accident attorney to learn more about the legal services our team provides.