Personal Injury Lawyers
Table of contents:When Should I Hire a Salinas Car Accident Attorney?How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?What Are the First Steps I Should Take After a Car Accident?What Types of Damages Will I Be Compensated for After a Motor Vehicle Collision?Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s First Offer?What Are Common Injuries Suffered in Motor Vehicle Crashes?What Types of Evidence Should I Collect to Strengthen My Case?What is the Minimum Car Insurance Required By Law in California?What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Salinas, CA?Contact Us Today!
When Should I Hire a Salinas Car Accident Attorney?
While handling an insurance claim yourself is possible, there are certain situations where you should seek legal representation to protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
You should hire a car accident lawyer in cases where:
You Suffered Serious Injuries or Long-Term Disabilities
If you have suffered severe injuries or have been left with long-term disabilities due to the accident, it is crucial to have a car accident lawyer on your side. These types of injuries often involve high medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and potential loss of income. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you accurately calculate the full extent of your damages and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Liability is Unclear or Multiple Parties Are Involved
If the liability for the accident is being disputed or if multiple parties are involved, it can complicate the claims process. Insurance companies may try to shift the blame or deny responsibility. A car accident lawyer at MVP Accident Attorneys can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case to establish liability. They can negotiate with the insurance company and, if necessary, take your case to court to protect your rights.
The Insurance Company is Using Bad Faith Tactics
Insurance companies have teams of claims adjusters and lawyers who work to minimize their financial liability.
They may use various tactics, such as:
- Offering low settlements
- Delaying the claims process
- Denying valid claims
- Harassment by phone, email, or mail
Having a car accident lawyer by your side ensures that you have a skilled advocate who can handle the negotiations and protect your interests.
There are Complex Legal issues Involved
Some car accident cases involve complex legal issues, such as multiple insurance policies, commercial vehicles, government entities, or defective auto parts. Dealing with these complexities requires legal knowledge and expertise. A car accident lawyer can navigate these complexities, interpret relevant laws, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
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How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?
One of the primary responsibilities of a car accident attorney is to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the accident. They will gather evidence, review the accident report, interview witnesses, analyze the accident scene, and collect any available surveillance footage or photographs. This investigation helps an attorney establish the cause of the accident and determine liability. By carefully examining the evidence, a car accident lawyer can build a strong case on your behalf.
Determining Liability and Identifying Negligent Parties
Proving liability is a critical aspect of a car accident case. A skilled car accident attorney will thoroughly analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident to determine who is at fault. In some cases, liability may rest solely on the negligent driver, while in others, multiple parties may share the responsibility. For example, if the accident was caused by a defective auto part, the vehicle manufacturer or distributor may be held liable. Additionally, if poor road conditions or inadequate signage contributed to the accident, government entities or contractors responsible for maintaining the road may be held accountable. Identifying all potentially negligent parties is essential to ensure that you pursue the maximum compensation available for your injuries and losses.
Working with Experts to Establish Liability
At MVP Accident Attorneys, our car accident lawyers often collaborate with accident reconstruction experts and other specialists to establish liability. These experts use their expertise to recreate the accident, analyze factors such as vehicle damage, skid marks, and road conditions, and provide expert opinions on how the accident occurred. Their professional insights and technical analysis strengthen your case by providing objective evidence of the other driver's negligence. By presenting this evidence, your attorney can effectively negotiate with insurance companies or present a compelling case in court, if necessary.
Accurately Valuing Your Claim
To ensure that you receive fair compensation, it is crucial to accurately assess the value of your claim. Car accident attorneys work closely with medical professionals, economists, and other experts to evaluate the full extent of your injuries and calculate the damages you may be entitled to. They consider various factors, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. By thoroughly evaluating the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered, your attorney can help you pursue the appropriate compensation to cover your present and future needs.
Insurance companies are known for their tactics to minimize payouts and protect their profits. When dealing with insurance companies on your own, you may be at a disadvantage. However, with a car accident attorney by your side, you can level the playing field. Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating with insurance adjusters and are well-versed in the tactics employed by insurance companies to undervalue or deny claims. They will protect your interests, advocate for your rights, and handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. By leveraging their negotiation skills and legal expertise, they will strive to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries and losses.
Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
While most car accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, some cases may proceed to litigation. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a car accident attorney on our legal team will be prepared to take your case to court. They will handle all aspects of the litigation process, including filing the lawsuit, conducting discovery, representing you in court proceedings, and presenting a compelling argument to the judge and jury.
Having a skilled trial attorney on your side sends a strong message to the opposing party and their insurance company that you are fully prepared to pursue your rights in court if necessary.
What Are the First Steps I Should Take After a Car Accident?
After being involved in a motor vehicle collision, there are certain steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights. If you were involved in a traffic collision, you should:
- Check yourself and the passengers in your vehicle for any injuries. If possible, move to a safe location, away from traffic, and turn on your hazard lights.
- Even if the accident seems minor, you should contact the police and file an accident report. The police report can serve as valuable evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
- Gather information, including exchanging contact and insurance details with the other driver(s) involved. Write down the names of witnesses, their contact information, and any other pertinent details about the accident, such as the location, time, and weather conditions.
- Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks, and any other visible evidence.
- Even if you don't believe you are seriously injured, you must seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can worsen over time. An evaluation by a medical professional will also create a medical record that links your injuries to the accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and to learn about your legal rights and options. Speaking with a car accident lawyer early on can significantly increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve for all accident-related damages.
What Types of Damages Will I Be Compensated for After a Motor Vehicle Collision?
Car accident victims may be entitled to various types of economic and non-economic damages, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
These can include:
- Past and future medical expenses (hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation), Lost wages (current and future earnings)
- Property damage (vehicle repair or replacement)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
At MVP Accident Attorneys, we understand the challenges and hardships you may face after a car accident. Our dedicated team of car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, are committed to providing you with the highest level of legal representation and support throughout the entire process. We offer free consultations to discuss the details of your case, assess your legal options, and provide personalized advice tailored to your unique circumstances.
Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s First Offer?
Any attorney will tell you not to accept the first offer an insurance company makes. Claims adjusters often make lowball settlement offers quickly, and before they even know the extent of your injuries and other damages. The insurance company’s goal is to pay an accident victim as little as possible. By offering you fast cash, the claims adjuster is hoping you will accept the money you desperately need and simply go away.
When you hire a car accident lawyer from MVP Accident Attorneys, they will take the time to carefully explore all avenues of compensation and work with experts to ensure they accurately value your claim. This can be especially important if you suffered life-changing injuries that will require medical treatment in the future.
Unfortunately, if you accept the insurance company’s first offer, then later realize your injuries are severe, you will not be able to take further action to recover the compensation you actually deserve.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you consult a car accident attorney before you speak with the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney will take over all communication with the claims adjuster and prevent them from intimidating you or pressuring you into accepting an unfair offer.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered in Motor Vehicle Crashes?
In auto accidents, victims can sustain a wide range of injuries, varying in severity depending on the circumstances of the accident. These injuries can have a significant impact on the victim's physical well-being, emotional state, and overall quality of life.
Common types of injuries that can occur in auto accidents include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Crush injuries
What Types of Evidence Should I Collect to Strengthen My Case?
During the moments following the collision, after you have spoken with law enforcement, you must obtain evidence at the scene of the accident to help prove liability and strengthen your car accident claim. Evidence can help your car accident lawyer prove the other driver should be held liable for your damages.
Evidence that can help prove liability can include:
- Photos of the accident scene, including the position of each vehicle, skid marks on the road, road debris, traffic lights and signage
- Photos of any vehicle damage or other types of personal property damage
- Photos of any injuries you or any passengers in your vehicle sustained
- Documentation regarding what the driver did and said following the collision
- Contact information from any eyewitnesses
After the accident, other helpful evidence can include:
- Statements from treating physicians
- Copies of your medical records and all medical bills
- Documentation from specialists such as occupational therapists and physical therapists
- Estimates for vehicle damage
- Bills for any modifications that were made to your home, including ramps, modifications to the entryways, shower, other doorways in the home
- Statements from your employer, paystubs
- A copy of the accident report
Additionally, if you suffered injuries, keeping a daily journal can help your lawyer prove the severity of your injuries, including your demand for pain and suffering damages.
Keep detailed notes concerning how often you are in pain, pain level (1-10), and note how the injuries have impacted every aspect of your life including enjoyment of life, ability to carry out daily activities, ability to participate in activities, ability to work, drive, etc.
Your car accident attorney can help you obtain other relevant documentation and evidence that can be used to build a strong case and prove negligence.
What is the Minimum Car Insurance Required By Law in California?
In California, drivers are required by law to have minimum auto insurance coverage to legally operate a motor vehicle.
The minimum auto insurance requirements mandated by California law are as follows:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person in an accident caused by the insured driver.
- $30,000 for injury or death to multiple people in an accident caused by the insured driver.
- $5,000 for property damage caused by the insured driver.
Liability insurance covers the costs associated with injuries, death, or property damage caused by the insured driver. These limits are commonly expressed as 15/30/5.
These minimum coverage amounts are required by law, and drivers may choose to purchase higher coverage levels to provide more financial protection in the event of an accident.
Additionally, while liability insurance is the minimum required coverage, California law also requires uninsured motorist coverage to be offered as part of auto insurance policies. Uninsured motorist coverage helps protect drivers in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Salinas, CA?
Dangerous intersections in Salinas, include:
North Main Street and Boronda Road
This intersection is located in the central area of Salinas and can experience heavy traffic flow, especially during peak hours. Drivers should exercise caution, follow traffic signals carefully, and be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists.
East Alisal Street and North Sanborn Road
Situated near commercial areas and residential neighborhoods, this intersection can have increased traffic volume. Drivers should remain vigilant, watch for changing traffic patterns, and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
East Laurel Drive and North Main Street
This intersection in Salinas can experience higher traffic volumes, especially near shopping centers and educational institutions. Drivers should exercise caution, be mindful of other vehicles, and follow traffic rules.
East Boronda Road and North Sanborn Road
This intersection connects different parts of Salinas and can experience increased traffic volume. Drivers should remain attentive, follow traffic signals carefully, and be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists.
East Laurel Drive and North Davis Road
Situated near residential areas, this intersection can have heavy traffic flow, particularly during peak hours. Drivers should exercise caution, be prepared for potential congestion, and be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists in the area.
Contact Us Today!
By choosing MVP Accident Attorneys to handle your car accident claim, you can have confidence in our extensive experience, deep understanding of personal injury law, and track record of successfully securing substantial compensation for our clients. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights, hold the negligent parties accountable, and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward obtaining the compensation you need to rebuild your life after a car accident.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
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