Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
When you’re in a car accident, the most important thing you need to worry about is your recovery. However, it’s tough to focus on the big picture when you are facing a growing stack of medical bills, trying to make time for appointments with your doctor, and attempting to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your everyday life. It’s particularly difficult when your injuries were not your fault. At this point, you need someone to fight for your rights, because you could be entitled to financial compensation that helps you pay your medical bills, covers lost income, and contributes to your recovery from pain and suffering.You may need to call a Sacramento car accident lawyer in order to get the justice you deserve.
What Can a Sacramento Auto Accident Lawyer Do for You?
When you work with an auto accident attorney, he or she will be able to negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf. Your lawyer will tackle tough issues and represent you in court if the insurance company is not willing to do their part.
Your lawyer will also do what it takes to prove that the other party was at fault for your injuries. In order to do so, he or she will comb through all the evidence in your case. That may include police reports, witness statements and your own testimony.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries in California
Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Sacramento and beyond include distracted driving and negligence in high-risk areas. Unfortunately, even low-speed crashes can cause serious and debilitating injuries.
Some of the most common injuries Californians suffer during auto accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
Hospitals and emergency rooms are filled with people who have suffered a wide range of injuries due to car accidents, and this isn’t a complete list. The devastating effects of a car crash are unpredictable; there are so many variables involved.
Medical Treatment is Almost Always Necessary
It’s important that you seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. Some injuries are not readily apparent, including brain injuries, and some don’t show up for days or weeks after the crash. If you wait to seek medical treatment, your injuries could become worse. Your medical records will also prove very important if you choose to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent or careless party who caused your accident. They may be essential in determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Treatment for Auto Accident Injuries
Your doctor may order X-rays, MRIs and other screenings to help determine the extent of your injuries. Unfortunately, these diagnostic tools are very expensive to use; in many cases, you’ll end up paying out-of-pocket. It’s no wonder medical bills pile up so quickly. Outside your medical bills, you’ll still have to figure out how to pay for rehabilitation, treatments and your prescriptions. If you have health insurance, you need to know that it may not cover everything you need to recover. Sometimes long-term care is necessary, too, which can destroy your savings and cause you undue financial hardship. Make sure that you obtain copies of all of your medical records, including detailed descriptions of treatments that you have received as a result of your injuries.
A Duty of “Reasonable Care”
Every motorist on the road is responsible for exercising a reasonable amount of care when they’re behind the wheel. Most car accidents are the result of someone driving in a careless or unsafe manner. Maybe the driver ran through a red light; maybe he or she was speeding, or perhaps the driver was answering a text message or fiddling with the radio. None of that changes the fact that California drivers are required to do everything in their power to ensure that other motorists are safe. California law allows you to sue someone who is responsible for causing a car accident and your injuries if he or she was not exercising reasonable care while driving.
Proving Fault After a Car Crash
In order to successfully argue a lawsuit against a careless or negligent driver, the law requires you to prove that the driver was at fault and that the accident would not have occurred if the other driver was exercising reasonable care. Your lawyer will rely heavily upon your version of events. It’s important that you remember as many details as you can about the accident; this will help your attorney reconstruct what happened.
What You Need to Prove
Under California law, your attorney will need to prove four things:
- The driver had a duty to operate the motor vehicle with reasonable care
- The driver’s action (or lack of action) was a breach of his or her duty to exercise “reasonable care”
- The cause of the crash was the other driver’s breach of their duty to exercise “reasonable care”
- As the result of the collision, damages were sustained.
Documentation Your Car Accident Lawyer Will Need
Your lawyer will probably ask you to provide as much supporting documentation as possible. This includes:
- Medical treatment records
- Medical bills
- Proof of your lost wages
- Medical treatment plans for future care
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Your own testimony
- Police reports
Your lawyer may even bring in experts who can reconstruct the accident to help determine fault.
Will You Have to Go to Court?
The vast majority of car accident cases in California settle out of court. That means the injured party and the insurance company are able to reach an agreement for a fair settlement. However, no two cases are the same. Your attorney will be able to provide you with case-specific guidance based on what happens during negotiations with the insurance company. Your attorney may suggest that you bring the case in front of a judge and jury so that they can help determine how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. Once a judge makes a decision, the insurance company must abide by his or her ruling.
A Word on Insurance Adjusters
To the insurance adjusters, you are just a number. An insurance adjuster’s primary job is to preserve the company’s bottom line. The more they pay you, the lower their company’s bottom line sinks. If you intend to seek financial compensation for your injuries, you need to know that insurance adjusters will do their best to deny your claim. Insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. They are trained to appear sympathetic and understanding; they may ask you to sign a release so that they can view your medical records, and most trusting people don’t have a reason to second-guess an insurance adjuster’s motives.
This can be a huge mistake. When you sign over authorization for an insurance adjuster to view your medical records, the insurance company can use what they find against you. Please do not make the mistake of discussing your case with an insurance adjuster – not even one from your own insurance company. Let your lawyer handle correspondence between you and the insurance companies involved.
You Need a Car Accident Attorney Who Cares
You don’t have to battle the insurance company alone. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Most personal injury cases in the state of California have a statute of limitations, so for your own sake, don’t wait. Call us at 916-303-2800 for a free case evaluation today. We will comb through the details of your case and help you determine your next course of action.