Car Accident Lawyers Serving Santa Maria
The Santa Maria car accident attorneys at the Frederick Law Firm provide you with the reliable legal assistance you need in the event of a car accident. Auto accidents can be a frightening and traumatic experience. Not only can they result in severe physical injuries, but they can also cause psychological trauma and financial stress due to lost work and property.
The Santa Maria car accident lawyers at Frederick Law Firm can give you the legal support needed to help you recover as quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.
While it is legally required for every California motorist to carry insurance, insurance companies have an interest in settling the matter quickly – often for amounts that are less than what they should be. It is important to speak to a qualified Santa Maria car accident attorney before committing to any agreement that an insurance company offers.
Santa Maria Auto Accident Attorneys Committed to Assisting You
Serving clients along California’s Central Coast throughout San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County, the lawyers of the Frederick Law Firm handle every sort of case involving motor vehicle accidents, including:
|Car / Auto accidents
Trucks & Motorcycles
Multiple vehicle collisions
…and many more.
We cater to clients who have suffered property damage and/or physical injuries, including serious injuries and permanent disabilities.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Santa Maria
Vehicle accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Many accidents are the result of the negligent or intentional actions of one or more drivers. Sometimes there are other factors involved. The truth is that if the accident was someone else’s fault, they should be held accountable for their actions. Your Santa Maria car accident lawyer can help you determine who was at fault and fight for the compensation you are entitled to. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents in Santa Maria.
There is a reason that speed limits are enforced. Driving faster than the speed limit reduces a driver’s ability to react quickly enough to avoid an accident. High-speed collisions can cause a significant amount of damage to people and property. Your Santa Maria car accident attorney can help obtain evidence from the police report and other sources to determine if the negligent party was speeding.
Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is considered a distraction. Waving at someone you see driving by, turning to talk to passengers, eating, drinking, and changing the radio station or air conditioning settings are all fairly common distractions. Cell phone use is a very common distraction and can include talking, texting, checking emails, and checking social media while driving.
Turning left does not sound like it should be a big deal for most drivers, but improper turns cause a lot of damage, especially left turns. Left turns have to go through intersections, which makes them susceptible to causing collisions with vehicles going straight through the intersection from any direction.
In some circumstances, the accident is not the fault of the driver. Defective vehicle components can cause the car to malfunction in ways the driver is not responsible for. A Santa Maria car accident attorney can help you determine if you can bring a product liability claim against a manufacturer or a mechanic who worked on a car.
Inclement weather can have a big impact on visibility and the ability to control your vehicle. Though Santa Maria is not prone to snow and ice, there are plenty of chances for dense fog to roll in and increase the chance of a car accident.
Poorly Maintained Roads
If an accident is caused by a poorly maintained road, the state or local municipality in charge of the road may be liable for your accident. Examples of poor road maintenance can include large potholes, knocked-over traffic signs, and debris that should have been removed. A Santa Maria car accident lawyer can help you determine if you have a case against a government entity.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can lead to a wide spectrum of injuries, varying in severity and impact on a person’s life. Among the most common are whiplash and neck injuries, which often result from the sudden jolt of a collision, causing strain to the neck muscles and ligaments. Back and spinal cord injuries are another serious concern, potentially causing long-term disability and affecting a person’s mobility. Head injuries, including concussions, can range from mild to severe, with the latter potentially leading to cognitive and neurological challenges. Broken bones and fractures are often the result of the force of impact, with limbs and extremities being particularly vulnerable. Additionally, car accidents can lead to internal injuries, which may not always be immediately apparent but can have serious consequences if left untreated. Understanding the range of car accident injuries is crucial in seeking proper medical care and pursuing compensation for damages.
How to Calculate the Value of Your Car Accident Claim
In California, calculating the value of your car accident claim involves considering various factors, and the state follows a comparative negligence system. Here’s a guide specific to California:
1. Economic Damages:
- Medical Expenses: Add up all medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
- Property Damage: Include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other damaged property.
2. Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity:
- Calculate the income you lost due to time off work because of the accident. If the accident affects your future earning capacity, that should be considered.
3. Non-Economic Damages:
- Pain and Suffering: Assign a monetary value to physical and emotional pain. California does not have a specific formula for this; it’s often subjective and depends on the severity of injuries and their impact on your life.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for psychological impact, anxiety, or other emotional suffering caused by the accident.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the accident significantly affects your ability to enjoy life, it may be considered.
4. Multiplier Method:
- Apply a multiplier to your economic damages to account for non-economic damages. The multiplier may range from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of injuries and their impact.
5. Contributory or Comparative Negligence:
- California follows a pure comparative negligence system. Your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re 20% at fault and the total damages are $100,000, you’d receive $80,000.
6. Insurance Policy Limits:
- Consider the at-fault party’s insurance policy limits. California requires drivers to have minimum liability coverage, but higher coverage may be available.
7. Legal Fees and Costs:
- California personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, taking a percentage of the settlement. Ensure you understand the fee structure before hiring an attorney.
8. Punitive Damages (if applicable):
- Punitive damages may be awarded for egregious conduct. However, they are rare and require evidence of intentional wrongdoing or extreme recklessness.
9. Consultation with a California Personal Injury Attorney:
- Consult with an attorney experienced in California personal injury law. They can provide insight into state-specific laws, assess the details of your case, and guide you through the process.
Important Considerations (California-Specific):
- Pure Comparative Negligence: Understand that your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Minimum Insurance Requirements: Be aware of California’s minimum insurance requirements for drivers.
- Prop 213: If you were driving without insurance at the time of the accident, California’s Proposition 213 may limit your ability to recover certain damages.
Calculating the value of a car accident claim in California is intricate, and legal advice can help ensure you consider all relevant factors within the framework of the state’s laws.
When to File a Car Accident Claim
The sooner you can file a car accident claim, the better. According to the California statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. The time frame is shorter if you are going to file a claim against a government entity such as a municipality.
If you are wondering when to hire an attorney, you can do that at any point after an accident. Consider consulting with our auto accident lawyers before speaking to the insurance company to better help you protect your rights.
The Frederick Law Firm provides aggressive and caring representation to all of our clients. You will receive personal attention from our Santa Maria car accident lawyers who will be focused on your specific needs and obtaining the full amounts needed for you to recover. In the case of significant physical injury or property loss, attempting to seek appropriate compensation is not something you want to attempt on your own. You will want to have experienced and effective San Luis Obispo motor vehicle accident lawyers on your side.
By having the attorneys from our office represent you, you will have the strongest resources available to help you obtain the proper compensation which can include:
- Compensatory damages
- Medical costs
- Costs for your damaged vehicle
- Legal costs and fees
- Compensation for lost work time
- Punitive damages
- …and all other forms of compensation that one may be entitled to under law.
Car accidents are stressful enough as it is. Let the Santa Maria car accident lawyers at Frederick Law Firm shoulder the legal burdens for you and fight for your right to receive full compensation for your injuries and losses.