Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of personal injury lawsuits in the United States. Not surprisingly, with California's large population, it tops the nation in traffic fatalities. The deadliest time for fatalities is midnight to 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (NHTSA 2009 Traffic Safety Facts). Unfortunately, 32% of all fatalities involved DUI. In the midnight to 3 a.m. time, that went up to 66%. An Insurance Research Council report (for the full news release, click on Almost One-in-Five Drivers Reports Texting) found that 18% (about one-in-five) drivers texted while driving. Younger drivers admitted to texting much more than older drivers (41% to 5%). The risk of a crash or near-crash was 23 times greater for those texting while driving than drivers who were not distracted.
The Phillips Law Offices is a local litigation firm emphasizing car accident litigation. We know that a Nevada City auto accident can turn your life upside down in a split second. Who will pay for medical bills and any prescriptions, physical therapy, rehabilitation or extended treatments? Who will pay for the damage to your car, or replace it? What about missed work? What should you do if the insurance people call? What of the motorcycle collision resulted in permanent disability, brain injury or tragically, in a death? Where do you start and how you handle it all?
A car accident usually happens when a driver causes a collision through one of the reasons listed above. He/she is the negligent party, or the one at fault for the accident. Most of the time, the negligent party is the one responsible to pay for injuries or damage to another person. The person injured has to prove the negligence of the other party, so an accident attorney is often retained to take care of this.
In some instances, a crash was caused by a defective part in a car. In this case, the car manufacturer or the parts supplier is responsible. This is an instance where you must hire an attorney, since these entities will not deal fairly with an individual making a claim on their own. The same thing applies to dangerous roads. The roadway, lighting and sign/pole placement may be the responsibility of county, city or state government.
SUVs are considered light trucks, and as such, do not have the same safety standards as regular passenger cars. One of the consequences of this is that they have a higher-than-average rollover rate. Through the work of consumer advocacy groups, auto manufacturers are required to minimize this hazard, but it has been a slow process, as the auto industry does not want to make manufacturing changes that may make the vehicles cost more and thus reduce their profits.
In many cases, your insurance company will negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier of the other vehicle(s) involved. However, there are times when it is advisable to consult with an attorney - particularly when there has been an injury to yourself or passenger(s) and if you feel that your insurance company is not paying out sufficiently (see our page on Insurance Bad Faith).
After an accident, the clock begins on the statute of limitations, or, the time in which you may file a lawsuit. This time varies with the entity against which you are filing. Remember that you cannot file a claim against any part of a government until you have first been denied a claim through them.
Compensation for a Nevada City Auto Accident
Compensation includes repairs to property damage, medical expenses and physical and psychological pain. Insurance adjusters usually use a formula to come up with a dollar amount of compensation.
An auto accident attorney is an important factor which may determine the outcome of your claim. Every claim is different, and must be evaluated on an individual basis, so the information provided here is for general informative purposes only, as it simplifies complex legal issues. It is not intended to be legal advice. For information about your specific claim, please contact an auto accident attorney to evaluate your situation.
As consumer justice attorneys, Phillips Law Offices is dedicated to assisting and fighting for individuals who have been injured, disabled or had a family member killed in all types of vehicle or pedestrian crashes in Nevada County, Placer County and the Gold Country area. We offer legal help and assistance in auto, truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian cases. We are a local firm emphasizing personal contact with our clients.
We invite you to call us a (530) 265-0186 to schedule a no-charge consultation to answer any questions you may have.