Car accidents are some of the most common incidents driving personal injury claims in California. Thousands of victims suffer injuries and die in motor vehicle collisions every year. The city of El Cajon reported 863 injury and fatality car accidents in 2015. Almost all car accident injuries and deaths are preventable with due care and attention to the road. If someone else caused your crash, you may be eligible for compensation.
Contact the Law Offices of Howard Kitay after you or a loved one gets into a car accident and sustains serious personal injuries in El Cajon. Our lawyers will listen to your story and offer free legal counsel during an initial consultation at our local location. If we take your case, we’ll then complete the necessary steps toward filing a claim in California. We know how to get more from insurance settlements and trials than you can on your own. Call (619) 442-0542 today to learn more.
How to Handle Complicated Insurance Claims
California is a fault-based insurance state. This means the insurance company of the at-fault individual will be who compensates you for crash-related damages. It is up to you (and investigators) to prove fault to obtain compensation. Unfortunately, securing recovery isn’t easy. Insurance companies will almost always try to deny claims or offer much less than the true value of the case. The best way to deal with insurance companies after a crash is with the following tips:
- Don’t admit fault
- Don’t agree to give a recorded statement
- Don’t accept the first settlement offer
Call an El Cajon car accident lawyer and discuss your accident before accepting an insurance settlement agreement. Once you say yes, it can be impossible to reverse your decision and obtain the recovery you deserve. Don’t let words like “final offer” or “best offer” fool you. With help from a lawyer, you can obtain true top dollar for your injuries and related damages. An auto accident lawyer isn’t afraid to use aggressive negotiation tactics to get the best possible results.
Damages You Could Obtain in a Car Accident Claim
A successful El Cajon car accident claim could end in significant compensation for you and your family. Although a settlement or judgment award won’t reverse what happened to you, it can give you the financial stability you need to move forward with confidence. With help from a car accident lawyer, you can make sure you get the amount that represents the past and future losses you’ll sustain because of the car accident. The damage types you could recover include:
- Past and future medical costs. These may include the price of hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, medical devices, live-in care, and modifications you may need to make because of a permanent disability.
- Pain and suffering. Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish are recoverable damages in the state of California. You must prove how heavily a car crash impacted your life to recover this type of compensation.
- Lost wages. Should you need to miss work and lose wages during car accident injury recovery, you may list this lost income in your civil claim. You may also qualify for lost future earnings if you suffered a temporary or permanent disability.
The exact types of compensation and award amount you receive for your injuries depending on their severity and the talent of your legal representative. An aggressive, experienced lawyer can get more for your claim that an inexperienced law firm. Don’t try to handle your car accident lawsuit alone in El Cajon. Trust your case with an attorney to gain an edge over negotiations and fight for the recovery your injuries demand.
Types of Car Accidents
Automobile accidents happen in a variety of ways under many different circumstances. Unique issues of negligence and liability apply to each accident types. And it is important to remember that EVERY ACCIDENT IS DIFFERENT. Types of automobile accidents may include:
- Rear-end collisions – a traffic accident wherein a vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Common factors that contribute to rear-end collisions include by driver inattention or distraction, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to weather or worn pavement.
- Head-on accidents – where the front ends of two vehicles hit each other in opposite directions.
- Side-impact and T-bones – or broadside crash. These occur when a vehicle is struck in a side panel, typically by another car approaching from a sideways direction. These accidents can be extremely dangerous due to the lack of safety structures in the doors, and the proximity of the occupants’ bodies to the point of impact.
- Pedestrians hit by cars– can occur when pedestrians cross the road, even when they are within crosswalks.
- Multiple vehicle accidents – involving many vehicles. Generally occurring on high-capacity and high-speed routes such as freeways, they are one of the deadliest forms of traffic accidents.
- Hit and runs or leaving the scene – the act of causing a traffic accident and failing to stop and identify oneself afterward.
- Parking lot accidents – usually occurring in a non-residential or commercial parking lot.
- Minor collisions or fender benders
- Semi-truck or 18 wheeler accidents– large commercial trucks that usually cause accidents occurring on the freeways or highways.
- DUI accidents – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving accidents often cause death or serious injury to the driver, passengers, or other motorists.
- Inclement weather car accidents – these are common in San Diego and throughout Southern California when it is raining and or foggy. California residents do not deal with rain very often so when it does rain there is usually an increase in traffic accidents.
- Inexperienced driver accidents – teenagers, and their lack of driving experience are commonly the cause of auto accidents in the Carlsbad, San Diego, El Cajon and Mission Valley, California areas. Secondary causes of this accident can be intoxication (alcohol and or drugs) as well as distracted driving such as texting while driving.
Tragic Results of Car Accidents
Car accident claims are the leading source of personal injury cases in the United States. Roughly half of all car accidents result in injury claims and a considerable number of those become lawsuits.
Colliding with the vehicle interior, frame or being tossed out of the vehicle can result in severe head, neck, spine and internal damages or death. Victims can be pinned inside wreckage and bleed out while awaiting rescue. Damages can be severe and require extensive medical care, surgery and rehabilitation – if a recovery is possible. All this creates a tremendous financial burden for the victim and their family. Typical damage claims for car accidents include:
- Physical injury repair
- Loss of limbs or paralysis
- Work loss or disability
- Medical and hospital bills
- Psychological trauma
- Rehabilitation therapy or surgery
- Pain and suffering
Unfortunately, many car accidents also end in death. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, California was the second highest state in the country for car accident fatalities with 3,623.
What to do if you are involved in a car accident?
- Seek medical treatment. It is critical that you visit with a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is a good idea to seek treatment in the event that you begin to experience new or worsening symptoms over the days following your accident. Many people don’t realize they can get first-rate medical treatment immediately after an accident, even if they have no health insurance. We will arrange for the doctor to get paid after your case is resolved.
- Contact the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report may help you with your case. The police report will provide a summary of the way the accident occurred and will identify the parties and the witnesses.
- Obtain witnesses. Retain the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.
- Contact The Law Offices of Howard Kitay for a FREE CONSULTATION at (619) 442-0542.
- Do not speak with any insurance companies, even your own! Insurance companies will ask you for a recorded statement immediately after the accident. DON’T TALK TO THEM! Be smart, and call a lawyer first. Then, your lawyer can talk with the insurance companies for you. Your attorney will advise you regarding all issues affecting your claim. We can arrange a rental vehicle for you, often the same day. We will make sure your car is repaired or replaced, that you get the best medical treatment available, and make sure you are fully compensated for all your damages.
Do I Really Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Yes. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not pay claims. Their interest is in their bottom lines, not in helping you. That is why you need someone protecting you and making sure you don’t get taken advantage of. We handle all the paperwork and legal issues and work to get your case settled quickly so you can get back to your normal life.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have helped car accident victims with injuries ranging from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to more severe, catastrophic injuries. We investigate cases and consult with highly qualified medical, engineering and accident reconstruction specialists.
You may be able to recover compensation if you have suffered any of these damages:
- Lost wages (past and future income)
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle repair costs
Contact An El Cajon Car Accident Attorney
At The Law Offices of Howard Kitay, there is never a fee until we win your case. We advance all costs of litigation. If there is no recovery, you owe us nothing. We have represented thousands of clients throughout El Cajon and and San Diego County for over twenty five years. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.