California Car Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured due to another driver’s negligent actions on the road? A car wreck can leave you with serious injuries. You may be left wondering how to pay for all your medical bills and other expenses, especially if your income has been reduced while you heal. Fortunately, you have legal options.
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law has years of experience helping families like yours manage the complexities of a car accident claim. A serious car accident caused by another driver’s negligence can result in a settlement for all your damages, but do you know what your claim is worth? If you don’t, how can you ensure you aren’t being underpaid?
Our California car accident attorneys can guide you through the claims process while helping you seek the full extent of damages you have suffered. We also aid in some of the more-complex aspects of injury claims, like conducting investigations and negotiating with insurers.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your consultation with one of our car accident lawyers. All consultations are conducted by one of our experienced attorneys. We speak multiple languages for the convenience of our clients: English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Spanish.
What Can a California Car Accident Attorney Do for Your Claim?
Without an experienced professional, how will you know if you’re walking away with everything you are entitled to? If you’re unsure, you may unknowingly settle with out-of-pocket expenses looming over you.
Working alone doesn’t benefit anyone but the negligent party’s insurer. They may see your lack of legal representation as a green light to preserve profits by proposing the smallest settlement offer possible.
An attorney can be a valuable resource that looks out for your best interest and shows the insurance team that you aren’t messing around. A team of attorneys, such as our experienced team at Singh Ahluwalia, can act as a knowledgeable set of eyes and ears reviewing every detail of the claims process, but what exactly does that mean?
When you secure the assistance of our California car accident lawyers, Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can help you:
- File all necessary documents: The documents related to a successful insurance claim are time-consuming enough, but organizing, filing, and sharing these documents can take even more of your time away. A car accident can take a lot of time out of your day for the recovery process, but this is one of the things that an attorney can take off your hands.
- Help you understand the laws and systems around car accident claims: Each claim will involve unique aspects of injury law, case law, and nuances of the specific liability insurance policy you are filing against. We help you optimize your legal strategy while conducting everything within accordance to state and federal law.
- Investigate the evidence of your claim: Every detail matters. When you work with Singh Ahluwalia, we will take the time to procure all available evidence for your claim. This may involve retrieving hard-to-obtain evidence, such as commercial driver laws or dashcam footage.
- Valuate your damages: Car accident victims tend to severely undervalue the full costs of treating their injuries. An experienced attorney can help you tally up 100% of your medical costs, calculate a fair value of all your lost income, and project your future expenses, ensuring you aren’t left on the hook for damages.
- Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf: Negotiations are typically the most challenging part of the claim settlement process. Without the proper knowledge and prior experience to take on a well-versed insurance company, chances for a satisfying settlement are low. The team at Singh Ahluwalia will not back down from a fight, and we have plenty of years of experience rebutting the negotiation tactics of big insurers.
Common Injuries Experienced After an Accident
Accidents happen, and unfortunately, they are extremely common. In 2019, the California Highway Patrol reported that almost 270,000 persons were injured in car accidents that year. This number could be even higher if we were to consider emotional and long-lasting psychological injuries that may commonly go unreported.
Car accidents can result in many different types of injuries, dependent on the unique factors of your crash. In some cases, the severity of your injuries may not be revealed until later. During a car crash, adrenaline rushes through your body, possibly masking the pain of your injuries, meaning it may take longer for you to recognize that you are even hurt.
It is important to note that not only do serious car accidents result in overwhelming injuries, but minor car accidents also can have long-lasting effects with painful symptoms. While it is less common, it can be especially relevant to elderly drivers and those with pre-existing injuries that were worsened because of the crash.
Serious car accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries, but some of the most common are noted as:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Internal injuries
- Back and spine pain
- Soft tissue damage
Minor car accidents are typically associated with less critical injuries, but a victim of a minor car wreck may experience a combination of the following:
- Pulled muscles
- Concussion/Head injury
What Steps Do I Take After a Car Accident?
Even though the details of every accident are different, the steps you should take to protect yourself and the validity of your claim usually remain the same. Following this set of standard tips enables you to protect your legal rights and health and provide ample evidence of your story.
Receive Medical Attention for Related Injuries
In a serious car accident, urgent medical attention may be necessary, and you may receive aid from first responders. In other cases, injuries take longer to appear.
Because of the adrenaline rushing through your body, you could be walking around with a broken rib or a concussion without even realizing it. Roughly 43% of all car accidents result in injury. This risk is why seeking immediate medical attention is typically advised by first responders in serious collisions, even when the victim believes that they have walked away unharmed.
Keep any documents and records relating to your accident to report the expenses incurred. These also provide proof of your injuries’ connection to the date of the accident.
Document Evidence From the Scene of the Accident
If you are physically capable, it is essential to capture as many photos and videos of the scene of the accident as you can. Take photos from every angle, and ensure that you document small details, such as debris that flew into the surrounding area and tire marks from booth cars. Also, take a few wider establishing photos to share the area of the road where the crash occurred.
Take immediate photos of your injuries, and follow-up photos every 12 hours or so as they develop.
Gather Witnesses to Strengthen Your Story
Ask any witnesses who come to the scene of the accident to provide you with a statement and contact details. Witnesses can play a valuable role in solidifying details that can’t be determined through other types of evidence. These statements can be used to shed light on the negligence of the other driver during negotiations as well. While some cases may not even need witnesses to make a concrete claim, they can make the investigation process smoother.
Never Accept Unsolicited Legal Help
At some accident scenes, lurking around may be people who claim they offer legal services. Soliciting at the scene of an accident is not a reputable practice and is federally prohibited. It is also illegal in about 21 different states, including California. The American Bar Association also considers this act to be unethical under Rule 7.3 of Professional Ethics.
These “ambulance chasers” may attempt to approach you with empty sympathy and offer their business card as support. This practice takes advantage of the vulnerability of recent victims, preying on their emotional state and taking up their valuable time as they attempt to process the aftermath of their accident.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Car Accident in California?
The damages you recover from your car accident claim depend on various factors, including the coverage of both drivers involved, the extent to which damages were caused, and often the representation you’ve hired. The best way to fully understand what damages you should be fighting to recover is to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer.
It is better to act sooner rather than later when attempting to recover a collision settlement, as there is a statute of limitations on filing your claim. In California, you must contact your insurer immediately and report the accident to the DMV within 10 days of the accident if someone was injured or if damages exceed $750,000.
Recoverable damages fall into one of three categories; economic, non-economic, and punitive. Each of these categories includes various expenses that a victim may incur while managing the aftermath of their accident.
Economic damages are quantifiable losses determined by a record of charges, such as from medical billing information. Generally, economic damages will be the majority of a total collision settlement because of the overwhelming costs. For the most part, all of the monetary expenses you take on because of the accident are considered economic damages.
This category is an umbrella term for a wide variety of damages, but most commonly includes:
- Ambulance transportation fees
- Medical bills
- Future treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Damaged or irreplaceable property
Non-economic damages include subjective losses that typically involve some kind of mental suffering or trauma. Non-economic damages may also have a cap depending on the state — in California, these damages are capped at $350,000 for non-fatal collisions and $500,000 in wrongful death cases.
Non-economic damages are harder to prove, meaning you may need an experienced professional in claims and negotiation processes to recover a settlement. Fortunately, many insurance policies have an assumed amount to compensate the victim for their pain and suffering — although these may not be enough! An attorney can help you document your personal suffering while you recover and help you to seek the full amount of damages available, including those that may not carry a dollar amount but that nevertheless carry a high price.
The most notable non-economic damages recovered from car accident claims include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of function or ability
In personal injury cases that go to trial, a special award may be granted to victims to make an example of the defendant and use the fine as a deterrent from similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages can exceed the limit of compensation, and that is one of the major reasons this type of damage is considered rare, unique, and complex.
The Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims in California Is Two Years
When you suffered an injury in a car accident, or in any other incident involving negligence, know that you have a limited window in which to seek compensation. In the state of California, the time period in which you are allowed to file a claim (the statute of limitations) is just two years. After that period, at-fault parties have no legal obligation to pay for the damages they cause.
Because of this strict limit, time is of the essence in any injury claim! You may be able to extend this period based on factors like a late discovery of a medical condition, or an injury victim who is a minor. But even in these cases evidence disappears each day that goes by, so be sure to reach out to a California car accident lawyer to begin seeking a claim as soon as possible.
Call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law For Help Managing Your Car Accident Claim
There is a lot at stake when you file a car accident claim. Finding experienced legal representation from a reputable firm can grant you peace of mind. You can know with confidence that you have someone familiar with the process overseeing every aspect of your claim. Further, you know that someone is there fighting for your legal rights, especially when insurers try to undervalue your claim.
The skilled team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can help you manage the following steps of an accident. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our California car accident attorneys today!