Can I Sue After a Car Accident in Orange, CA?
The answer is yes, you can sue another driver after a car accident in Orange, CA. However, there are limits as to when a driver can file a claim against another party and prove that their negligent actions led to the injury. In the state of California, drivers have two years from the date of the accident to file an insurance claim. An experienced car accident attorney can help you file a personal injury claim and maximize your compensation.
In order to pursue compensation after a car accident, you will first need to establish negligence. California is a comparative negligence state, which means that anyone who is partially responsible for a car accident can be held liable for damages, while also still being able to collect compensation. In other words, even if you were the at-fault driver, you will still be entitled to a monetary reward to offset your medical bills, vehicle repair, and other damages.
While driving a car, all motorists owe a duty of care to other drivers on the road. When this obligation to drive safely and responsibly is breached a serious accident can take place and catastrophic injuries can be sustained. The person who caused the accident can be held liable and will have to reimburse the victim for damages. To pursue compensation and a successful car accident settlement, take the following steps:
1. Seek Medical Attention
The adrenaline one experiences after a car accident can mask the true severity of traumatic injuries such as brain injuries or whiplash. Even if you feel fine, you should still seek medical attention. This allows you to get the treatment you need in order to heal and is documented with medical records. These records will be utilized in the event you are unable to return to work and need to be reimbursed for the days missed. Your medical records, including prescription costs and rehabilitative care, will be used to calculate the value of your car accident claim.
2. Collect Evidence
Get the name and contact info of the other driver, as well as photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road signs, license plates, medical personnel arriving on the scene, and your visible injuries. Also, contact the police immediately. They will need to investigate the accident scene and write up a police report; you will need to get a copy of this.
3. Get a Copy of Your Insurance Policy and Report the Accident
Car accident lawsuits are usually filed when the injuries sustained exceed a certain amount and additional funds are needed. If the case is a success, compensation will be awarded by a judge and jury. When it comes to insurance, drivers in California are required to have:
- $5,000 property damage
- $15,000 for injury or death of someone not at fault for the accident
- $30,000 for injury or death to two or more people not at fault
When reporting the motor vehicle accident to your insurance carrier, only give them the facts, as anything you say can be used as an excuse to underpay or deny your claim. Avoid phrases like “I’m sorry” or other submissions of guilt. Your insurance carrier may ask for the name and contact information of the other driver, such as the driver's insurance company, and the names of any witnesses, if applicable.
All drivers involved in a car accident in Orange, CA have 10 days to report an accident to their insurance company. While minor accidents do not always need to be reported, any big car crashes where someone else is injured or if there are more than $750 worth of damages must be reported. Failing to report can result in loss of coverage or other penalties.
4. Consult With a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you’ve received medical care and reported the accident to your insurance company, set up a consultation with an experienced Orange car accident attorney. They will look into the details of your case to establish the severity of your injuries, liability for the accident, and what to expect if your case goes to trial.
More often than not, car accident claims settle before they ever reach a courtroom. However, be prepared for situations when an insurance company refuses to negotiate or pay a claim. Regardless of what happens, your Orange car accident lawyer will be able to walk you through the process and let you know what to expect at every stage.
Call An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Orange
Have you been in a car accident? Need to file a claim? Call Santiago Accident Lawyers today at 714-912-6901 for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 to help you with your case and you won’t have to pay us until we win your case for you. Our Orange car accident attorneys have a winning track record of success with our clients, resulting in numerous awards and accolades in the legal industry. We’re here to help you. Give us a call to get started.