Upland Car Accident Lawyer
Looking Out for Your Rights as an Accident Victim
An Accident Case Starts with Determining the Cause of the Collision
In order to file a successful personal injury case on your behalf, our legal team will need to prove that at least one other individual, company, or alternative legal entity’s negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct served as a substantial factor in the cause(s) of your injuries. Before we can determine who could potentially be held liable for your crash, we’ll need to investigate exactly why your crash occurred. Some of the most common reasons why cars crash on California roads include:
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Auto defects
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk or otherwise impaired driving
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Ill-maintained roads
- Improper lane change maneuvers and merging approaches
- Low-visibility due to wildfires
- Right of Way issues
- Severe weather
- Slick road surfaces
- The presence of wild or domestic animals
- Tire problems
Next Comes a Determination of Fault
Once we have discovered why your car accident occurred, it becomes time to determine who may be held legally liable for the harm you’ve suffered. It is possible that multiple causes contributed to the causation of your collision. Some may be legally actionable, such as another motorist’s choice to drive while distracted or intoxicated. Some may not be legally actionable, such as the presence of a wild animal or severe weather. However, as long as at least one individual or other legal entity behaved in ways that were negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous and that conduct served as a substantial factor in the circumstances that led to your injuries, chances are good that you have strong grounds upon which to file a personal injury claim.
Why Partial Fault on Your Part Won’t “Tank” Your Case
Many accident victims dismiss the idea that they could successfully file a personal injury case because they were partially to blame for the circumstances that led to the accident in question. In so-called contributory negligence states, these accident victims’ concerns are well-founded. In these states, accident victims are generally barred from seeking compensation from anyone else involved in an accident scene if they themselves were at all to blame for the harm that they have suffered. However, in California, this is not the case.
California is a comparative negligence state. This means that everyone who can legally be held liable for their contributions to the cause of an accident may be deemed proportionately responsible for those contributions. For example, if your actions are calculated to have resulted in 10 percent of the fault for your accident, you can still hold others responsible for up to 90 percent of the fault related to your crash. Say that you and another motorist are to blame for your accident, which is valued at $100,000. Because you are responsible for 10 percent of your own harm, you can still hold the other motorist responsible for their 90 percent fault contributed to the crash, valued at $90,000 in compensation.
In short, you should not dismiss the idea that you have grounds to file legal action successfully simply because you may have contributed to the cause of the accident that led to your injuries. As long as others also directly caused you to harm due to their negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct, you should be able to hold them financially responsible for their part(s) in causing your accident.
Filing Accident Claims with Insurers
Insurance companies are businesses. As all major businesses do, insurance companies must turn a profit in order to remain operational. As a result, those employed by insurance companies are taught to protect their companies’ “bottom line” when dealing with policyholders and with accident victims. Many insurance representatives are savvy and do an excellent job of subtly devaluing the amount of compensation that injury victims ultimately receive after they have filed legitimate claims. Some legitimate claims may even be rejected outright when shrewd insurance representatives take advantage of loopholes that leave injury victims without access to the compensation to which they would be otherwise entitled.
Due to the ways in which insurance companies operate, it can be surprisingly easy to unintentionally devalue your claim or to set your claim up for rejection simply by speaking with an insurance representative before being becoming adequately prepared to do so successfully. Even the most seemingly innocuous things that you say to an insurance representative could be used as excuses to devalue your injury victim compensation. As a result, it is important to avoid speaking with insurance representatives until you have attended your free consultation with our tenacious legal team. With your permission, we will negotiate efficiently and effectively with any insurance companies that you’re compelled to deal with in the aftermath of your accident. If you’d prefer to negotiate with these companies on your own, we can help you to be as successful in your pursuit of a fairly valued insurance settlement as possible. If you’re entitled to insurance-related compensation, don’t risk a penny of that money by speaking with an insurance representative until you can better ensure that in doing so, you won’t unintentionally devalue your claim by approaching that communication in uninformed ways.
Work-Related Auto Accident Considerations
If you were either driving professionally or you were driving for work-related purposes at the time of your crash, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as a result of your injuries. You will not be entitled to these benefits if you are rightfully classified as an independent contractor. However, if you were classified as a full-time or part-time employee and your employer is not subject to workers’ compensation coverage exemptions, as long as your crash occurred while you were “driving for work” in some capacity (even if you were simply running an errand for your boss at the time), you should receive these benefits regardless of what caused your accident and whether or not you were blameless, partially at fault, or even totally at fault for the collision. The only circumstances that tend to bar eligible workers from receiving benefits are crashes that occurred while the workers were high or drunk, while they were instigating road rage incidents, or while they were intentionally trying to get hurt for the purposes of committing workers’ compensation fraud.
If you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the wake of your auto accident, know that you can still file a personal injury claim against any third party – other than your employer – whose negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions served as a substantial factor in the cause of your crash. Your employer cannot be sued directly as businesses covered by the workers’ compensation system are protected from legal liability for work-related harm by a limited liability shield.
Regardless of what caused your crash, who was at fault for your collision, and how serious your injuries are, you may benefit significantly from speaking with our legal team about your options in a no-cost, risk-free consultation setting. Due to California’s classification as a comparative negligence state, you may be entitled to significant compensation even if you were partially to blame for what happened to you.
Please allow our dedicated and experienced legal team to explain our client-focused approach to representation and to provide you with an objective case analysis for free. By investing an hour or two of your time, you’ll benefit from learning about your rights as an accident victim, and from learning about the relative strengths and weaknesses of your cases. Armed with this personalized guidance, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions about your legal situation moving forward. We look forward to meeting with you and to assisting you with your legal needs.