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Auto Accident Attorney in California

Auto Accident Attorney in California

California is a “comparative fault” state. In California, every auto driver is financially liable for any accident in which they are deemed to be more than 50% at fault. Drivers are required under California State Law to purchase Auto Accident Insurance Liability Insurance to offset this risk.

California has the highest rate of road death fatalities in the United States. With Auto Insurance premiums at an all-time high and no end to the road chaos, there is plenty of work for the estimated 1,265 Auto Accident Attorneys in California.

Minimum California Car Insurance Cover

California auto drivers are required by State Law to hold the following auto insurance cover as a minimum: Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Property Damage Liability: $25,000. Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.

These are the minimum amounts required under California State Law and most auto insurance policy holders opt to increase their level of Auto Accident Insurance cover with the following optional California insurance extras

  • Liability Coverage
  • Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
  • Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage
  • Mexico Coverage
  • Rental Reimbursement and Towing Coverage
  • Negligence Law

Who Pays in a Car Accident in California

California is a “comparative fault” State. This means you are financially liable for any accident in which you are deemed to have caused by being more than 50% at fault. If the other party is deemed to be more than 50% at fault it is their insurance policy that must pay compensation.

Depending on your level of cover you can be sued personally if an award is made against you that’s above your auto insurance policy limits

Who does an Auto Accident Attorney in California Sue?

California is a highly litigious state with the worst accident injury rates in the whole of the United States. An auto accident attorney can be hired to sue:

  • another party if you believe they have caused you injury
  • your own insurance company to maximize a direct compensation payout
  • an auto accident attorney in California can also defend you against criminal charges

How many Auto Accidents in California

Over 3,700 people are killed in auto accidents in California each year, with an average year on year increase of 7.3% in motor vehicle traffic fatalities, according to the California State Government

The fatality rate on California roadways for 2018 was 1.44 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. Representing a 2.12% decrease from 2017.

254,415 persons were injured in motor vehicle accidents in California last year. Pedestrian fatalities totaled 699 in 2018. This is a 8.11% year on year decrease.

Road Deaths in California 2019

  • 1 person is killed every 2 hours and 28 minutes
  • 1 person is injured every 2 hours and 11 minutes
  • 1 auto accident occurs every 42 seconds in California
  • 568 motorcyclists killed in 2017. 52% were not wearing helmets
  • California saw 565 people killed in head-on collisions in 2018.
  • There were no deathless days in California roads last year.
  • July was the deadliest month with 388 persons killed in Auto Accidents in California

What do you do after a car accident in California?

Experiencing an auto accident is a stressful time. Thoughts become irrational as the adrenaline kicks in, helping accident victims deal with these hugely stressful incidents. These are the 8 things to do immediately following an auto accident in California.

  1. Check for injuries and stay calm
  2. Dial 911 for the emergency services
  3. Do not leave the scene of the accident
  4. Follow police instructions but do not admit guilt or answer questions
  5. Gather information, shoot video and take photos
  6. Call your insurance company
  7. Follow medical instruction
  8. Contact an auto accident attorney in California

Is California a Litigious State for Auto Accidents

Court Cases involving an Auto Accident Attorney in California made up the largest share of the California Court system costs, according to the State Government.

There are over 1,200 Auto Accident Attorneys in California with specializations including

  • Small vehicle accident attorney
  • Truck Accident Attorney in California
  • California Auto Accident Attorney Generalist
  • California Insurance Auto Accident Attorney
  • Personal Injury Attorney in California
  • Commercial Vehicle Auto Accident Attorney in California
  • Uber Auto Attorney in California
  • Lyft Auto Accident Attorney in California

California Statute of Limitations in Auto Accidents

The statute of limitations for a car accident in California is two years from the date of the car accident (Sec. 16.003). The California two-year statute of limitations applies to all claims made by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, truck drivers and motorcyclists. The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident and not the day you consult an auto accident attorney in California.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in California?

  1. Your insurance company must acknowledge your claim within 15 working days
  2. Within this 15 day they should request any further information from you
  3. Insurance companies in California may extend this 15 days by a further 45 days and inform you of their reason
  4. Generally, if an insurance company extends the 15-day time frame clients will consult an auto accident attorney in California.
  5. There is no time frame for your insurance company to settle the claim. On average it takes between 3 and six months.
  6. Once approved, your claim must be paid within 5 days
  7. If the claim involves a weather event or natural disaster a California insurance company may take 45 additional days to approve or deny your claim and 15 additional days to pay your claim.
  8. An auto accident Attorney in California may help speed up your compensation payout, or may delay proceedings to maximize your payout.

How much car insurance do I need in California?

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $30,000 per person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability: $25,000
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $2,500.

These are not high minimums. In a more severe auto wreck accident, the California Statutory minimum insurance levels may prove to be inadequate.

If you are judged to be more than 50% at fault in a California car accident the other side may hire an attorney to personally sue you for any difference between their financial compensation award and the insurance policy limits.

Is California a no-fault state

California is not a no-fault state. Some states in the USA require a no-fault insurance policy, often known in California as PIP.  Every driver in California is required to hold auto insurance to cover expenses for the other driver in the event of an accident.

Insurance Payout Limits in California for Personal Injury

California uses 50 percent modified comparative negligence laws, so the court decides how much each party in an accident is at fault. You can claim damages from the other party if your level of fault does not exceed theirs.

However, your damages will be also be reduced according to your apportioned level of fault.

California Auto Attorney Insurance Claims Rights

According to the California Bill of Consumer Rights (Order No. 12-0862), you have the right to be treated fairly, honesty and with respect when you make a claim. If you believe you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, make a complaint to the TDI in California and consult an auto accident attorney in California with immediate effect.

Over 72% of Auto Accident Attorneys in California are hired to fight an individual’s own insurance company for a better deal.

California State Auto Accident Demographics

Coordinates: 37°N 120°W / 37°N 120°W / 37; -120

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively.Los Angeles is California’s most populous city, and the country’s second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation’s most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country’s second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

California’s economy, with a gross state product of $3.0 trillion, is larger than that of any other U.S. state and is the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the fifth-largest economy in the world (larger than the United Kingdom, France, or India), and the 36th-most populous as of 2017. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.253 trillion and $907 billion respectively as of 2017), after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation’s highest gross domestic product per capita in 2017 (~$94,000) among large primary statistical areas, and is home to three of the world’s ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world’s ten richest people.

California culture is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, communication, information, innovation, environmentalism, economics, politics, and entertainment. As a result of the state’s diversity and migration, California integrates foods, languages, and traditions from other areas across the country and around the globe. It is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, beach and car culture, the Internet, and the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are widely seen as centers of the global technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California’s economy is very diverse: 58% of it is based on finance, government, real estate services, technology, and professional, scientific, and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state’s economy, California’s agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.S. state.

California shares a border with Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. The state’s diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, and from the redwood and Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state’s center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time, drought and wildfires have become more frequent challenges.

What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish Empire then claimed and conquered it. In 1804 it was included in Alta California province, within Spanish New Spain Viceroyalty. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom.

Can someone sue you for a car accident if you have insurance in California?

If your insurance policy does not cover the amount awarded to the other party you may find yourself in a lawsuit regardless of whether you held car insurance. For this reason many auto accident attorneys advocate the purchase of premium cover and under-insurance ‘gap’ policies.

Do I call my insurance if it’s not my fault?

You must report any damage to your vehicle or personal injuries to yourself or others to your insurance provider immediately. Your insurance company will help file a claim against the other party and start the process of compensation.

Also contact an auto accident attorney in California for a Free Consultation and Claim Evaluation

How long do you have to file an accident report in California?

You must file an accident report with the California Department of Transport within 10 days of the auto accident. The report should be on form CR-2 available here and can be filed by you, your insurance company or your auto accident attorney in California

Do I need an Auto Accident Attorney in California?

An Auto Accident Attorney is not required for every case. For example, cases with minor injuries, soft tissue damage or ‘fender benders’ may not require a specialist auto accident attorney in California.  In more severe personal injury cases you need an expert specialist attorney to protect your interests, regardless of whether you have one appointed for you by your insurance company.

Average Auto Accident Payout in California

The average car accident compensation settlement in California is $22,887 in 2018, according to the California bureau of Statistics. The average auto accident payout by using an auto accident attorney in California was $44,887.

Hit by a Drunk Driver in California

In the United States 32 people die every day from vehicle accidents that involve a drunk driver. A drunk driver could face criminal charges from the state of California and civil charges from the injured parties.

Convictions for criminal charges can result in fines, jail, rehab and community service. A civil Court case could force the drunk driver to financially compensate victims.

If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver in the State of California check out our list of Auto Accident Attorneys in your area who are experts at DUI auto accidents.

California is a pure negligence state and you are free to lodge a lawsuit against a drunk driver who caused you or a loved one personal injury.

Filing a civil lawsuit in California against a drunk driver will require that you prove them responsible for your injuries. An experienced auto accident attorney in California will need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. The other driver owed you a duty of safe travel as you shared the road.
  2. The driver breached his or her duty by an act of negligence (e.g. drunk driving).
  3. The driver’s negligent act caused injury to you in the form of a car accident
  4. The injuries caused you to suffer specific, quantifiable damages.

Take our online Compensation Checker to find out from an auto accident attorney in California how much compensation you could expect if you’ve been injured by a drunk driver.

Car Accident Lawyer in California

What Damages can I claim for after a California Car Accident?

  • Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Diminished Earning Capacity
  • Non-economic Damages

How do I calculate Pain and Suffering in California

California uses a multiplier to work out the amount of compensation to be paid as a result of pain and suffering. For example, if your case is worth $40,000 in specific damages, but your pain and suffering has a multiplier of five for temporary brain damage, the total amount payable will be $200,000 in non-economic damages.

Will an Auto Accident Attorney in California increase my Pain and Suffering Payout

An experienced auto accident attorney in California will be instrumental in pushing up both specific damages and the pain & suffering multiplier. As can be seen in the example, both elements are key to securing the financial compensation package you deserve.

Average Whiplash Settlement in California

California does not have whiplash settlement guidelines though mild to moderate whiplash claims can result in a compensation payout from $2,500 to $10,000 worth of compensation. For severe whiplash claims in California, expect this figure to rise over the $22,000 level.

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft in California

If you’ve sustained injuries in an Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing accident you may be entitled to financial compensation from the “at-fault” driver and their insurance company.

If your accident involved an Uber, Lyft or ride share driver who was “on-the-clock” when the accident occurred, you likely won’t make a claim on the driver’s own insurance policy. Instead, the insurance policies of the ride share companies should cover your personal injuries and damages.

Take the following steps if you’ve been involved in an accident with an Uber, Lyft or Ride share Driver either as a passenger or other road user.

  1. Report your Accident Immediately to Police and Uber. File an insurance claim directly with Uber.
  2. Seek Medical Attention. Some injuries can take days or weeks to become fully apparent and a proper diagnosis will help to strengthen your compensation case.
  3. Speak to an auto accident Attorney in California for a free consultation

Where do most Auto Accidents happen in California

According to the California Department of Transport most recorded car incidents requiring the use of an auto accident attorney in California happen in the following places:

(List of all areas in California with more than 40,000 people)

Get an Auto Accident Lawyer in California because the State Legal System is Complex

The California legal system is complex and navigating California personal injury law is not something which can be mastered while focusing on your own rest, recovery and rehabilitation. Using an auto accident Attorney in California should help reduce stress and maximize your financial compensation payout.