San Diego, California is a world-class tourist destination, and it is one of the best places in the US to live. Balboa Park and Carlsbad State Beach are only two of a myriad of attractions that the city has to offer. San Diego is served by four Interstate highways: I-5, I-8, I-15, and I-805.
San Diego is also served by several state highways including SR-15, SR-52, SR-54, SR-56, and SR-67 Although the city’s transportation network is extraordinarily convenient (outside of rush hour, anyway), the traffic volume leads to many car accidents and personal injury claims.
Car accidents seldom “just happen. They are almost always somebody’s fault. Some motorists simply do not exercise good judgment when they are behind the wheel. Most car accidents occur for the following reasons:
Many other causes of car accidents can be identified as well. Running out of gas on a busy freeway, for example, might trigger a rear-end accident.
If your car accident compensation claim is large, you might find that a minimally insured defendant is unable to pay it. At this point, it becomes important to seek an alternative defendant. Common alternative defendants include:
All other factors being equal, you should focus on the wealthiest defendant or the defendant with the best insurance coverage.
When someone else’s misconduct causes you injury, you must understand the value of your compensation claim. If you don’t, then you are likely to settle for far less than the amount that it is worth. Insurance companies just love claimants who are unaware of the value of their claims.
You are entitled to compensation for both your tangible and intangible losses. A short (but not necessarily complete) list of the components of a typical car accident claim appears below:
Your lawyer can help you calculate a reasonable claim amount. Your claim might be worth more than you think it is.
No matter how seriously you were hurt in the accident, certain factors can work to limit the damages you receive. Following are some of the most common limiting factors.
In California, the law requires drivers to carry automobile liability insurance with at least the following maximum coverage limits:
This is not nearly enough to cover many car accident claims. As such, it operates as a limitation on the compensation that you will be able to recover. If you have a large claim you are lucky if the defendant is a commercial trucker or an on-duty Uber or Lyft driver.
California operates under a system known as “pure comparative fault.” When more than one party is at fault for the accident, a court will apportion relative fault on a percentage basis: 85% fault for Party A, for example, and 15% fault for Party B. Under these circumstances, Party A pays 85% of Party B’s damages, and Party B pays 15% of Party A’s damages.
In practice, the court offsets these amounts against each other and assesses one party a certain amount. You can be certain that the other side will try to hold you at least partially liable for the accident to reduce its compensation burden.
Attempting to negotiate your car accident claim against a seasoned insurance adjuster is like trying to remove your own appendix. Don’t even try it. Instead, retain a competent San Diego car accident lawyer and let them negotiate your claim for you. The insurance company will come into any negotiation with a big bag full of negotiating tricks. Fear not. We’ve seen it all before, and we’re not going to fall for a single one of them.
The longer you wait to file your claim, the weaker it becomes, as evidence deteriorates and witness memories fade. Contact the San Diego car accident lawyers at SD Law Center by calling 619-752-4677 or by contacting us online to schedule a free consultation.