If you were in a vehicle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you should not be held financially responsible for the physical, mental, emotional, and financial damage they have caused. Unfortunately, receiving the compensation you deserve is not always as easy as it sounds.
At Mehta and McConnell, we have the unique perspective of having started our careers as defense attorneys representing insurance companies and large corporations. We understand the strategies and tactics of the other side. We are now committed to representing the rights of injured individuals and we believe our experience gives us a big advantage when it comes to navigating the legal process and negotiating fair settlements on behalf of our clients. We can help you determine the true value of your claim and seek damages after a car accident.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
The amount and type of compensation you are entitled to depends on a number of factors unique to your claim including the severity of your injuries and related expenses as well as the nature of the actual accident. It is important to do a deep dive into the actual value of your claim before you seek damages after a car accident to avoid accepting an unfair settlement that fails to meet your current and future needs. Here are the types of damage that may be applicable to your car accident claim.
Monetary expenses associated with your injuries from the car accident are considered economic damages. Treating injuries can be costly and require ongoing care. You should not be burdened with these expenses incurred because of someone else’s actions. These are some examples of economic car accident damages:
- Emergency medical treatment,
- Follow-up doctor visits,
- Surgical procedures,
- Prescription medication,
- Physical therapy,
- Ongoing treatment,
- Transportation to appointments,
- In-home care, and
- Equipment and home modifications due to injuries.
Lost wages are also considered economic damages. If you are unable to work because of your injury, you should be compensated. This loss could be permanent or temporary and it is important to have a medical professional provide an accurate prognosis for your recovery. You may also receive compensation to repair or replace your damaged vehicle.
Your physical, mental, and emotional hardships are valid and, in many cases, compensable. It is great to have your tangible expenses covered, but that does not take into account the actual impact the car accident has had on your life. Compensation for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is called economic damages and may include some of these examples depending on the circumstances of your accident and injuries.
- Pain and suffering,
- Post-traumatic stress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Mental anguish, and
Your personal injury attorney can work with you to build a case that adequately conveys how the accident has affected you.
In situations where the negligent behavior is outrageous or grossly negligent to the extent that the court feels like the defendant should not only have to make it right but should be punished for their behavior, punitive damages may be granted. This is a sum in excess of your actual award. These damages are not common in most car accident cases, but they are possible.
How to Seek Damages After a Car Accident
Most car accident damages start as an insurance claim against the negligent party’s insurance. In order to pursue damages, you need to know who was at fault. If there is any disagreement over who caused the accident, or the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive, you may consider filing a lawsuit. It is important that you never accept a settlement that is less than what you are entitled to. Insurance companies may try and offer fast settlements at lower amounts, knowing that you need the funds to cover current expenses. Unfortunately, when those insufficient funds run out, you cannot go back and ask for more. Make sure you get to recover the damages you deserve with the help of an experienced attorney.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim for Damage?
California has a three-year statute of limitations for car accidents. This is how long you have to file your lawsuit after the date of the accident. You must take legal action within the allotted time frame to avoid being barred from being able to recover damages unless you fall under an applicable exception.
It is important to file your claim as soon as reasonably possible to ensure you have the best chance at recovery. Your attorney can help you gather evidence and track down witnesses to ensure you have adequate proof of how the accident occurred and who should be held liable.
At Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, we have over 30 years of combined legal experience representing personal injury victims. Let us guide you through the process of building the best legal strategy for your situation. Contact us to schedule a case consultation.