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Victims of vehicle accidents are often left wondering where to turn to ensure that they secure the compensation they are entitled to. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, we are here to help if you need a Santa Ana car accident lawyer by your side. We understand crash victims have to deal with tremendous expenses, including those related to their injuries and property damage. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to fully investigate these claims, determine liability, and help victims recover the compensation they are entitled to.
There will be various types of evidence used by insurance carriers and attorneys in these cases. Some of the evidence used can be gathered at the scene of the crash, while other types of evidence may not be available until days after the incident occurs. When we work to determine liability for these incidents, some of the evidence that our Santa Ana car accident attorneys use includes the following:
If we turn to data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were more than 3,600 total vehicle accident fatalities across the state during the latest reporting year of data. During that same year, we also see that there were more than 268,000 total injuries. When our Santa Ana vehicle accident lawyers investigate these cases, we regularly determine that there are several common themes when it comes to determining the causes of these incidents:
California is not a “no-fault” state when it comes to vehicle accidents or any other type of personal injury. This state operates on a “fault-based” system in these situations. This means that the individual or entity who causes an injury to others will be responsible for paying compensation to the victim.
Some states around the country are indeed “no-fault” when it comes to vehicle accidents. In these cases, individuals turn to their own insurance carrier for coverage of their medical bills and property damage expenses, regardless of who caused the accident.
Because California is a fault-based state for vehicle accident claims, it is crucial to work with a skilled attorney who can examine the situation, gather evidence, and determine fault.
There may be various types of compensation available to victims of car accidents in the Santa Ana area. In general, our attorneys strive to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of our clients.
There is no set value assigned to car accident claims in Santa Ana or in California. There are various factors that go into determining how much each particular vehicle accident claim is worth. Some of the factors that can affect the total amount of compensation awarded to victims include the severity of the injuries, the length of the recovery time, the level of the victim’s pain and suffering, and whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident.
When working to come up with a total damage amount, a personal injury attorney in Santa Ana will gather up all of the bills and receipts the client has accumulated since their injury occurred. Adding these up will typically produce the total amount of economic damages that will be presented to the insurance carrier for payment.
However, reaching a total for the non-economic damages that we mentioned above is more challenging. Since there are no actual bills or receipts that can show the injury victim’s level of pain and suffering, accident attorneys usually rely on a “multiplier method.” This means that an attorney will take the total that they reached for the economic damages and then multiply that by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to reach the total for non-economic damages.
For example, if a spinal cord injury victim’s total economic damages ended up being $500,000, an attorney may use a multiplier of three to reach a non-economic damage total of $1,500,000. In total, the attorney will seek $2 million on behalf of their client.
Like every other state in the country, California sets certain minimums when it comes to vehicle insurance for drivers. This includes the following:
California does not require individuals to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers may choose to purchase higher insurance coverage amounts, but this does result in higher premiums as well. However, having higher insurance limits as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage helps protect drivers.
Part of recovering compensation after a vehicle accident is proving the negligence of the other driver, but what is “negligence” in these situations? Typically, we look at four elements to determine whether or not a driver was negligent:
Determining these four elements of negligence can be challenging, and we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled Santa Ana car accident attorney for help with your case. An attorney can gather all of the evidence needed to prove liability and present these four elements of negligence to the insurance carrier or to a personal injury jury.
Yes, victims of motor vehicle accidents in Santa Ana need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in their case. The California Personal Injury Statute of Limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that car accident victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver in their case, or they will lose the ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
It is important to point out that most insurance companies require that vehicle crashes be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to comply with insurance carrier deadlines could result in the claim being delayed or denied.
Determining fault in the aftermath of a vehicle crash is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to recovering compensation. After all, insurance carriers are not going to pay for a claim if it cannot be shown that their policyholder was to blame for the crash.
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident in Santa Ana, insurance carriers and attorneys for any party involved will conduct a complete investigation into the claim in order to determine liability. To make this determination, an injury attorney in Orange County will:
The vast majority of Santa Ana vehicle accident cases are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. In these cases, crash victims will not have to go to court in order to receive the settlement that they need. However, if an insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary for a crash victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Just because a personal injury lawsuit is filed does not necessarily mean that the parties involved will end up in a courtroom. The reality is that, even after a lawsuit is filed, most car accident claims are resolved before a trial becomes necessary. That being said, if a fair negotiated settlement cannot be reached between the parties involved, it will ultimately be necessary for the parties involved to go to court to have their case heard in front of a jury.
It can be very difficult to put a definitive time frame on how long it takes for Santa in a vehicle accident case to be resolved through a settlement. In the event the claim is relatively straightforward and there are no disputes over liability or how much compensation should be paid, it may be possible to receive an insurance settlement within a few weeks to a month after the crash occurs. However, if there is any dispute over who caused the crash or how much money should be paid out to a victim, the insurance settlement process could drag out four months or even more than a year.
If the insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement and those involved are forced to file a personal injury lawsuit, a settlement may not be forthcoming for quite some time. When a personal injury lawsuit is filed, this starts the discovery phase of the process where both sides will gather and exchange information with one another. This investigative phase can take months or years, particularly when we factor in any motions or continuances that may be filed in the case, as well as the process of giving and taking depositions.
Negotiations between both parties will continue during the discovery phase, and it may be possible to reach a fair settlement at any point along the way. However, there is no guarantee that will happen, and a settlement may not come through for years.
If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in the Santa Ana area, reach out to the team at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo for help as soon as possible. Our Orange County car crash lawyers have decades of experience handling complex vehicle accident claims throughout California, and we understand what it takes to ensure that clients recover the compensation they are entitled to. We have the resources necessary to fully investigate every personal injury claim that we take, and we refuse to back down from aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault parties. When you need a Santa Ana accident lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at (714) 783-2205.