Barstow Car Accident Lawyer
Heidari Law Group
Heidari Law Group (Buena Park Office)
17901 Von Karman Ave Suite 600
Irvine, CA 92614
tel: (949) 239-1020
fax: (949) 239-1021
Contact a Barstow Car Accident Lawyer
Open 24 HOURS A DAY
7 DAYS A WEEK
Most of us have been involved in a “fender bender” at one time or another. Such accidents often involve nothing more than an exchange of insurance information and perhaps some minor car repairs. But far too often car accidents are more serious and require drivers and passengers to seek immediate medical attention for potentially life-threatening conditions.
Car accidents occur for many reasons. Sometimes nobody is really at fault. But if a driver’s negligence was to blame, then the victims have the right to seek legal compensation. A qualified Barstow car accident lawyer can review your accident and apprise you of your rights in this area. At the Heidari Law Group, P.C., we represent accident victims and families in seeking damages against negligent drivers and insurance companies.
What You Need to Know About Filing a Personal Injury Claim Following an Auto Accident
California is an “at-fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. In simple terms, this means that if a driver’s negligence leads to an accident, that driver and their insurance company is expected to compensate the victims for their damages.
“Negligence” in this context means that a driver acted in a manner that violated the legal duty of care that every motorist owes other people while on the road. If a driver causes an accident after breaking a traffic law–say by speeding or running a red light–that is considered “negligence per se.” Other examples of negligence include distracted or drunk driving. Negligence does not require any intentional or criminal conduct. In other words, an accident victim does not have to prove that the negligent driver was trying to injure them, only that they were reckless or careless in some manner.
“Damages” is the term used to describe an accident victim’s compensation for a defendant’s reckless conduct. Damages is a separate yet equally essential element of a personal injury claim. That is to say, even if you can prove the defendant’s driving caused an accident, you must still prove to a judge that you suffered some measurable loss as a result.
California law divides damages into economic and non-economic categories. Economic damages reflect a victim’s out-of-pocket losses, such as medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages due to time missed from work following an accident. Non-economic damages are by their very nature intangible and include losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life due to accident-related injuries. In rare cases, a California court can also award punitive damages if a defendant’s conduct was intentional or was otherwise considered a “willful and conscious disregard” for the rights and safety of other people.
California Is a Pure Comparative Fault State
One question we often get is, “Can I still recover damages for a car accident even if I might have been partly to blame?” The answer is yes. Like most states, California follows a comparative fault (or comparative negligence) rule in personal injury cases. To break this down, a jury will consider the evidence from an auto accident and assign a percentage of fault to all parties involved. The court will then reduce the plaintiff’s damages to account for their percentage of fault, if any.
Many comparative fault states require a plaintiff’s fault to stay below a certain threshold to recover any amount of damages. California does not do this. Instead, we follow a “pure” comparative fault rule. This means that hypothetically speaking, you could be held 99 percent responsible for an auto accident yet still recover 1 percent of your total damages from a defendant who was also negligent.
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Contact the Heidari Law Group Today
You may not think a lawyer is necessary following an accident. You may assume that the other driver’s insurance company will simply pay for your losses. But the reality is often not quite so simple. And that is where having an experienced Barstow car accident attorney by your side can prove invaluable. So if you need legal advice or representation, contact the Heidari Law Group, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation in English or Spanish.