Merced Car Accident Lawyer
Heidari Law Group
Merced Car Accident Lawyer
Open 24 HOURS A DAY
7 DAYS A WEEK
There are hundreds of car accidents every day in California. Fortunately, most of these accidents result in little or no personal injury or property damage. But far too many accidents do lead to such harm, leaving the victims to face a mountain of medical bills and lost income while they struggle to recover from their injuries.
Sorting out liability for an auto accident is often not as cut-and-dry as you might like to believe. This is where an experienced Merced car accident lawyer can help. At Heidari Law Group, P.C., we have decades of experience representing accident victims seeking compensation for their injuries. We understand how to investigate a car accident and build a case against a negligent driver. We can represent you in negotiating a fair settlement offer with an insurance company–and barring that taking your case to court.
Understanding the Role of Negligence in Car Accidents
Unlike some states that follow a “no-fault” rule when it comes to car accidents, California is very much a “fault” state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you have every right to seek compensation from that driver and their insurance company. You do not have to rely primarily on your own insurance policy to cover the damages.
“Negligence” when it comes to car accidents basically comes down to whether or not a driver violated their duty of care to obey traffic laws and otherwise operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Some accidents are genuinely unavoidable. But more often than not, an accident is due to a driver’s reckless or careless behavior. Even if unintentional, that driver can still be held legally responsible in a personal injury lawsuit for the damages they caused.
We all understand that certain behaviors behind the wheel are inherently risky. Some of the more common ones that can lead to an accident include:
- running a red light or failing to yield;
- failing to keep a lookout for other cars, pedestrians, and cyclists;
- texting or otherwise using a smartphone while driving;
- driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- driving while distracted by some other activity.
It is not uncommon in an accident involving more than one vehicle for the drivers to blame one another. And in fact, there are cases where both drivers may be partly at fault for what happened. In California, it is still possible for a plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit to recover some damages from the defendant even if the plaintiff was partially to blame. This is known as the “comparative negligence” rule, and it basically provides that a court must reduce an award of damages in a personal injury case to account for the plaintiff’s relative fault. So long as the plaintiff is no more than 50 percent at-fault, they can still recover some compensation.
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The Importance of Speaking with an Attorney Following a Car Accident
In a car accident case, a plaintiff’s “damages” are a measure of their injuries and other losses in dollar amounts. Some damages are easy to calculate. An accident victim’s economic damages, for instance, include their medical bills, lost wages due to time missed from work, and even the costs of repairing or replacing their damaged vehicle. A victim may also seek non-economic damages, which are for more difficult-to-quantify losses like pain and suffering and the related emotional trauma following a car accident.
Many car accident cases are settled without the need for litigation. But even settlements often involve complicated legal issues. For example, if the negligent driver lacks sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the victims for their injuries, those victims may be able to turn to their own insurance carrier if they have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
This is why it is so essential to sit down with a skilled Merced car accident lawyer who can walk you through all of your legal options for seeking compensation. If you need to speak with an attorney right away, contact the Heidari Law Group, P.C., to schedule a consultation in English or Spanish.