The aftermath of a car accident can leave you with a long list of expenses. Even a minor accident can be costly. Collecting compensation from the liable party is often essential to cover all of the expenses associated with a car accident.
Fortunately, you can get help recovering the money you need from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Citrus Heights. At Triumph Law, we understand the challenges that victims face. We have a long history of helping car accident victims hold the liable party responsible. Contact us today by phone or through our contact form to schedule a free case review.
Be Aware of the Amount of Time You Have to File a Lawsuit
When considering filing a car accident lawsuit to recover compensation from the at-fault party, you need to be aware of the personal injury statute of limitations for the state where your accident occurred. In California, accident victims are generally granted two years to file a lawsuit. Missing this deadline will most often result in losing your right to claim damages.
However, you need to understand that there are exceptions to the statute of limitations that can alter the amount of time you have to file. These exceptions can work both ways, either extending or restricting the standard deadline.
Hiring an experienced Citrus Grove car accident attorney is the best way of ensuring that you are aware of the exact deadline that applies to you. Your lawyer can determine if any special circumstances apply to your case and ensure that all your paperwork gets filed on time.
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The Elements for Proving Negligence
To recover compensation after a car accident, you must first determine who is liable for your damages. You must be able to prove that another party caused your accident either through negligence or an intentional act. Accomplishing this on your own can be challenging, but a Citrus Heights car accident attorney can help.
When attempting to prove that another party’s negligence caused an accident, you must be able to demonstrate the following four elements:
- That they had a duty of care
- That they breached their duty of care
- That you suffered damages
- That the breach of their duty of care was the direct cause of your damages
A Duty of Care
When out on the road, all drivers owe a duty of care to those around them. Because of the potential that motor vehicles have of causing harm, everyone behind the wheel is expected to use the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and others. If the party you are filing a claim against was driving a car involved in the accident, they owed a duty of care.
The existence of a duty of care can also be established for parties, not on the road. A car manufacturer or a maintenance company owes a duty of care to ensure that the vehicles they put on the road are reasonably safe.
A Breached Duty of Care
After establishing that a duty of care existed, you need to show that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. When filing a lawsuit against a driver involved in the crash, some of the ways this can be done are by proving that they were using a cell phone, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or speeding.
For third parties not directly involved in the collision, a breached duty of care can be demonstrated in other ways. For example, showing that a car manufacturer cut corners to save money at the expense of safety will work to establish a breached duty of care.
The next thing you must prove is that you incurred damages as a result of the accident. You can show this with the help of your medical records and bills for the repair of your vehicle. However, to protect against any attempts by the defense to cast doubt upon your claim, it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after your crash.
Delays will allow the defense to claim that your injuries were caused by another incident rather than the accident in question.
Your Damages Were the Result of the Breached Duty of Care
Once the first three elements have been established, you need to tie everything together. You need to show how the breached duty of care was the direct cause of the damages you suffered. An experienced car accident attorney in Citrus Heights will know exactly how to fit all the pieces together to build a strong case on your behalf.
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Recoverable Damages Following a Citrus Heights Car Accident
After suffering injuries in a car accident in Citrus Heights, there are a variety of damages you will likely be eligible to pursue. All the compensatory damages you can recover are divided between economic and non-economic damages.
All the monetary losses caused by your car accident are economic damages. The most commonly available economic damages after a car accident are:
- Lost wages
- Lowered ability to earn income
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Modifications to your vehicle or home to help with an injury
All losses you suffer that aren’t categorized as economic damages are considered non-economic damages. The most commonly available non-economic damages after a car accident are:
- Diminished ability to enjoy life
- Permanent disability
- Scars and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages may also be available after a truck accident. However, you must understand that punitive damages only apply in extreme cases. The main difference between compensatory and punitive damages is their focus. While compensatory damages concern the accident victim’s losses, punitive damages are all about the liable party’s actions.
A judge will only award punitive damages in cases involving criminal negligence or an action intended to cause harm.
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Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Citrus Heights Today
When attempting to claim damages after a car accident, one of the most important things you can do is to choose the right attorney to represent you. You need someone with experience handling cases similar to yours. Additionally, you want to choose a lawyer with a history of securing favorable results for their clients both in and out of the courtroom.
At Triumph Law, we have a proven track record of getting our clients’ big paydays both through out-of-court settlements and by winning their cases at trial. Contact us today by giving us a call or completing our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.