Downey Car Accident Lawyer
Car Accident Attorney in Downey, CA
Most people understand that driving can be dangerous for a myriad of reasons. An individual can do everything in their control to be a safe driver, but it takes one driver failing to do the same to turn an ordinary day into a traumatic one. Most accidents are minor fender benders that don’t even qualify as an accident that requires the presence of law enforcement. Unfortunately, not every accident is a minor fender bender.
When car accidents result in severe injury and property damage, the impact can have long-lasting effects. In California, injured accident victims can recover monetary compensation through a personal injury claim to cover their medical expenses and other related losses. Setareh Law can help you build a strong claim to ensure you recover fair compensation for the pain and losses you’ve suffered at the hands of a negligent driver.
What Is a Driver’s Responsibility?
All California drivers are legally required to exercise a reasonable amount of care to avoid injuring others. Drivers must obey traffic laws, drive safely, and pay attention to road conditions. Furthermore, drivers are required to stop and check for injury in the event of an accident.
Under state law, in an accident where someone has been injured or died, drivers must immediately stop at the scene, exchange information, and give reasonable assistance to anyone who’s been injured. The accident must be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours.
How Does Liability Work in a Car Accident?
Most auto accidents in Downey are the result of driver negligence. Negligence arises when a driver fails to exercise a reasonable amount of care to prevent causing harm to another person. When the driver fails to exercise reasonable care, they’re violating the law and can be held liable in the event that their violation causes an accident and harms someone. To prove liability based on the legal theory of negligence, the following four elements must be established:
- Duty of care: Legally, all drivers must adhere to a duty of care to keep others safe.
- Breach of duty: Being reckless or careless breaches this duty of care.
- Causation: The violation was the direct cause or significant contributory factor to the accident and subsequent harm.
- Damages: These are the monetary awards the victim is owed after being hurt in an accident.
Being involved in a car accident can be an incredibly overwhelming experience, but it’s important to remain level-headed to ensure you’re recovering full and fair compensation. This is why the best thing to do is contact a trusted and experienced Downey car accident attorney. They will fight to make sure the resolution of your claim benefits you.
California Is an At-Fault State: What Does That Mean for Your Car Accident Claim?
In a state that operates under an at-fault system, all parties involved in an accident will file a claim with the insurance of the person responsible for the accident. Unlike in no-fault states, where drivers must first file an insurance claim with their own insurance company, in an at-fault state, drivers can only recover compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
California requires that every driver have automobile insurance. The minimum liability insurance required for private passenger motor vehicles is:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
Liability insurance compensates individuals other than the policyholder when personal injury cases arise from a car accident. However, in some cases, an at-fault party’s insurance doesn’t cover the full value of your claim. In those instances, it’s crucial to have an attorney ready to fight for your personal injury claim.
California’s Comparative Negligence Rule
Under the comparative negligence rule in California, you can recover compensation from an at-fault party regardless of your own degree of fault. However, any compensation awarded to you will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. While this is great if you were slightly at fault for the accident, it can also be used against you even if you played no part in causing the accident.
Insurance companies will do what they can to undervalue your claim, including using the comparative negligence rule against you. This is why it’s never a smart idea to speak with an insurance adjuster before consulting an attorney. Seasoned attorneys know that insurance adjusters are trained to poke holes in insurance claims for their own benefit. When you work with Setareh Law, you can feel confident that we are ready to go to court if it means getting you the compensation you are entitled to.
The Statute of Limitations for California Car Accident Claims
A statute of limitations is the allotted time set by the law that you have to file your claim and recover compensation. In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file for compensation. Failing to file within two years means losing your right to pursue compensation. Two years may seem like enough time, but it’s important to file a claim as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation.
Contact Our Skilled Downey Car Accident Lawyer at Setareh Law
At Setareh Law, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured car accident victims. Our attorneys engage in every detail to ensure we have the evidence to support your claim. We have experience negotiating and dealing with insurance companies and have helped our clients reach fair and reasonable settlements. However, we will not hesitate to go to court if it means pursuing a favorable resolution for our clients.
Our many years of practice have earned us a reputation for providing our clients with aggressive legal representation and compassionate legal services. At Setareh Law, our priority is helping our clients get the justice they deserve. We do whatever it takes to get the best possible results and are ready to fight for you. Contact our firm in Downey today to schedule a consultation (in Spanish or English) by completing our online contact form or by calling (310) 659-1826.