How To Recover After A Car Crash
An automobile accident can change the lives of victims and their families forever by causing catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. If you have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a car crash, York Law Firm can help. Our auto and car crash accident attorneys are lawyers who serve Sacramento and other Northern California areas with an unwavering commitment to fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families.
Our lawyers have resolved many auto accident cases on behalf of injured clients, either by taking a case to trial or by reaching an out-of-court settlement. Our law firm has the expertise to handle cases ranging from simple collisions to automotive product liability or flawed road design. When you enlist the help of our legal team, we will fight hard to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Auto Accidents And Car Crash Lawsuits
The laws pertaining to auto accidents are intended to discourage reckless driving and compensate victims for injuries caused by the negligence of others. This purpose is accomplished by holding car designers, manufacturers, and distributors responsible for the safety of their products (product liability) and holding motorists responsible for driving safely. Laws also require that roadways be maintained properly. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, motorcycle accident, large truck accident and wrongful death laws may also impact a victim’s claim.
Car Accidents: Who Is Liable?
Car accident injuries are often the result of another party’s recklessness or carelessness. If you are hit from behind (rear-ended), you are likely not liable and can recover fully for your damage to your car as well as your resulting injury. However, California is what is known as a “comparative fault” state. Comparative fault assesses the percentage of fault attributed to each party and the plaintiff’s percentage of fault will reduce any recovery he or she obtains. This means that even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault, he or she will still be able to recover 1% of the total recovery amount.
Legal Considerations In A Car Accident Case
Statute of Limitations:
As with any lawsuit, car accident injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time of the harmful wrongful conduct, a period known as the statute of limitations. Failure to bring suit within this period may bar your ability to bring suit completely. The statute of limitations, however, differs depending on the subject matter of the case. At York Law Firm, our attorneys can advise and protect your legal claim.
In car accident injury cases, it is extremely important to get eyewitness accounts of the incident. Eyewitnesses help verify your side of the story and increase your probability of obtaining a favorable verdict.
Recovering Damages In A Car Accident Case
York Law Firm cares about their clients and their well-being. We understand the expenses associated with a car accident injury can be considerable and know how important it is to be compensated for your medical care costs (past and future), physical injuries, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at York Law Firm are devoted to helping their clients obtain the compensation to which they were entitled.
Types Of Damages
Compensatory damages are damages meant to “right the wrong.” In other words, they are meant to reimburse/make up for the injuries, harms and losses sustained by the victim.
There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include quantifiable amounts such as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages or property damage. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, physical injuries/harms, mental anguish and emotional distress. They also include “loss of consortium,” or damages for loss of society, comfort and care of the injured plaintiff. Because the human loss – physical pain and suffering – are immeasurable, an experienced lawyer can help you quantify your pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages will often exceed the amount of economic damages awarded, which is why you need to contact one of our skilled attorneys at York Law Firm. We have extensive experience in advocating for recovery of damages.
Damages awarded to the victim in order to punish the wrongdoer for his or her gross negligence are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded where the conduct was malicious or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights, displaying an indifference to the rights and safety of others. Punitive damages may also be awarded when the defendant’s conduct is fraudulent or oppressive.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents
Motor vehicle travel is the most convenient and common means of travel in the United States; however, it also frequently causes injuries and fatalities. Perhaps due to our proximity to the Capitol or our fast-paced lifestyles, the 2008 Sacramento Police Department report of traffic accidents reported that Sacramento is the worst city among the ten worst cities over the population of 250,000 for vehicle accidents.
Auto accidents can be caused by any number of things and are often the result of the guilty party’s recklessness or carelessness. Some of the most common causes of car accidents are:
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue accounts for nearly 100,000 accidents every year in the U.S. The risk is greatest at the time most people are used to sleeping, any time between 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
A driver who is distracted is a risk to himself and to others on the road. Distracted drivers seem to be the root of an overwhelming percentage of car accidents. Rubbernecking (looking at the side of the road), eating, fidgeting with the radio, looking at scenery, and talking or texting on your cellphone while driving are common distractions. As of July 2008, it is illegal in California to talk on your cellphone while driving. California also bans texting while driving.
Of course, a reckless driver is a threat to others on the road as well as his passengers and pedestrians. A driver is reckless if he or she speeds, runs red lights, drives without headlights, weaves in and out of traffic to pass slower cars, or drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Auto Accidents Settlements
York Law Firm’s recent successes include a $2.75 million settlement in a motor vehicle case involving a motorcyclist, $1.1 million verdict in a Tehama County motor vehicle case and a $1.3 million dollar settlement on behalf of a client who needed back surgery following a rear-end collision. The firm also handles smaller auto accident cases in an efficient manner, thereby maximizing recoveries for the clients we represent. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers have a reliable and proven track record.
Passenger’s Rights In An Accident
In California, passengers who are injured as a result of a car accident can sue the negligent driver, even if they were the passenger of the negligent driver. Many passengers are reluctant to sue their driving companion if the negligent driver is their friend. However, keep in mind that your friend’s insurance company is the one who will pay for any damages you sustained.
Automotive Product Liability
Defective Seat Belts:
With the passage of the “Click It or Ticket” program in 2005, seat belt usage is at an all-time high. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, California’s seat belt use rate has increased to 95.3% in 2009. These statistics do us little good if the seat belt is defective. Some of the most common seat belt defects are inertial unlatching (when the seat belt unlatches during a collision), false latching (when a seat belt appears to be buckled, but is not), and excessive seat belt slack.
Defective Air Bags:
Air bags are meant to protect passengers from head injuries during a car collision. The speed and force at which air bags deploy must be sufficient enough to offset the force of the passenger who’s propelled forward from the accident. Most air bags deploy at speeds in excess of 20 to 25 mph; however, some air bags deploy at the wrong time or fail to deploy altogether.
According to the National Automotive Sampling System-Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), blowouts and flat tires account for thousands of serious crashes every year.
Defective Child Care Seats:
Child care seats (including booster seats for older children) are used over 85% of the time for children of all ages and from all different ethnic backgrounds. Even though we’d like to think that we’re keeping our children safe by using a child care seat, if the seat is defective, they are exposed to the dangers of an injury from a car collision.
Defective Braking Systems:
Defective car brakes are a serious concern – if the brakes are bad or don’t work, the risk of serious injuries resulting from an accident increases tremendously.
Defective Fuel Lines:
Faulty fuel line connectors don’t cause accidents, but they can make accidents much worse. A defective fuel line can result in post-accident auto fires, causing severe burn injury to the victim or even death.
Drunk Driving Statistics
The National Institutes of Health reports that alcohol-related traffic deaths have declined by over 60% since the mid-1970s. Today, alcohol is involved in 40% of traffic deaths. Among individuals between the ages of 16 to 20, the percentage is 36%.
Protecting The Injured
Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are very popular in the U.S., and sales continue to rise. Unfortunately, SUVs are more susceptible to rolling over because they have a higher center of gravity and are top heavy designs with narrow wheelbases. At high speeds, they are especially likely to rollover.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sport utility vehicles (SUVs) involved in rollover accidents are a growing problem in our society, especially among young people. The NHTSA reports that between the years 1992 to 2001, 986 SUV drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were fatally injured in a U.S. rollover crash. Further, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) found that in 2004, 275,637 vehicles rolled over in a car accident. Between 1992 and 1996, the NHTSA reported over 227,000 rollover crashes occurred annually, resulting in approximately 9,000 fatalities.
Types Of Damages Recoverable
If you or someone you love is seeking compensation for your pedestrian accident injury, York Law Firm can help. Our experienced attorneys have obtained millions for our clients’ personal injuries and have the experience and expertise to advise you on your legal claim.
Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
The driver is driving recklessly (speeding, not adhering to traffic signs, weaving in and out of traffic, etc.)
The driver is not paying attention to the road
The driver is driving drunk
Contact Our Sacramento Car Accidents Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, contact York Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation with one of our automobile and car crash accidents attorneys. Our lawyers, who serve Sacramento, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, and the Bay Area, will provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve.