Oxnard, CA Car Accident Lawyer
Oxnard, CA may be one of the most picturesque seaside towns along California’s Pacific Coast, with scenic views of Channel Islands National Park from McGrath State Beach down to Silver Strand. Being surrounded by such a beautiful backdrop, it can be difficult to realize that the risk of car accidents is very real. However, statistics reveal that these incidents are more common than you think. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that there were 1,598 people killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, leading to tremendous losses for victims and their families.
Our team at Fisher & Talwar understands how your life is turned around when you’re hurt or lost a loved one in an auto collision. We’re dedicated to helping you get back on track by seeking the compensation you deserve as a victim. Please contact our firm to set up a complimentary consultation with an Oxnard, CA car accident lawyer today. You may also find it helpful to review some basics about these cases.
How California Motor Vehicle Crash Claims Work:
When you’re injured in an auto collision, it’s often because another motorist was careless while driving. In the practice of law, the theory of liability is called negligence. To recover compensation, you must prove four sets of facts:
- Duty: You need to show that the other driver had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care when driving, so as not to cause a risk of harm to others.
- Breach: You must present facts showing that the responsible motorist failed in the duty of care by engaging in careless acts.
- Causation: There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the accident in which you were injured, such that the crash would not have happened if the other driver was reasonably careful.
- Damages: You need to show that you suffered losses because of your injuries, whether they’re physical, financial, or emotional in nature.
You must prove all of these elements, and you’ll need solid evidence for each one. Your lawyer will conduct an investigation to ensure you have sufficient proof, but you can do your part by collecting as much evidence as possible from the scene. If you’re able based upon your injuries, take pictures, note the physical characteristics, and talk to witnesses who may have observed what transpired.
Common Causes of Auto Collisions:
It may be easier to understand how the legal concept of negligence works by reviewing some examples. Car crashes may occur because the responsible driver was:
- Speeding in excess of the posted limit or driving too fast for conditions;
- Failure to yield;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Improper lane changes;
- Not obeying traffic signs or signals; or,
- Engaged in other violations of traffic laws.
In addition, one common cause of motor vehicle accidents in California has gotten considerable attention in recent years because of the extreme dangers: Distracted driving, which is commonly associated with cell phone use. When motorists are texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet or posting to social media, their attention is not on the road and traffic conditions. Despite laws that ban various forms of cell phone use, far too many drivers still disregard the risks. Plus, there are additional forms of distracted driving that don’t involve phones, but which are equally dangerous. Motorists may be distracted when they are:
- Adjusting the radio;
- Using a GPS;
- Eating or drinking;
- Grooming or putting on makeup; or,
- Driving with a pet on their lap.
Fight for the Compensation You Deserve:
When you’re pursuing the responsible driver for monetary damages, you’ll actually be dealing with his or her insurance company. The claims process starts by completing some forms and requesting reimbursement for your losses. Of course, insurance adjusters are looking out for the interests of the company, so don’t expect to receive full payment quickly. Your claim might be denied if you don’t provide sufficient information showing that the insurer’s policyholder was at fault.
In other situations, the adjuster might respond by making a counteroffer, usually for far less than what you deserve to cover your losses. From there, you’ll enter a period of negotiations in an attempt to reach a fair settlement amount. If the insurance company refuses to pay a reasonable settlement to resolve your claim, the next step is filing a lawsuit in civil court.
Whether through an insurance claim or litigation, you may be entitled to recover a range of compensation, including:
- Costs for your medical care;
- Lost income for the time you miss work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Losses that affect your personal relationships; and,
- Many others, depending on your situation.
Legal Concepts That Affect Your Rights:
Even if it seems that your right to compensation is clear, you should be aware of two key legal concepts that might affect your claim:
- There is a two-year statute of limitations in California personal injury cases, including those stemming from car accidents. You need to initiate litigation within this time period, or you’ll be prohibited from obtaining monetary damages. The statute starts to run the date of the crash, and it continues throughout the insurance claims process.
- California follows the rule of comparative negligence in auto crash cases, which could impact the amount of compensation you can receive. If you were also negligent in operating your vehicle, your monetary damages are reduced by the amount of fault attributable to you.
Set Up Your Free Consultation After a Car Accident in Oxnard
As you can see from the above information, auto crash claims are quite complicated. It’s essential to have a lawyer who will advocate on your behalf throughout the process. At Fisher & Talwar, our team has in-depth knowledge of the relevant legal concepts and high-level negotiation skills to protect your rights in dealing with an insurer. Plus, we have extensive experience in the courtroom if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. To learn more about our legal services, please call (213) 891-0777 or go online to schedule a no-cost case assessment.
Do I Need a Lawyer if I Was in a Car Accident?
Yes, you should speak to a lawyer if any of the following are true:
- You sustained physical injuries in the accident.
- Your injuries have prevented your ability to carry out your day-to-day activities.
- You have incurred medical expenses as a result of the accident.
- The insurance company is forcing you to accept an unreasonable settlement amount.
- The accident report does not accurately describe what happened.
- The insurance company wants to record your statements.
- You are incorrectly designated as the party at fault.
- You’re not sure what your rights are.
- You’re not sure how to negotiate with the insurance company.
If you were involved in an accident, you should keep in mind that the insurance company is not your friend. Above all, insurance companies’ primary objective is to make money. The more successful they are at reducing or denying your claim, the bigger their profit margins.
It’s in insurance companies best interest to make low-ball offers or downright deny your claim, even when all evidence is in your favor. While you experience pain due to the accident, insurance companies are more concerned about minimizing compensation. It is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer, even if you are unsure whether you have a claim or not.
Experienced car accident attorneys will explain your options.
- Do not sign any documents unless you speak to a lawyer first,
- Do not make any recorded statements, as they may be used against you to invalidate or minimize your claim,
- Speak to an attorney to learn about your rights and find out all of your options.
How do I find a good car accident lawyer?
The best way to find a good lawyer is by meeting with the attorneys in person to see if you feel comfortable with them. When searching for an attorney online, look for qualities such as:
- Area of expertise. Avoid attorneys that do not specialize in personal injury law.
- Past results. Find out what types of cases the attorney has handled in the past and what type of settlements he or she has obtained.
- Who will handle your case? Will the attorney you speak with handle every aspect of your case or will he/she give your case to a junior attorney?
- An open line of communication – is the attorney readily available to answer all of your questions? Or will he/she direct you to speak with a paralegal or an assistant?
- Recognition – has the attorney been recognized by peers and clients as someone who is competent in personal injury?
If you are searching online, look for attorneys who have handled cases similar to your case. Consider asking your state bar association for a referral.
Car accidents in California
If you were in a car accident in California and need an attorney, or simply have questions about your situation, feel free to give us a call (213) 891-0777.
Other Oxnard Practice Areas
Personal Injury | Auto Accidents | Bicycle Accidents | Pedestrian Accidents | Wrongful Death | Motorcycle Accidents | Truck Accidents | Bus Accidents | Defective Products | Dog Bites | Slip & Fall Accident