Ojai, CA Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents continue to be a major problem in California and throughout the US, even touching the lives of a less-populated, slower-paced city like Ojai, CA. Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety Crash Rankings reveals that there were 27 fatal and injury-causing collisions in 2017, a minuscule proportion of the 5,703 total incidents in all of Ventura County. However, that’s still dozens of families whose lives are turned around by physical, financial, and emotional losses.
Our attorneys at Fisher & Talwar are committed to helping auto crash victims through these difficult times. We draw from our extensive knowledge of California law and decades of combined experience to get the compensation you deserve. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an Ojai, CA car accident lawyer. You might also find it useful to check out some important information about your rights.
Your Rights as the Victim of an Auto Crash:
When car accidents happen, it’s usually because a driver was careless or reckless behind the wheel. In the practice of law, this type of conduct is known as negligence, which has a very precise meaning. To recover compensation, you need to prove four sets of facts:
- You must show that the other motorist had a duty to drive safely, so as to not create a risk of a collision;
- You need proof that the responsible driver breached this duty through carelessness or recklessness;
- There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the accident in which you were injured; and,
- You must prove that you sustained losses because of your injuries.
Our Ojai, CA car accident lawyers at Fisher & Talwar have the skills to create a solid strategy around these essential elements. We also have access to resources to investigate and gather critical evidence. Our team may rely on medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, economists, and other professionals who support our efforts to enforce your rights.
Examples of Negligence in a California Car Accident:
Some common causes behind auto crashes may help demonstrate how negligence works in such a case. For example, a motorist may breach the duty of care in #2 above by:
- Speeding beyond the posted limit;
- Failing to yield or obey right-of-way laws;
- Running red lights or stop signs;
- Changing lanes erratically;
- Not using turn indicators; or,
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition, distracted driving continues to be a threat on California roadways. Despite laws prohibiting certain forms of cell phone use, motorists still text, talk on the phone, post to social media, and engage in other dangerous activities. They also drive while distracted in other ways that are NOT illegal. Motorists create serious risks when they’re eating, drinking, putting on makeup, using a GPS, and adjusting the radio.
Seek Monetary Damages for Your Losses:
When you’re able to prove the four essential elements of negligence as described above, you may be entitled to obtain compensation in an auto crash claim. The point is to put you in the same relative position as if the accident never happened, so you can recover for:
- Your medical costs;
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional trauma;
- Losses that affect your personal relationships and quality of life; and,
- Many more.
In most auto crash cases, your first step to recover monetary damages is filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. While you may think your rights are clear, you may encounter significant challenges in getting payment. Insurance companies are the business to make a profit, which they don’t do when they pay large sums for accident claims. Your claim may be denied, or you could receive an offer for far less than what you need to cover your losses. Under such circumstances, you may need to file a lawsuit in court.
At Fisher & Talwar, our Ojai, CA car accident attorneys are prepared for all legal scenarios. We’ll handle the claims process with the insurer, including filing the necessary forms and negotiating the settlement. If the insurance company will not settle for a reasonable amount, we will take your case to court.
Be Aware of Potential Limitations on Your Claim:
There are two laws in California that you should note, because they may impact your rights as the victim of a motor vehicle collision.
- Like other US states, California has a statute of limitations that requires you to file a lawsuit in court within two years after the crash. The clock starts to run on the date of the accident. If you don’t meet this deadline, you’re forever barred from seeking compensation for your losses.
- California follows the rule of contributory negligence, which puts the focus on your own conduct in an auto collision. If you were in any way responsible for causing the incident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For instance, if you were 20 percent responsible and your monetary damages are $10,000, you could only receive $8,000.
Contributory negligence may be a factor if, when the accident occurred, you were:
- Talking, texting, or using your cell phone;
- Driving while intoxicated; or,
- Engaging in any of the same examples of negligence described above.
Discuss Your Options with an Ojai, CA Car Accident Attorney
Hopefully, this summary of California law is informative on the basic issues involved with auto crash cases. However, there’s a lot more to these claims in a real-life situation. You put your rights at risk by trying to handle the insurance claims process on your own, and the stakes are even higher if you need to go to court. You can trust our team at Fisher & Talwar to tackle the legal challenges, so please contact our office to set up a no-cost case evaluation. You can speak to an Ojai, CA car accident lawyer by calling 213.805.7706 or visiting us online.