West Covina, CA Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents occur across West Covina on a regular basis, and they usually result from another driver’s error or carelessness behind the wheel. Whether you are injured in a high-speed collision on the I-10 or on a commercially lined avenue, we know how devastating an accident can be. For many car crash victims, their injuries are so severe that they cannot return to work. In addition to missing valuable wages they need to support themselves and their families, many car crash victims are also facing massive medical bills and surgery costs.
If this sounds like you or someone you love, you should know that an aggressive West Covina, CA car accident lawyer at our firm can assess your case today. At Fisher & Talwar, we regularly represent car accident plaintiffs in West Covina and throughout Southern California.
Getting the Facts About Motor Vehicle Crashes in West Covina, California
How often do car accidents happen in West Covina and throughout Southern California, and why do they occur? The following are traffic facts and figures from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS):
- Between 2015 and 2016, the rate of auto accident deaths rose in California by 7 percent, with a total of 3,387 fatalities in 2015 and 3,623 in 2016;
- Drunk driving is among the most common causes of deadly traffic collisions in California, and alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have risen recently in the state;
- In addition to alcohol-impaired collisions, drug-impaired crashes are also rising, with approximately 15 percent of all deadly motor vehicle collisions linked to drugged drivers;
- Motorcycle fatalities are also on the rise in California, and the overall rare of motorcycle deaths increased by 11 percent between 2015 and 2016;
- Fewer motorcyclists are wearing helmets in California, and more are dying as a result of brain injuries when they are involved in collisions with automobiles;
- Teen driver deaths increased by more than 12 percent between 2015 and 2016, with a total of 110 teen driver fatalities in the state in 2016;
- Rate of motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers rose in California by 2.7 percent between 2015 and 2016 to a total of 225 deaths in 2016; and
- Like other types of auto accidents, the overall rate of car collisions involving pedestrians also has been rising, with an increase in pedestrian accident deaths by almost 6 percent between 2015 and 2016.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in West Covina, CA After Your Car Accident
California is an at-fault or tort state, and as such a person who is injured in a motor vehicle collision in the state will typically seek to prove that another driver is at fault for the crash. Typically, car accident victims will begin the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. As an at-fault state, car accident injury victims in West Covina have the ability to file either a first-party or third-party claim under California’s auto insurance laws. The following explains the differences between first-party and third-party claims:
- First-party claim: You file an auto insurance claim through your own insurance company. With this approach, you may be able to receive compensation a bit more quickly and may be able to avoid the limitations of insurance policy limits if the collision involved more than one vehicle. However, you will need to pay your deductible up front, and you could see an increase to your premiums.
- Third-party claim: You file an auto insurance claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. With this approach, you are not responsible for paying your deductible, and you are not at risk of seeing a rise in insurance premiums since you are not filing with your own insurer. However, if the at-fault driver caused more damage than his or her policy maximum limits, you may not be able to obtain full compensation for your losses.
Timeline for Filing a Car Crash Lawsuit in West Covina, California
If you cannot get the compensation you deserve through an auto insurance claim, you aggressive and experienced West Covina car accident attorney can move forward with a car accident lawsuit. The California statute of limitations for most car accident lawsuits is 2 years. This means that you must file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date that the traffic collision occurred. It is extremely important to remember this date because it can affect your ability to obtain financial compensation for your losses. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out, your claim will become time-barred. Once you have a time-barred claim, it is often impossible to reopen the time window for filing a lawsuit. Indeed, even if the other driver’s fault is obvious (or even if the other driver admits fault), you can still have a time-barred claim if you wait too long to file. Accordingly, you should not wait to get started on your case.
Depending on where your car accident happened and who was at fault, it is also possible that the statute of limitations is significantly shorter. If you need to file a claim against a government agency, you will have either 6 months or 1 year from the date of the auto collision to file your claim. After that point, if your claim gets denied, you still may be eligible to file a lawsuit in court, but you should work out a clear timeline with the help of your West Covina CA car accident attorney.
Contact a Lawyer if You Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident in West Covina
The dedicated West Covina car accident attorneys at Fisher & Talwar have spent years representing injured clients in Southern California, and we are committed to providing each client with aggressive and tailored representation.
Many car crash claims begin by filing an auto insurance claim, and we can negotiate with the insurance company to seek the fair and reasonable settlement you deserve. If we cannot get you the financial compensation you deserve through an auto insurance claim, we are ready to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver and to take your case to court. In many car accident lawsuits, it is possible to negotiate a settlement with the defendant in order to get you the money you need to handle your medical bills and to recover from your injuries. Contact Fisher & Talwar today to get started on your case.