California – December 14, 2020

Car Insurance and liability.

California law requires that drivers have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement. Under California law, everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his, or her willful acts, but also for an injury, or wrongful death occurrence during the course of ordinary care. This means that if a driver is responsible for any part of activities that led to injury, the compensation will be adjusted in accordance with a percentage of fault assigned to each driver.  A San Diego injury lawyer can assist victims with the valuation of damages after an accident.

  • Compensatory damages include an award of money to compensate for actual economic losses, based on property damage, and/or injury. Total awards include economic damages for present and future loss of earnings, medical bills, future medical care, household expenses and non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
  • Punitive damages are rarely awarded in California and are based on occasions where an individual’s actions were found to be reckless, intentional, egregious, and harmful resulting in the injury. An accident attorney can explain the possibility of punitive damages based on individual cases.

Obvious damages.

Insurance companies and judges may be more inclined to award higher damages when they can easily ascertain the damages.  In many cases, if a vehicle involved in an accident does not show much damage, it may be more difficult to build a case to prove injury to its passengers.  Arguments against individuals who claim significant bodily injury when a vehicle shows minimal damage may include pre-existing conditions, or a predisposition to injury that is worse than someone else.  Frame damage to a vehicle is a clear indicator that the impact may have been stronger than what appears on the exterior of a car and an experienced accident attorney can make certain that vehicle damages are expertly investigated and reported as evidence.

Not so obvious injuries.

Accident victims should seek medical counsel after an accident regardless of obvious personal injury.  In many cases, a person who does not believe they were injured and has no injury noted by the naked eye, may have sustained significant damage, including brain injury, spinal injury, or other internal damage.  Medical personnel must run diagnostic testing to determine if the accident victim has been cleared of these possible injuries.  Traumatic brain injury, concussions, or other brain conditions should be ruled out after a car accident to prevent further harmful losses  to the victim.  A personal injury lawyer will use these reports to build a case for damages.

Hire an attorney.

Seek counsel at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates immediately after an auto accident for guidance on how to navigate afterward with regard to physical examination and car inspection to show how external vehicle damages may have played a part in physical injury. Accident attorneys can proceed in completion of insurance and legal documents toward the recovery of damages.

Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-233-8021
Fax: 619-233-3730

Sources.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/vehicle-registration/insurance-requirements/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1785