Although the Golden State has a lot of places worth visiting, those who decide to explore it will have to rely on their cars for transportation. Add the locals commuting to and from work or running errands, and you can understand why our state has some of the heaviest road traffic, where car accidents are part of everyday routine. This must be one of the reasons why in California, having a conference to discuss car accident settlements is mandatory and the law encourages the parties involved in car accidents to settle outside of court.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the city of San Bernardino alone sees close to 2,000 car accidents involving injuries or fatalities. When it comes to wrecks that only result in property damage, the numbers are even higher. People look for a San Bernardino car accident attorney every day in an attempt to find out more about the car accident settlement process or obtain higher car accident compensation.
If you have been involved in a car accident in San Bernardino, you should contact a car accident attorney and schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Until you get to discuss your case with an experienced San Bernardino car accident attorney, the following information on California car accident laws and the car accident settlement process may help.
Car Accident Laws and How San Bernardino Car Accident Settlements Work
California Vehicle Code § 16000 makes it mandatory to report car accidents involving property damage of more than $750 or resulting in a person’s injury or death. Failure to report qualifies as a misdemeanor for accidents involving only property damage (California Vehicle Code § 20002) and as a felony for accidents involving personal injury (California Vehicle Code § 20001).
California Insurance Code § 11580.1(b) and California Vehicle Code § 16056 demand drivers to carry liability insurance of minimum:
- $5,000 for property damage
- $15,000 per person injured or killed
- $30,000 per event involving two or more persons injured or killed
These details matter because they may influence the drivers’ liability for the accident and the car accident settlement the parties negotiate. The Californian legal system relies on the “at fault” and “pure comparative negligence” systems. This means that depending on the damages and injuries every party sustained, even if you were 25% at fault for an accident, you could still be entitled to car accident compensation for 75% of the damages and injuries you sustained.
Most car accidents in San Bernardino settle without a lawsuit. This is partly due to Rule 3.1380 from California Rules of the Court, which forces the parties to participate in settlement conferences before taking their case to court. Moreover, with auto accident settlements, San Bernardino residents can save time, effort, and money, and avoid the hassles of a court trial.
As everywhere else throughout the country, in California, car accident settlements begin with the filing or a car accident compensation claim. Depending on the particularities of the case, this claim can cover anything from car repairs and medical bills to lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, disability accommodations, and home care services.
In order to be successful and bring about a fair settlement offer, the claim must rely on solid evidence. Depending on how serious your car accident was and how severe the injuries you sustained were, this can mean medical bills and reports, pharmacy invoices, expert testimonies and evaluations, future cost estimates, and more.
As an accident victim, you are probably subjective, preoccupied with your recovery, and desperate to find ways to cover your expenses. Gathering evidence of the injuries and damage you incurred and keeping up with the car accident claim process can be a challenge. You may neglect to include certain types of damages in your claim or fail to provide corresponding evidence. The opposing party could take advantage of your situation and pressure you into accepting an unfavorable car accident settlement.
You can avoid that by working with a San Bernardino car accident attorney. They will take over the claim process and negotiate a fair car accident settlement on your behalf, relieving some of the stress and letting you focus on your recovery. Moreover, since some San Bernardino car accident attorneys offer free initial consultations, you can assess whether it is worth hiring legal representation without spending a dime.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Bernardino Car Accident Attorney
Whether you need help preparing and filing your car accident claim or you have already received a car accident settlement offer, and you don’t know if it is worth accepting, at HURT NOW, we can help you. We have been handling car accident settlements in San Bernardino, CA, for years, and our dedicated attorneys have helped hundreds of victims like you obtain the car accident compensation they deserved. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with one of the most experienced car accident attorneys in San Bernardino!