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What Are You Entitled to in a Car Accident in California

Entitlements in California car accidents
If you were injured in an auto accident in California, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages that will compensate you for accident-related losses. However, the damages you’re entitled to can depend on many factors, such as the severity of your injuries, how much time you missed at work, value of property damage, and many other variables.

What Are Economic and Non-Economic Damages?

The two types of damages commonly awarded to car accident victims include economic and non-economic damages

Economic Damages

Economic damages are meant to compensate the accident victim for tangible losses, such as:

Past and Future Medical Bills

These damages can include:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • In-home care
  • Imaging tests

And more.

If you sustained a serious injury, you may be entitled to damages that will cover future medical care expenses.

Lost Wages/Loss of Future Earnings

If you missed time at work due to your injuries, you can recover compensation to cover the financial loss. Additionally, if you are unable to return to work at all due to serious, life-changing injuries, you may be entitled to loss of future earnings.

Property Damage

Property damage can include the cost of vehicle repairs or replacement and any valuable personal property damaged or destroyed inside the vehicle.

Non-Economic Damages

It can be difficult to place a dollar value on non-economic damages, unlike economic damages, which can be proven with medical bills, pay stubs, vehicle repair estimates, etc.

Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

And more.

How Does The Severity Of Accident Injuries Impact Damages?

Typically, when an accident victim sustains a severe, life-changing injury, they are awarded a higher settlement compared to a person who sustains minor injuries, such as soft tissue damage. A higher settlement is meant to compensate the accident victim for pain and suffering, past and future medical care costs, lost wages, emotional distress, and more.

California is a Comparative Fault State

California is a comparative fault state. Under this rule, even if an accident victim is 99% at fault for the accident, they can still recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. However, the accident victim’s settlement or award will be reduced based on the accident victim’s percentage of fault.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are rarely awarded and are designed to further punish the negligent party whose conduct is considered intentional or grossly negligent. These damages are usually awarded when the compensatory damages are considered insufficient.

Can Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Recover a Higher Settlement or Award?

Yes. Working with a car accident attorney can increase your chances of recovering a higher settlement or award. Often, an insurance company is quick to offer a settlement, even without knowing the extent of the accident victim’s injuries and other damages. Negotiating with an insurance adjuster without an attorney can be frustrating and overwhelming. When you hire a car accident attorney, they will handle all interactions with the insurance company to prevent them from pressuring you into accepting a lower settlement than what you deserve.

An experienced car accident lawyer will have the skills, experience, and resources to investigate a car accident, gather evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement. They will also consult with experts to help establish liability, to accurately value your claim, and to ensure you pursue every penny of compensation you’re entitled to.

An insurance company automatically knows they will be paying more once they are notified you have hired legal representation.

Contact Us Today

If you have been involved in a car accident, Lem Garcia Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our legal team can help you navigate the legal system and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and other losses.

We offer free, no-obligation consultations to car accident victims, where you can discuss your case and learn about your legal rights and options. If you decide to hire Lem Garcia Law, our firm will handle all aspects of your case to allow you to focus on healing and moving on with your life. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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