Riverside California Personal Injury Claim Attorneys
There are a number of factors that can affect the amount of compensation you recover after a personal injury. In the case of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, whether or not the court decides you were partially to blame can effect how much you are eligible to receive in damages. Additionally, the insurance coverage of the party that injured you could affect how much you can recover, especially if they are underinsured or uninsured. Third, the scope and nature of your injuries will also play a role in what you recover. Here, an accurate medical assessment of the nature of your injuries and the prognosis for your future will be important for quantifying the financial impact of a head, neck, back, or other personal injury.
Lastly, in certain kinds of personal injury cases, punitive damages may be awarded. While rare, if the court believes a party acted with gross negligence it may award punitive damages to make a broader point and discourage similar behavior in the future.
California, Car Accidents, and Modified Comparative Negligence
The state of California adheres to the doctrine of pure comparative negligence in the case of car accidents. Under the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, the judge or jury determines the percentage of fault of a driver in a car accident. Afterwards, a driver can recover damages minus the percentage of his or fault in a car accident. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages in a car accident but are judged to be 30% at fault, the most you can recover is $70,000. In this way, even if you are 99% at fault, you can still recover something, though it will be reduced by the percentage of your fault as determined by the court.
As a result, it’s very important to protect your interests after an accident by working with an experienced personal injury attorney. First, insurance agents will call you to ask you questions hoping you say something that they can use against you in the future. Secondly, after you hire an attorney, the insurer must avoid talking to you and direct all questions to your lawyer.
Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers or Property Owners
Unfortunately, there are underinsured and uninsured drivers on the roads in California. Assuming you haven’t signed a waiver with your insurance company that effects your uninsured / underinsured coverage, you can recover damages under your own policy if your losses exceed the coverage of the policy limits of the driver that hit you.
Suppose, for example, a driver carrying $50,000 in liability coverage hit you, causing $100,000 in losses. Since your damages exceed the coverage of the driver that hit you, your uninsured / underinsured coverage can be used to make up the difference. Even if you only carried $20,000 in uninsured / underinsured coverage, you would still be able to recover $50,000 from the other driver’s policy and $20,000 from yours.
Contact Riverside Personal Injury Car Accident Attorney Jon Lewis
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact Riverside personal injury attorneys at Jon Lewis & Associates today. We have the resources needed to help you recover compensation proportional to your losses while making sure your rights and interests are protected at every turn.