Am I Entitled to Compensation After a Car Accident?

Am I Entitled to Compensation After a Car Accident?

You can recover compensation after a car accident if that accident was the direct and proximate result of another party’s negligence and the accident caused you to suffer losses and injuries. In that event, your compensation will be the sum of your economic and non-economic damages, which we’ll go into more detail about in sections below.  

Keep in mind, however, that your recovery of that compensation is not an automatic process. You will need to file a lawsuit for car accident compensation against the careless driver and any other parties whose negligence contributed to the accident and your losses and injuries. Even then, the amount of compensation that liability insurers are willing to pay you will be a contentious topic.  

To recover the largest available car accident compensation in Southern California, you will need to hire an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, including any of the accident and injury attorneys at Ellis Injury Law. For almost 30 years, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers have helped auto and truck accident victims recover the full amount of damages they are entitled to receive to pay for their hospital and medical expenses, to replace wages they could not earn while recovering from injuries, and to recoup losses associated with their pain and suffering. 

What Parties Might be Liable to Pay You Compensation After a California Car Accident? 

The negligent motorist who caused your accident is not the only party that may owe you compensation for your accident-related losses and injuries. Other potentially liable parties include: 

  • If the negligent motorist was driving as part of their employment, the motorist’s employer may be vicariously liable for your losses and injuries, or directly liable if the employer hired and retained the motorist, for example, with full knowledge of their bad driving or without providing proper safe driving training 
  • Third parties whose unsafe driving maneuvers caused other motorists to swerve into your path 
  • Municipalities that failed to repair broken or unsafe pavement, which then precipitated a crash 
  • Manufacturers that designed or built the cars with unsafe systems, which then led to an accident. 

Experienced California injury lawyers will examine these and every potential source of recovery to get the largest available compensation for their injured clients. For the best opportunity to identify every liable party, you should consult with and hire a lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident. 

What Compensation Can You Recover for California Car Accident Injuries? 

A car accident victim has a right to recover both economic and non-economic damages as compensation for injuries. In a very small number of cases, a court might consider punitive damages as a penalty to deter future egregious conduct, such as extreme reckless driving or repeated instances of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, but punitive damages are very rare in California car accident lawsuits.  

Economic damages include reimbursements for defined and specific costs and expenses, such as: 

  • Bills from medical service providers that treated your car accident injuries. 
  • Your lost wages for the time when you were/are unable to work as a result of your injuries. 
  • Invoices from physical and occupational therapists, and travel expenses associated with going to and from appointments. 
  • Home modifications for your injuries and reasonable contractors’ fees and expenses associated with mobility systems, like accessibility ramps. 

Non-economic damages reimburse you for those losses that do not have defined and specific amounts, such as your pain and suffering, loss of companionship with friends and family, and reduced future employment opportunities due to injuries.  

To set an amount for a non-economic damages award, a California court might consider the amount of your economic losses, the severity and long-term effects of of your injuries, the credibility of your testimony as to your pain and suffering, and the nature of the negligent conduct that caused your injuries. 

What Evidence Will a Car Accident Lawyer Use to Claim Compensation in a California Car Accident Lawsuit? 

For your compensation claim to prevail in a California car accident lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer will have to present evidence showing that the defendant’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the accident and that the accident caused your injuries and losses. That evidence might include: 

  • Photographs of the accident scene, and surveillance or dashcam video that recorded the accident.  
  • Eyewitness testimony and written statements. 
  • Police reports filed by each party in the accident, including police conclusions as to how the accident occurred. 
  • Medical records and treatment recommendations related to your injuries. 
  • Pay statements showing a reduction in income when you cannot work. 
  • Your and your family’s direct testimony about how your post-accident pain adversely affects your day-to-day activities. 

Keep in mind that the full impact of your injuries may not be apparent until weeks or even months after a car accident. Regardless, you should have a medical examination within 24 hours after your accident, regardless of how minor your injuries might appear to be, to establish a baseline for your post-accident condition. If you delay consulting with a physician, the party that caused your accident might use that delay to argue that your injuries are not serious or that some intervening event caused your injuries.     

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys that Los Angeles Residents Trust  

The California personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law make it their unwavering goal to provide personal and professional legal services to help you recover the largest available compensation from negligent motorists and other parties that might be responsible for your car accident and your resulting injuries. 

 Please call our offices for a complimentary evaluation of your case and an assessment of the compensation you may be entitled to recover for your car accident injuries. We have obtained more than $350 million in damages for our clients and we will use our 30 years of experience in California car accident lawsuits to get you the compensation you need to get you back on your feet after a negligent driver upends your life.