Monterey Car Accident Lawyers

Monterey Car Accident Lawyers

Being in a car accident can be a frustrating and stressful experience, even if you only have minor injuries. Understandably, you want to know who is going to pay for your injuries and other damages. When the other driver caused the collision, you have the legal right to bring a claim against them. Car accident claims can be complicated, which is why it’s best if you speak with the experienced Monterey car accident lawyers at Silva Injury Law.

California Auto Accident Statistics

According to the most recent report from the California Highway Patrol, there were 277,160 injuries and 3,904 deaths caused by car accidents in the state in 2017. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, traffic fatalities have declined some in recent years. In 2018, there were 3,798 fatalities and in 2019, there were 3,606.

Unfortunately for accident victims and their families, obtaining proper compensation is difficult. Insurance companies frequently make low-ball settlement offers that simply aren’t fair.

At Silva Injury Law, our Monterey car accident attorneys  approach every case with compassion and professionalism, and we’ve consistently obtained favorable outcomes for our clients.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car wreck, we will fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses or pain and suffering.

Car Accident Cases Our Monterey Car Accident Attorneys Handle

Our Monterey car accident attorneys have extensive experience representing clients injured in car accidents. As a result, we can effectively handle a wide variety of car accident cases, including:

  • Rear-end accident claims,
  • Motorcycle accident claims,
  • Truck accident claims,
  • Bus accident claims,
  • Drunk driving claims,
  • Distracted driving claims,
  • Pedestrian accident claims, and
  • Bicycle accident claims.

Because there are so many factors at play, no two accidents are alike. As a result, accident claims quickly become complicated.

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What to Do After an Accident in Monterey

Car accident victims calling their attorneys in Monterey.There are several steps to take after an auto accident to protect yourself and others.

Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, your primary concern immediately after an accident should be to make sure the injured person receives proper medical treatment. Even relatively minor car accidents can result in underlying or latent injuries, like concussions.

Document the Accident

Make sure you collect information about the scene. If possible, take pictures of the vehicles and the surrounding area, such as traffic lights, road signage, street names, etc. Speak with any witnesses about what they saw.

Call the police to obtain an official accident report.

Collect Contact Information

Obtain the name, address, telephone number, and driver’s license number of all drivers involved.

Gather the insurance and vehicle information for the other driver. If possible, obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident scene.

Contact a Monterey Car Accident Lawyer

Finally, you should contact a Monterey car accident attorney. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical bills can quickly add up. Speaking with an attorney is the best way to form a plan for recovery. A lawyer can advise you of your options for a lawsuit or settlement and the kinds of compensation you may receive.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Monterey

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there are a number of risk factors that contribute to car accidents in the state:

  • Alcohol-impaired driving was responsible for 1,069 crash fatalities;
  • Drug-impaired driving is responsible for more than 40% of all motor-vehicle crashes in the state;
  • Driving without a seatbelt was a contributing factor in nearly 600 deaths; and
  • Nearly 500 deaths involved riding a motorcycle.

No matter how safely you drive, it usually comes down to how responsible other drivers are.

COMMON TYPES OF INJURIES AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT

Auto accident victims can endure many different types of injuries.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Examples include bruising or contusions, whiplash, and neck and back injuries, such as herniated discs.

Internal Injuries

The impact of an auto collision may be so severe that it damages your internal organs and bones. Common internal injuries from an auto accident are internal bleeding and broken or fractured bones.

Head Injuries

While any injury could have long-lasting effects, head injuries can be life-altering. Concussions are common when accident victims hit their heads during impact. More severe are traumatic brain injuries (TBI). TBIs affect the brain’s function and how it processes information. Some TBIs can be treated over a person’s life, and some ultimately lead to death.

Mental and Emotional Injuries

Surviving an auto accident is traumatic. In addition to physical injuries, some accident victims endure mental and emotional damage. For example, after an accident, a person may not be able to drive out of fear of getting into another collision. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and insomnia are all common mental and emotional injuries that can arise after a car accident.

“At-Fault” Liability in California

In some states, liability for accidents is “no fault.” In these states, drivers must carry insurance that will cover them if they cause an accident. California, like many other states, is an “at-fault” state. Thus, every driver is responsible for the injury or damage they cause, and victims can sue the responsible party for damages.

Car accidents are most commonly caused by someone’s negligence. Under negligence law, damages are based on the level of fault for each person involved. California follows the pure comparative negligence model, which allows drivers to recover damages even if they were partially to blame.

The trade-off is that when a jury awards damages, they will be reduced proportionally based on the level of fault. For example, an injured plaintiff awarded $250,000 but found to be 50% at fault could recover only $125,000.

Should You Hire a Monterey Car Accident Attorney?

A lawyer and her client talking about a car accident case in Monterey.Any attorney will answer this question with a resounding yes (and not just because they want your business). As with any legal proceeding, hiring a Monterey car accident attorney greatly increases your chances of a favorable outcome.

Even if you don’t have to go to trial, it is nearly impossible for individual claimants to obtain a fair settlement without help from a lawyer.

Insurance claims adjusters intentionally make extremely low offers to save the insurance company as much money as possible.

If you try to deal with an insurance adjuster yourself, it is almost guaranteed they will take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the process or pressure you into accepting a low settlement offer. This is one reason why hiring a Monterey car accident attorney is a good decision.

Additionally, if your case does go to trial, your attorney will be able to handle it. Individuals may represent themselves pro se (without an attorney), but doing so is extremely inadvisable.

You will be up against an experienced lawyer who won’t “go easy” just because you don’t have a lawyer of your own. Being in a car accident is stressful enough, and it isn’t worth it to take that risk. Instead, let our Monterey car accident lawyers do the hard work for you.

How Much Can I Get from a Settlement?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to give an exact dollar amount because every settlement depends on the facts of each case. As you’ve probably seen on the news, however, settlements can range from tens of thousands of dollars to a million or more.

There are two main categories of damages awarded in a settlement: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages include several types of damages intended to compensate the victim. These include:

  • Medical expenses incurred since the accident;
  • Future medical costs, including rehabilitation or therapy;
  • Lost wages as a result of your injuries;
  • Lost future earnings as a result of reduced earning capacity;
  • Damages related to your relationship with a spouse or domestic partner (called loss of consortium);
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish the wrongdoer and are often much higher than compensatory damages. Keep in mind, however, that punitive damages are not awarded in every case.

During your initial consultation with Silva Injury Law, our Monterey auto accident lawyers will be able to advise you on potential strengths and weaknesses of your case based on any details you provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understandably, we get a lot of questions from prospective clients. We’re sharing some of the most common ones along with answers to help you better prepare for your car accident claim.

What Do I Do if the Insurance Company for the Other Driver Contacts Me?

You should be very wary of speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. They will be looking for you to say anything that will help their case. If they ask for a recorded statement, decline until you are represented by an attorney.

Can I Still Collect Any Compensation if I’m the Primary At-Fault Party?

California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can collect some compensation if you are over 50% at fault. For example, if you’re 90% at fault, you can still collect 10% of your damages. Just remember that it means the other party can collect 90% of their damages against your insurance policy.

What Happens if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Any Insurance?

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have any applicable liability insurance, you can make a claim through your own insurance policy for uninsured motorist coverage (UM), provided you have it. Uninsured motorist insurance steps in when the negligent party doesn’t have any insurance.

Just remember, your insurance company will treat your claim like it’s a regular third-party claim. They step into the shoes of the other driver’s insurance, which means they will treat you like a regular claimant. Treat this as though you were making a claim with the other driver’s insurance. Don’t give a recorded statement, and watch what you say about the accident when speaking with an adjuster.

What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance to Cover My Injuries?

This is a common problem where the at-fault party carries too little coverage. If they only have a policy with the legal minimum coverage and you have serious injuries, it means there might not be enough liability insurance to pay for all your losses. If this happens, you might be able to make a claim on your own policy for underinsured motorist benefits (UIM). UIM is extra coverage that you would need to pay for under a UM/UIM policy.

UIM claims are similar to UM claims. Your insurance company assumes the role of the third-party liability insurer, so they will evaluate your claim as though you were presenting a claim directly to them. They will scrutinize whether you should be entitled to UIM on top of what you already received from the third-party liability adjuster.

How Much Time Do I Have to Resolve My Car Accident Claim in California?

For the injury portion of your California auto accident claim, you typically have two years to resolve it, or you need to file a lawsuit. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations.

Some scenarios that could alter that deadline, which is why you need to speak with our skilled Monterey car accident lawyers at Silva Injury Law. When you meet with us, we will tell you what the deadline is for your specific case. Failure to file a lawsuit before the statute runs means the court will likely bar you from recovery. It’s not worth losing your right to compensation over. Speak with one of our lawyers today.

WHY CHOOSE SILVA INJURY LAW OVER OTHER LAW FIRMS?

At Silva Injury Law, we are known for treating our clients like family. While we sympathize with you, your family, and the situation at hand, we also fight zealously to get the compensation that will help you recover.

When you hire the Monterey car accident lawyers at Silva Injury Law, you get the following:

  • A free initial consultation;
  • A team of compassionate advocates and knowledgeable negotiators and litigators;
  • Individual attention;
  • Regular updates on the status of your case; and
  • No upfront fees, costs, or charges.

We get paid only if we win your case. Our Monterey auto accident attorneys have extensive experience navigating the insurance claims process as well as litigating personal injury cases in court. We are prepared to take whatever course of action benefits you the most.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of cases, including:

Call us at 209-316-3502 or fill out our online form to learn more about how Silva Injury Law can help you.

 

At Silva Injury Law, we proudly represent Monterey residents in their car accident claims. Since transitioning to private practice, Silva Injury Law continues to provide compassionate and high-quality legal services to its clients while obtaining excellent results. Contact us today using our online form or by phone at 831-201-5136.

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln

Contact our Monterey Car Accident Lawyers

At Silva Injury Law, we proudly represent Monterey residents in their car accident claims. Since transitioning to private practice, Silva Injury Law continues to provide compassionate and high-quality legal services to its clients while obtaining excellent results. Contact us today using our online form or by phone at 831-471-5060.