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Stockton Car Accident Lawyers

Being involved in a car accident is stressful, even if you are not severely injured. Trying to figure out who will pay for your injuries and damages can be frustrating. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is rarely helpful and certainly isn’t looking out for your best interests. Auto accident victims have legal rights in California. You can pursue a personal injury claim against all liable parties. Due to the risk of complicated legal issues, you should consider hiring a legal advocate. The Stockton car accident lawyers at Silva Injury Law can help.

Our Legal Team understands the frustration you are dealing with as you attempt to navigate the personal injury legal system. But you don’t have to do it alone. Silva Injury Law is here to help. Our priority is to help injured victims like you get the compensation they deserve after sustaining injuries in an auto accident. Negotiating a car accident settlement takes a strong and experienced negotiator. Our Stockton car accident lawyers have years of litigation experience, and we aren’t afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. Contact us today.

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Common Causes of Auto Accidents in California

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States for people between the ages of 1-54. Car crash fatalities are the number one non-natural cause of death for American citizens traveling or residing outside the United States.

Auto accidents can occur for various reasons, but some causes are more common than others. Some of the leading causes of car crashes in California include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication;
  • Distracted driving, such as someone texting and driving, looking at their GPS, changing a radio station, eating, etc.;
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions;
  • Following too closely;
  • Violating other traffic laws such as running a red light or stop sign;
  • Driving while fatigued, which is especially common with truck drivers who are behind the wheel for many hours a day; and
  • Reckless driving.

Adverse weather and road hazards can also play a role in auto accidents. It’s not uncommon to have multiple factors that contribute to a car accident.

Common Injuries in a Car Wreck

Injuries in car accidents vary depending on the circumstances of the collision. Some of the more common injuries we see resulting from traffic accidents are:

  • Whiplash;
  • Herniated disc;
  • Soft tissue injuries;
  • Spinal cord damage, including paralysis;
  • Broken or fractured bones;
  • Road rash, lacerations, and puncture wounds;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Internal organ damage;
  • Burns; and
  • Disfigurement and scarring.

It’s crucial to seek medical treatment following an accident. Even if you do not think you have serious injuries, you should always get checked out by a qualified medical provider.

Potential Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Claim

Every car accident claim is unique, and the damages you demand in your claim will differ from other accident victims. Understanding how much your case is worth is crucial. Potentially recoverable damages in an auto accident claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical expenses: Hospitalization, emergency transport, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment;
  • Future medical expenses: Future surgeries, ongoing physical therapy;
  • Lost wages: Reimbursement for days you missed work;
  • Loss of earning capacity: Future lost wages and inability to return to work;
  • Property damage: Damage to your vehicle, rental car costs, personal property damaged in the accident; and
  • General damages: Non-financial losses such as pain and suffering, PTSD, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.

Your attorney will let you know what damages apply in your case and how much your case is worth.

Proving Liability in an Auto Accident

Before successfully collecting any compensation for your injuries, you must prove the defendants are liable. California follows the legal theory of pure comparative negligence. You could receive money even if you are partially responsible for the accident. However, your settlement amount would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds you 35% at fault, you would be able to collect 65% of your total damages.

Proving liability can be complicated in some cases. There are four general elements of negligence that you must prove for a successful case:

  • Duty,
  • Breach of duty,
  • Causation, and
  • Damages.

In a car accident case, you must show the defendant owed you some type of duty. Motorists have a legal duty to adhere to traffic laws and rules to help keep other motorists safe. When drivers don’t follow the law, they could be guilty of breaching their duty. If that breach leads to an accident that harms you in some way, that fulfills the causation element. The damages element is fulfilled if your injuries cause you losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California

You only have a limited time to resolve your car accident claim before the law requires you to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. For California car accidents, the general rule is that you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Should the injured victim pass away from their injuries, family members could have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death claim.

Missing this deadline could result in you receiving no money for your accident—no matter how strong your case is. Courts tend to be very unforgiving to plaintiffs who miss the filing deadlines in personal injury matters. That is why we recommend hiring our Stockton car accident attorneys right after the accident. When you have Silva Injury Law representing you, we will prepare your case, negotiate your claim, and if negotiations fail—we will file the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

The two-year rule is not absolute. Some exceptions could result in significantly less filing time, such as claims against government agencies. If the other driver was in a government-owned vehicle, you might only have six months to file a claim.

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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 Stockton Car Accident Attorneys

Don’t try to handle your own auto accident claim without an experienced Stockton car accident lawyer on your side. Attorney Michael Joe Silva previously worked as a prosecutor, so he knows how to build a solid case. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and help you obtain a favorable car accident settlement in Stockton. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn how we can assist.

 

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