Most of the personal injury claims filed in the United States are related to vehicle accidents, including cars, motorcycles, trucks and bicycles. This is true in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Oxnard, Camarillo and every other community on California’s Central Coast. For injury accidents, a significant part of the legal process is determining who is at fault and for what. How do you make sure that the insurance settlement is just? Does it include all damages? What about lost wages? Medical bills? Was there pain and suffering?

To understand rights under the law, it helps to understand the context. In most cases, insurance companies are ultimately trying to pay out as little as possible. After all, its a business trying to make a profit for its shareholders.  To this end, insurance company representatives will sometimes make unreasonable settlement offers and try to persuade the injured parties to take responsibility for something they really weren’t responsible for.

Vehicle accident liability usually depends on who was breaking the law or being negligent or when the accident occurred. Speeding, using your cell phone while driving, driving through red lights can all be negligent behavior. Depending on the situation, not using reasonable common sense can also be determined to be negligent.

If you are seeking to recover damages in a personal injury claim due to an accident, you as the injured must prove that the defendant (the driver that injured you) was either breaking the law or being negligent and that the law-breaking or negligence caused your injuries.

If you are not an attorney, proving law-breaking or negligence is not as easy as it may seem, especially if your opponent has an attorney representing them. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will level the playing field and give you leverage. A good attorney will help you determine what a fair settlement is, and probably more importantly, getting it for you.

For legal advice regarding any of the information in this post, please use the form to the right or contact us by phone at 805-882-2402