Auto accidents are the most common personal injury claim in California. I have tried such cases in San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Jose, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Stockton and San Diego. We have nearly as many automobiles registered in California as we do residents. Additionally, a California driver must have auto insurance to legally drive in California. Nevertheless, most people do not know how the system works once they have been injured in an automobile accident. For example, even when the other driver does not have auto insurance or has a minimal policy you are most likely covered for your injuries under your own auto insurance policy. This kind of coverage is known as "uninsured motorist's coverage" or "under-insured motorist's coverage". Moreover, this kind of coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to liability coverage and it benefits you! Be sure you have this kind of coverage and if you find that you do not have it, call your insurance agent and add it to your policy because should you need it, you will be very glad that you have it.
Nearly all auto accident claims are resolved without having to go to trial. Trial is always expensive. A medical expert is a necessity when someone is making a personal injury claim. Finding the right expert is of paramount importance in persuading a jury that you were injured and that you deserve the compensation the insurance company is not willing to pay you without having to go to trial. An experienced trial attorney knows this and can best prepare the expert and you so that the jury believes that your claim for compensation is not only reasonable but necessary.
In cases where you think you may be at fault a thorough investigation may result in your learning that the fault lies elsewhere. An experienced investigator helps determine the real facts leading to a collision. Even when you may be partially at fault you may still be entitled to pursue a claim and recover appropriate compensation for your injuries. California has long honored the doctrine of "comparative negligence" which apportions fault amongst the parties involved. Factors that a driver might not consider such as road design, signage, lighting and the like, may move fault from you to government agencies or local businesses. Issues like these require the services of an experienced attorney.
Finally, you can always settle your claim on your own without the expense of attorney's fees. However, you are probably doing it for the first time in your life and the insurance representative of the party who caused the injuries for which you are claiming compensation is being paid to deny or minimize your claim. I have been fighting insurance companies successfully on behalf of individuals for more than thirty-five years. I will not hesitate to tell you when you should fight the case yourself. But when you have suffered serious personal injury you should know your rights and have someone on your side who will protect them and who will take your case to trial when necessary. That is what I do. Remember, the insurance company - even your own - is not your friend.
To ensure that you receive just compensation, contact our office today at (415) 395-9000