From a minor fender bender to a severe crash, car accidents can leave you with a wide range of injuries and property damage. When the accident is the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for the bills you have to pay. You need expert legal guidance to understand how to seek reimbursement from insurance companies and potential defendants.
At the Law Office of Joshua Moody, we offer help from a skilled Victorville car accident lawyer to explain your options. You do not need to face this battle alone while you recover from your injuries. Our team offers a free initial consultation to assess your claim and develop a strategy to secure the maximum compensation available to you.
Proving Someone Else Is At Fault
California is an at-fault state, meaning whoever is responsible for the accident must pay the damages. If someone else ran into your vehicle, it might seem obvious that they are at fault for the crash. However, insurance companies will work hard to show that their client is not to blame.
You and your Victorville car accident attorney must show proof establishing the negligence of the other driver. You must demonstrate the four elements of negligence to be eligible for compensation, which are:
- The defendant owed you and other drivers a duty of care.
- The defendant did not uphold that duty and failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid a crash.
- You suffered injuries and property damage as a direct result of their failure.
- You have expenses related to your injuries and property damage that need to be compensated.
Your lawyer will need to gather evidence to show how the other driver is at fault and to support your claim for damages. Our legal team will perform extensive investigation and research to collect documentation such as:
- Police accident reports
- Independent accident reconstruction statements
- Medical records and receipts
- Auto repair estimates
- Photos of the crash, injuries, damage, and other relevant details
- Video from traffic, security, and dashboard cameras
- Witness statements
- Testimony from anyone involved in the crash
- Manufacturer records for vehicle parts
- Vehicle recall records
Because more than one person or entity can be to blame for your accident, it is vital that you speak with a skilled car accident lawyer in Victorville as soon as possible after the crash. Our team can assess who is at fault and begin working on your case while you recover. We will meet you at your convenience in the hospital, at your home, or in our office.
Potential Compensation From a Victorville Car Accident Claim
After your accident, you may think you are fine and do not need medical help. However, there are many injuries that do not appear until a few days or weeks after the trauma of a car crash. You may develop whiplash or spinal pain that requires months of treatment. You could be left with a permanent disability that dramatically changes your life.
At Joshua Moody, our experienced Victorville car accident attorneys will work diligently to create a full estimate of the compensation you will need. This will include past, present, and future expenses. If you are unable to return to work, you will need reimbursement for this economic loss. If you develop anxiety or suffer extreme pain while you recover, these are non-economic losses that require restitution.
Because you would never have these expenses if there had not been a crash, you deserve compensation for every loss you experience. Other damages you can pursue include:
Every bill you receive for medical treatment should be part of your claim. You can include the initial medical evaluation at the scene of the accident, any hospitalization costs, and all follow-up treatment and therapy. Because of the crash, you can no longer live your everyday life and may face a recovery that could be long and difficult.
You can also include miscellaneous expenses, such as travel to and from your treatment appointments. You may also need in-home nursing care or have to spend time at a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy. Even the emergency transport fees, such as for an ambulance or helicopter, can be included in your damage claims.
When you cannot work, you cannot pay your bills. While you may naturally think of your paycheck as an economic loss from a car accident, there are other financial concerns you may overlook. If your injuries are severe, you may be out of work for some time or even permanently. You may need to seek employment in a completely different field.
The Victorville car accident lawyers at Joshua Moody will review your job details and your losses. For example, you could seek reimbursement for other benefits, such as:
- 401(k) or retirement savings contributions
- Holiday pay
- Paid time off
- Salary increases
- Vacation time
- Health insurance costs
Along with your lost income, you may suffer a reduction in earning potential. This means you will have less money coming in to support yourself and your family. You could also claim that you now have a reduction in their potential inheritance.
Automobile Repair or Replacement
If your vehicle is damaged, it must be repaired so that it works as well as it did before the crash. If your car is deemed a total loss, you deserve reimbursement for a new vehicle to replace it. Your attorney can help you understand how the insurance claim will cover these expenses. Our office also works with local automotive shops to know where to get the most appropriate estimates for your repairs.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are less tangible but no less real when considering what you have experienced from your car accident. Since they do not have a fixed financial value, it can be harder to argue for them to an insurance company or in court. However, every discomfort you have from someone else’s negligence deserves compensation.
Some examples of non-economic damages that are commonly included in car accident claims are:
- Loss of consortium with your spouse or partner
- Diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement from scars or amputation
- Emotional distress
- Damage to your reputation
- Mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of care and guidance for your family members
- Physical pain from your injuries
How Insurance Works in California
In California, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for damages they cause when they are responsible for a wreck. You will file against the insurance policy of the person who hurt you, but their coverage may not be sufficient to cover your expenses. At that point, you have other options, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Liability minimums in California are:
- $15,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for property damage
Effective January 2025, California will raise its minimums to $30,000/$60,000/$15,000. Ten years later, the amounts will increase again.
Although it is the law, many drivers will fail to carry this insurance for various reasons. When this happens, you can be left with few options for reimbursement. To prevent this situation, you can purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM), which pays you when the other driver does not have enough insurance.
You may also want to consider other types of coverage, such as:
- Medical payments: This covers medical expenses for you and your passengers.
- Towing and labor: This policy covers the costs of having your vehicle taken to a garage for repair.
- Rental reimbursement: This policy reimburses you for a rental car or ride-sharing services when your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.
Because most people will choose to carry the minimum amounts of insurance, it is very likely that your bills will be larger than what is available from their policy. In this instance, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover the total amount you are owed.
Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend
Insurance companies will pretend to be friendly and contact you for more information about the wreck. However, they are only interested in protecting their bottom line and paying you as little as possible. You should contact them with the basic information about the crash after it happens. After that, it is best if you allow your Victorville car accident lawyers to handle the negotiations.
Insurance representatives will make a lowball offer, hoping you will jump at the chance to get money quickly for your bills. Your attorney can push back and tell them to wait until your physician has fully diagnosed your injuries and your vehicle repair estimate is complete. A competent lawyer will advise you to only accept what you fully deserve.
Once you accept a settlement from an insurance provider, you are unable to go back for more compensation or file a lawsuit against the driver. It is crucial that you let your Joshua Moody car accident attorneys handle the situation for you while you focus on healing.
Settlement or Trial? Resolving Your Victorville Car Accident Claim
Your car accident lawyer will work hard to get a fair settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, in some situations, the company will not provide a satisfactory amount, or the policy does not pay enough for your damages. This is when you should consider going to trial.
Most personal injury lawsuits do not end up going all the way to court. It is common for the defendant’s attorney to negotiate a settlement with your lawyer to avoid the time and expense of a lengthy trial. This is especially true when your team of car accident attorneys has collected evidence demonstrating the defendant’s negligence.
If you decide to file a lawsuit, you must do so within two years of the date of the accident. It takes time to put together a solid case and develop a strategy, so you should act quickly to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Failing to file your claim in time could cause you to lose your right to seek compensation.
Joshua Moody Car Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help You
The laws around personal injury claims and car accidents are very complicated in Victorville, CA. If you are severely injured, you must concentrate on healing and getting your life back together. Trying to understand insurance settlements and lawsuits can be overwhelming when you just want to ensure your bills are paid.
The Law Office of Joshua Moody is here to handle the complex legal system for you. We can make your life easier with a number of services that are built into the way we help our clients.
Assessing All Possible Defendants
Sometimes, a crash is not as simple as it seems. A rollover accident may have involved other vehicles, but if the auto manufacturer designed your car so that it is prone to rolling over, that is a design defect. If your tires are poorly produced and blow out easily, you may be able to pursue a claim against the tire maker, the distributor, and the shop that installed them.
Our team will examine all potential avenues for compensation to ensure you have the financial relief you need.
Reconstructing the Accident
Our team works with accident reconstruction experts to examine the evidence, determining what happened and how. A reconstruction report can be extremely valuable when a defendant claims they are not at fault. Bringing in an independent assessment can be devastating to the other side’s arguments and lead to a quick settlement.
Aggressively Litigating Your Case in Court
When insurance companies do not agree to the settlement you deserve, we will not hesitate to meet them in court. We use much of the same evidence we gathered for your insurance claim and couple it with strong arguments for the defendant’s negligence. We will ensure your paperwork is filed on time and correctly to avoid any delays or errors.
Hire a Victorville Car Accident Lawyer Today
When you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash, your world is thrown into chaos. You need guidance and compassionate advice on what to do next to protect your rights and your financial future. We want to help you avoid making mistakes that could cost you the money you deserve.
The Law Office of Joshua Moody stands ready to support you and your family throughout this process. We will help you regain your life and hold those who hurt you responsible for their actions. You can rely on your Victorville car accident lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and secure the justice you deserve.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.