If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Newport Beach and you’re struggling with mounting medical bills, you should seek legal guidance. You shouldn’t have to pay medical bills and other expenses resulting from an accident someone else caused. You may have the right to hold the at-fault driver accountable and seek financial compensation for your losses.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we know that medical treatment after a serious auto accident can be costly and put your future in jeopardy. Our Newport Beach personal injury attorneys can gather evidence to build a case and show how another driver is financially liable for your medical costs and other losses. We’ll fight for the full and fair compensation you need so you can get your life back on track.
You shouldn’t have to worry about paying bills from an accident that wasn’t your fault. Our respected legal team has recovered more than $400 million for accident victims throughout California and Nevada. Contact an attorney who cares in Newport Beach today for a free case review. We are ready to put our experience and resources to work for you.
What Is Negligence in a Car Accident?
California Civil Code states that individuals are responsible for injuries caused by their failure to exercise ordinary care — in other words, to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances.
In a car accident personal injury claim, to allege negligence is to charge that another driver disobeyed traffic laws or acted recklessly and that their negligence led to your injuries.
In a car accident claim, the injured person must show that the defendant was negligent by demonstrating that:
- The defendant had a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty
- The defendant could reasonably have foreseen that his or her actions might cause an injury and the defendant’s negligence was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries
- The injured individual suffered actual compensable damages, such as the costs of medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering
For example, if another driver was speeding or driving after drinking, they were violating the law and acting negligently. Various demonstrate that speeding and drunk driving endanger other people. You would need to show that the other driver’s speeding or drunk driving caused the car accident, and the accident is what caused you to suffer injuries, as evidenced by medical records and bills.
Car Accidents and Comparative Negligence in California
In car accidents and other personal injury claims, California follows a doctrine of pure comparative negligence. Under this system, each party in a claim may be found to be partially at fault. Each party’s fault must be weighed when awarding compensation.
For example, if a driver ran a red light and hit you, the driver was negligent. But if you were speeding and the case went to court, the defense would likely argue that if you had been going the proper speed, you would not have been in the intersection where you were hit. Therefore, you were negligent, too.
Most car accident claims are resolved by presenting evidence of fault to the insurance company and negotiating a settlement. An insurance company would consider each side’s relative share of fault for the car accident during settlement negotiations. If the insurer refuses to agree to an acceptable settlement, the next step is to file a lawsuit and ask a judge and jury to settle the dispute.
The court would then hear the case to decide what the plaintiff should be awarded and then address each party’s level of negligence. The jury’s award is then adjusted accordingly.
For example, if the jury decided you deserved $100,000 in damages, it would then determine comparable negligence. If the defendant was found to be 70% at fault and you were found to be 30% at fault, the amount of compensation you received would be reduced by 30% to $70,000.
Because California follows a pure comparative negligence system, either party may recover damages, regardless of their degree of fault. Even if you are 99% responsible for an accident, you can recover 1% of your losses.
California’s rules make it always beneficial to investigate the potential for a car accident injury claim in Newport Beach. You may have a right to seek compensation for your medical bills after a car accident, even if you were partially at fault.
Examples of Negligence in Car Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says there were 3,606 deaths in 3,316 car accidents in California in 2019.
Among people killed in car accidents in California:
- 38.5% were drivers
- 27% were pedestrians
- 15.9% were vehicle passengers
- 13.1% were motorcyclists
- 3.7% were bicyclists
- 1.8% were reported as “other/unknown”
Research indicates the vast majority of in-traffic car accidents — up to 93% of crashes investigated — are caused by driver error.
Among the most frequent types of driver negligence that lead to car accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Driver inattention
- Aggressive driving
- Alcohol impairment
- Perceptual errors such as misjudging an approaching car’s speed
- Decision errors such as failure to yield, turning with an obstructed view, or running red lights
- Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel
How To Prove Negligence in a Car Accident
If Sam & Ash Injury Law represents you, our attorneys will investigate your car accident to determine the strength of arguments for the other party’s liability. It is best to investigate a car accident promptly, before physical characteristics of the accident scene change, witnesses forget what they saw, or physical evidence becomes lost.
Evidence as to whether a driver may be responsible for a car accident typically comes from:
- Police reports, including any ticket or criminal charges issued
- Witness statements
- The position of vehicles at the accident scene
- Roadside damage to guardrails, signs, or landscape
- Medical records of the victims’ injuries
- Security camera footage may show the crash or reckless driving prior to the crash.
- A driver’s cell phone records, which may show activity at the time of the crash
- Debit or credit card records, which may show purchases of alcohol prior to the crash
In some cases, we might work with an accident reconstruction specialist, who would provide a narrative report of their findings of how the accident occurred. The accident reconstructionist also would be prepared to provide expert testimony to accompany a multi-media report of their findings in court to support your claim, if needed.
To determine the extent of damages a client should be awarded, we would examine:
- Medical records, which we may forward to a consulting physician for review and interpretation
- Doctors’ reports and/or testimony
- Bills and receipts for medical care, vehicle damage repairs, and other costs connected to the accident
- Work records indicating absences
- Employer testimony about client’s recovery and ability to return to work
- Statements about pain, medical care and recovery, setbacks, missed activities due to injuries, and loss of enjoyment of life
In cases of catastrophic or disabling injury, we might consult a life care planning expert, who would determine projected costs for ongoing medical needs, such as medication, therapy, future procedures, maintenance or repair of adaptive equipment, and personal assistance or care.
Damages in a California Car Accident Case
An individual injured because of someone else’s negligence in California may seek compensation for economic damages (costs that can be quantified), and “non-economic damages” ( more subjective losses such as pain and suffering).
Economic damages include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Vehicle and/or other property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Unjust hardship
- Loss of life enjoyment
Contact Our Newport Beach Car Accident Attorneys
Contact our experienced Newport Beach car accident attorneys as soon as possible after being injured or losing a loved one in a crash caused by a negligent driver. The attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law have helped hundreds of unjustly injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others just like you. We are down-to-earth attorneys who listen, care and want the best results possible for you.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial pain that car accident injuries cause. We want to help. Our attorneys will take the time to understand your needs and work to recover compensation that meets them. This personalized approach has enabled our attorneys to recover more than $400 million for clients throughout California and Nevada.
Contact us today. Our lawyers are ready to handle your case and assist you every step of the way. Let us put our experience and resources to work for you now — because you deserve What’s Right.