Do you know your legal rights if you have been injured in an automobile accident caused by someone else? This article is intended to explain those rights and how an individual may be compensated for their injuries.
If one’s vehicle is damaged they usually have 2 choices – either  have the repairs taken care of by their own insurance company (in which case a deductible may be incurred … but should eventually be reimbursed) or  through the insurance company for the person who caused the collision. It is our experience that people tend to have an easier time dealing with their own insurance company (in which case their own carrier eventually recovers the repair costs from the other driver’s insurance company).
California law holds the “at fault” driver (or an insurance company on their behalf) responsible for paying for “reasonable and necessary” medical care associated with personal injuries suffered in an accident. As you can imagine, an insurance company responsible for covering and injury victim’s medical expenses may have a very different opinion as to what care is “reasonable and/or necessary” and what the “reasonable” charges should be for that care. This aspect of an injury claim is frequently complex and often becomes quite contentious.
In the event that injuries suffered in an accident prevent someone from working, the income lost due to that time missed from work is a recoverable/compensable aspect of a personal injury claim. In other words, if someone makes $5,000.00 a month, and they are unable to work for one month due to injuries suffered, they can make a lost income claim in the amount of $5,000.00.
Pain & Suffering
An injury victim is entitled to be compensated for “pain and suffering” associated with their injuries. This is a vague concept (and as such, often involves the most interpretation and/or argument) because “pain and suffering” can mean different things to different people. Basically it means that an injury victim is entitled to be compensated for the physical AND emotional pain that suffered in an accident (including any pain and suffering which might continue in the future). How to evaluate this and assign a monetary figure to it is often the most complex area of an injury claim.
Determining what an injury victim has a right to recover can be extremely complicated as the “value” of someone’s case depends on many factors, including injuries suffered, medical care required, charges for that medical treatment and a person’s pain and suffering. As such, if you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of another person, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury law.
The Tomalas Law Firm specializes in representing auto accident victims. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident call us at 949.756.8711 or visit our website at http://www.tomalaslaw.com