Car Accidents While on Vacation
When you go away on vacation, you want to relax and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, car accidents while on vacation may throw a wrench into the best-laid plans. You will need to report the matter to your insurer, find a body shop, obtain a good structural and paint repair, and return home. If you have serious injuries, you will need immediate medical care, and in some cases, you may be hospitalized for a period. If you need to recover damages, the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm may be able to help.What to Do After Car Accidents While on Vacation
You should call the local police to the scene so that a police report will be created in connection with your accident. The report may include information that will be useful in a personal injury case. For example, if the police cite a driver for talking on the phone while driving, it may be possible to use this as evidence of negligence later. To establish another driver's negligence in California, you will need to prove that the other driver failed to use reasonable care and thereby caused your injuries.
In most cases, insurers prefer to fix a car locally, and they may not pay to have the car towed back to your hometown for repairs. They may pay for a rental car, but in general, the repaired vehicle will not be delivered back to your hometown, and you will need to drive it back. In some cases, it is best to get a temporary repair so that you can wait until you get home and work with a repair shop that you trust. However, many insurers have relationships with specific repair shops that provide a nationwide warranty, and by using one of those shops, you can address any problems that arise at an in-network shop closer to home.
Often, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. If the crash took place in Southern California, and the defendant lives there, the California courts have jurisdiction over the defendant. Generally, courts in a particular state have personal jurisdiction over the people or businesses that reside or do business in the state. If you are from another state, your state's courts probably will not have jurisdiction over the defendant with regard to a car accident that occurred in California.
Assuming that your case proceeds in California, you should be aware that California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Comparative fault requires a jury to evaluate the conduct of both the plaintiff and the defendant and assign a percentage of fault to each of them. The total damages are then reduced by an amount equal to the plaintiff's percentage of fault.
This means that an insurance adjuster for the defendant will be looking for ways in which you were at fault. That makes it especially important that you retain a local attorney before answering any questions from the adjuster. Most adjusters will be friendly when speaking with you because they want you to open up and relax, but they are hoping to obtain an admission of fault so that they can reduce the amount that they offer you or defeat your claims at trial. There are numerous safety laws in California. As someone from out of state, it would be easy for you to make an admission about not following one of them without realizing that you had done so. Any admission may be used to prove that you are partially or fully to blame for the accident and reduce your damages accordingly, even if you were seriously hurt.Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Los Angeles Attorney
Car accidents while on vacation may be particularly challenging. At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our experienced Los Angeles attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation from a negligent driver. We can determine a strategy to seek your damages and take an aggressive approach in the settlement and litigation processes. Contact us online or at 1-866-422-7222 for a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. We also represent victims in cities such as Temecula, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and Riverside.