Temecula Car Accidents
For most people, the aftermath of a car accident is quite stressful. They may wonder whether they should take time off work to obtain all the medical care they need, and they may worry about how they will pay for expensive medical bills. In some cases, they need to hire help around the house or with childcare because their injuries render them unable to perform these tasks themselves. If you are hurt in a crash that was not your fault, you should consult the experienced Temecula car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm.Establishing Liability in a Car Accident Case
Car accidents are often the result of negligence by one or more parties. In a lawsuit, negligence typically may be established by proving the defendant owed a duty, the defendant breached this duty, the breach caused harm to the plaintiff, and damages resulted. Often, the negligent party in a car accident is another driver. For example, a driver breaches his or her duty to operate a motor vehicle carefully by failing to conduct regular maintenance on a car, failing to obey traffic signals or laws, drunk driving, driving while fatigued, or failing to signal, among other behaviors.
However, in other cases, the negligent party is the owner of the road, a construction company, or another party. For example, an owner that fails to maintain the road may be liable for damages arising out of defective conditions in the road that should be repaired. A construction company is supposed to put out warning signs and other signals to drivers to ensure that they are aware of dangerous or unusual conditions. Failing to do that may be grounds for liability.
Sometimes a number of forces combine to cause an accident, including a plaintiff's own negligence. Often, defendants allege a plaintiff's comparative negligence. The jury will evaluate the total damages and assign a percentage of fault to each party alleged to be at fault. The damages that are recoverable will be reduced by the amount by which the plaintiff was at fault.
For example, suppose you are driving down the road at midnight without a seatbelt. The road conditions are bad, but no warning signs have been posted, and you do not realize there is an enormous unmarked pothole in your path. Unfortunately, another driver is speeding after his late-night shift and T-bones your car. Your car falls into the pothole, and you sustain serious injuries. You may have grounds to sue the construction company, as well as the speeding driver. They may in turn allege you were comparatively negligent. If the total damages are $200,000, you are 20% responsible, the other driver is 40% responsible, and the construction company is 40% responsible, you can theoretically recover $160,000 from the other parties.
Suppose, however, that the other driver is uninsured. California follows the rule of joint and several liability only with regard to economic damages. This means you can turn to the construction company for 80% of your economic damages. However, each party is only responsible for a share of noneconomic damages up to his or her percentage of fault. This means that you may not be able to collect 80% of your noneconomic damages from the construction company alone.Discuss Your Options with a Car Accident Lawyer in Temecula
Temecula is a California city in Riverside County. As of 2013, it had an estimated population of over 100,000 residents. It is home to attractions such as Pechanga Resort and Casino, the Temecula Museum, nine golf courses, and many wineries. After a car crash, an insurer for the other party in the accident may contact you and try to find ways in which the accident was your fault in order to reduce the amount of damages the insurance company will need to pay. It is crucial to consult an attorney before speaking to an insurer for the other party. Contact our Temecula car accident attorneys at (866) 422-7222 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.