Chico Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Chico is a charming small city in Butte County and is home to about 103,000 residents. Renowned for its relaxed, college-town atmosphere, thanks to California State University, Chico, the city offers a more laid-back vibe than bustling metropolitan areas. Chico's traffic situation is generally less congested due to its smaller size. The main artery in the city is Highway 99, running north-south and occasionally experiencing significant slowdowns during peak hours, especially near major intersections like East 20th Street and East Avenue.
Aside from Highway 99, other vital roads, including Mangrove Avenue and The Esplanade, can also see heavy traffic. With its vibrant restaurants and shops, Downtown Chico may experience congestion during events or on weekends when visitors flock to enjoy the local scene.
In the blink of an eye, anyone driving in Butte County could be involved in an accident ranging from minor injuries to severe harm or even death. Having the best personal injury attorney serving Chico, California, can make all the difference when seeking compensation for damages. Consulting with a lawyer is crucial to securing a favorable claim outcome.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Butte County, protecting your right to compensation starts with consulting the best Chico personal injury attorney. Contact our law office at (530) 392-9400 to explore potential recovery options and receive free advice from one of our skilled lawyers.
When you need assistance in bringing a civil case for damages, our accident attorneys can provide experienced and compassionate guidance in helping you seek recovery from resulting losses. Our personal injury law firm has helped many injured parties and families in California obtain successful outcomes in their cases since 1982. Reach out to us today to discuss your case with one of our skilled Chico personal injury lawyers and learn how we can help you get your life back on track.Motor Vehicle Wrecks in Chico and Butte County
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), in a 2020 traffic report, 217 accidents resulted in injury or fatality that year. Of these motor vehicle collisions, cyclists were involved in 28 of them, followed by pedestrians with 18 and motorcycles with 21. Wrecks involving speeding comprised 25, and alcohol was involved in 36 reported traffic accidents.Leading Causes of Car Crashes in California
Motor vehicle accidents in California can occur for a multitude of reasons. However, some causes tend to play a more significant role in contributing to these crashes. Factors that may contribute more prominently to accidents include the following:
- Distracted Driving: Whether it is adjusting the radio, speaking with passengers, or texting while driving, any type of distracted driving may increase the chances of a car accident.
- Drunk Driving: Impaired motorists, whether intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, may not be able to take the types of precautions that sober and prudent motorists would take. This may endanger the lives of others on the road, especially if the drunk driver cannot maintain a safe speed.
- Manufacturing Defects: Automakers must design and manufacture vehicles that meet federal safety guidelines. However, when car manufacturers fail to do so, any defect in the manufacturing or design process may lead to a motor vehicle collision. Low roof crush resistance, faulty tires, and acceleration issues contribute to an auto accident.
- Road Defects: Some road conditions may make it dangerous for drivers to navigate from pavement surface changes to potholes. The direct result is often a traffic collision and injuries.
- Speeding: Not only does speeding cause car wrecks, but it may also make them worse when they happen.
These are some of the many factors that may contribute to a motor vehicle accident. If you are hurt in a traffic crash in Butte County or elsewhere in California, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault party. An injury attorney may advise you of your rights and what to expect from your claim.
Watch the video below for information on finding the best personal injury lawyer in Chico, CA, to handle your case.Types of Serious Injury Cases Our Law Office Handles
Our Chico injury attorneys at AutoAccident.com handle numerous types of cases, including those that involve the following:
- Bicycle accidents
- Car wrecks
- Dog bite injuries
- Products liability
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Motorcycle collisions
- Commercial truck crashes
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Compensation might be available if you suffered traumatic injuries in a motor vehicle collision or another type of accident caused by negligence. However, various elements must be proven in the case to recover damages. This is where an experienced California personal injury lawyer serving Chico comes in. An accident attorney can help demonstrate elements of negligence in a lawsuit, including:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the injured party.
- The other party breached this duty through negligence.
- The other party's negligent actions played a significant role in the causation.
- The wounded individual suffered damages as a direct result.
When this criterion has been met, the court in Butte County may uphold a claim for damages, and the injured party may be awarded compensation.What is the Value of My Personal Injury Claim?
It can be challenging to place a fair value on accident-related injuries and losses. Compensation is unique to each injured party and accident case as they vary significantly on the facts and circumstances of the incident. A top-rated personal injury lawyer in Chico can help an injured party determine the types of damages they may be entitled to, including:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages are special damages in an accident case, which are financial losses resulting from injuries suffered in a crash. These may include past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning potential, and more.
- Non-Economic Damages: Intangible losses fall under the category of non-economic damages. Also referred to as general damages, it may be challenging to place a monetary value on these. The reason is that general damages are subjective and vary from case to case. It may include emotional trauma, lost enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Aside from general damages and special damages, punitive damages may be sought from the party responsible for the incident in cases where egregious conduct on their part is established. This may include evidence proving that the other party was driving under the influence (DUI) or excessively speeding in the accident's moments. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate claimants and serve the sole purpose of punishing negligent individuals and entities for their wrongdoing.What If the At-Fault Driver Has No Auto Insurance?
When involved in a motor vehicle collision caused by another driver, you may expect that person to have liability coverage. However, that is not always the case. A 2019 report by the Insurance Information Institute (III) revealed that 16.6 percent of drivers were uninsured in California, putting the state in a ranking of 10 with the highest uninsured rate in the country. With this information in mind, we cannot always depend on others on the road to be insured. It is essential to understand your options if you are involved in a car wreck with a driver who lacks liability coverage or has minimal policy limits.
Drivers in California are encouraged to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). If a driver causes a traffic collision and has limited to no bodily injury liability coverage, your insurer will pay for damages, provided you carry UM and UIM coverage. It may also extend protection to those injured in hit-and-run accidents. What is great about this type of coverage in California is that it may protect the insured and family members in the household who are hurt in motor vehicle crashes as passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians. This is possible so long as they are not listed as excluded insurance policy members.
While UM and UIM coverage may assist, such coverage may create stressful and challenging situations. In first-party insurance claims, insurers may attempt to avoid paying claims brought by their insured. Conversely, there may be exclusions for specific conditions, and coverage may not apply. An effective way to protect your rights and best interests is to speak with a local personal injury attorney with years of experience handling cases like yours. A skilled Chico car accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with complex insurance companies and litigate the case if the insurer cannot reach a fair settlement.How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
People injured in motor vehicle collisions do not have unlimited time to claim damages. California, like all states, has a statute of limitations. This law restricts how long an individual must file a lawsuit in civil court as a plaintiff if a settlement agreement cannot be reached with the insurance company. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, the injured party only has two years from the incident date to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In cases where a government entity is involved, the claimant has less time to take action. Under the California Government Code Section 911.2, a notice of claim must be filed with the appropriate public entity within 180 days of the accident date. Because of the strict filing criteria and deadlines that apply to these cases, it is essential to consult an experienced and top-rated Chico personal injury lawyer.Free Case Evaluation with a Chico Personal Injury Attorney
The mission of our personal injury law firm is to seek full and fair compensation for Northern California residents who have been hurt in car accidents through no fault of their own. We believe no one should bear the consequences of someone else's negligent actions.
If a car accident in Butte County left you with traumatic injuries, now is the time to take action by consulting with the best Chico personal injury lawyer. Contact our law office today to learn how to help at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. Our accident attorneys can speak with you and provide free, friendly advice on proceeding with your case.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 6.5.23] Image Credit: Pexels User ~ "Craig Adderley" ds [cs 1579] bw