Concord Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
Contra Costa County is home to many unincorporated areas and 19 cities, including Concord. A report by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that this city has a population of approximately 129,000 and has experienced a population growth of 5.8 percent annually over the past decade. As the city's population continues to grow, a corresponding rise in the number of motor vehicle collisions may follow. When traumatic injuries from a crash have had a profound impact on your life, you may be able to seek a financial recovery for resulting losses with the assistance of an experienced accident attorney.
When you have been injured in an accident in the Concord area, you need someone who cares. Our personal injury lawyers can help you seek the financial compensation you need to move forward. Learn more by calling us today and receive free, friendly case advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
The claims process for a traffic collision caused by another party or entity may be challenging, but you do not have to deal with it alone. When you have suffered traumatic injuries in a car wreck in Contra Costa County, you deserve to be represented by a Concord personal injury lawyer with years of experience handling cases like yours. Since 1982, our law firm has represented clients in all accidents, and we can help you too. Whether through an insurance settlement or a jury verdict, we will do everything we can to ensure you receive a favorable case outcome. Learn how our skilled injury attorneys can assist you by contacting us today to arrange a free consultation.How Many Car Accidents Happen a Year in Concord, CA?
You are not alone if you have suffered injuries in a traffic collision. In a 2018 report by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the year for which most recent data is available, there was a total of 619 injury and fatal crashes in Concord. Of these accidents, alcohol was involved in 61, around 117 were speed-related, and 32 resulted from a hit-and-run.Why is it Important to Seek Medical Treatment After a Crash?
If serious injuries are involved in a car wreck, first responders may transport an injured party to a Concord area hospital for immediate treatment. It is recommended to see a physician to note any symptoms experienced after the crash, even if you believe you did not sustain any traumatic injuries. The reason is that symptoms of some types of accident-related damages may not manifest immediately following the incident, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI).
Failure to seek immediate medical treatment may result in unique challenges during personal injury claims, including the comparative fault argument. This is because the insurance adjuster assigned to the bodily injury claim may dispute the severity of the injuries reported since there was a delay in medical care or gaps in treatment.
In other situations, the insurance adjuster may say there is no evidence suggestive of the injuries being related to the incident in question or even claim that it is a pre-existing medical condition. Even if a claimant is presenting with a pre-existing condition, that does not necessarily mean that they are not entitled to financial compensation. Medical records may provide evidence to demonstrate an exacerbation of injuries because of a motor vehicle collision.What Type of Insurance is Required in California for Driving?
In California, all motorists must have liability coverage. If an insured driver causes a motor vehicle crash, their insurance will cover the damages. The following bodily injury and property damage liability coverage limits must be carried:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per individual hurt in an auto accident
- $30,000 in liability coverage for all parties who suffered injuries in a car wreck
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage for a traffic collision
After a motor vehicle accident, you may wonder how much your personal injury case is worth. The facts and circumstances of the incident, the severity of accident-related injuries, auto insurance limits, and other factors may play a role in the claim's value. Financial compensation in such claims is categorized into economic and non-economic damages. While economic damages refer to the financial losses incurred from the traumatic injury, non-economic damages do not have a clearly articulated value as they are intangible. Following are some of the losses that may be recovered through these cases:
- Medical Bills: A claimant may be entitled to the recovery of both past and future medical costs. Past medical expenses are related to the costs of treatment and services that have already been provided. Conversely, future medical expenses are the projected costs for treating accident-related injuries. Future medical expenses are often challenging to prove, as expert witness testimony is often necessary to establish that future treatment is required.
- Lost Wages: When an injured party misses work because of a car wreck, they may be eligible for reimbursement of lost wages. Calculating lost income is often challenging without the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney, and it is essential to retain legal counsel. Building a solid wage loss claim requires experts such as an economist, life-care planner, and vocational rehabilitation specialist to determine lost income and loss of future earning potential because of a permanent injury or disability.
- Loss of Consortium: If an injury from a traffic collision has caused damage to a marital relationship, compensation for loss of consortium may be sought. Moreover, damages for loss of consortium may also be considered in situations where the claimant has suffered a severe injury, such as a spinal cord injury, resulting in the inability to conceive children.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages for pain and suffering consider the physical pain and emotional trauma an individual has suffered from an auto accident. Compelling evidence must be provided to demonstrate the impact of a traumatic injury caused by another party's negligence.
Purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM) is an effective way to protect yourself against drivers with little to no liability coverage. While this coverage is optional in California, it is worth the investment if you drive often. According to a 2019 Insurance Information Institute (III) report, California is the tenth-ranked state with the highest rate of uninsured drivers at 16.6 percent.
UM coverage generally applies when it has been determined that the other party is uninsured through the DMV. It may also step in when the insured was injured in a hit-and-run crash. UM may also extend coverage to a person who lived in the insured's household and was not listed as an excluded member. Conversely, UIM coverage may come into play when the other driver carries limits too low to cover the accident-related damages of all injured parties.
First-party insurance claims are not always straightforward. The reason is that even though an insurer is expected to follow a duty of good faith toward their policyholder, that does not necessarily mean that the insured will be treated fairly. Insurance companies are focused on paying as little as possible on bodily injury claims. Fortunately, an experienced accident attorney will devise effective strategies to help seek the financial compensation that may be available when the other party does not have the liability coverage required by California law or carries minimal insurance policy limits.Should You Talk to the Insurance Company After a Traffic Collision?
When involved in a motor vehicle crash in Concord or elsewhere in Contra Costa County, you may wonder whether you should discuss the incident with the insurance company representing the other party. Knowing what details to share and what not to share with the other party's insurer and your insurance carrier may be challenging. It may considerably impact the outcome of a personal injury case. Cooperating with insurance companies is necessary to ensure that available coverage is not denied because of a late notice of claim and other reasons.
The reason is that despite insurers seeming like they care about you and your situation, the unfortunate reality is that they are not on your side. Insurance carriers are for-profit businesses that are focused on protecting their bottom line. Even your insurer may attempt to downplay the severity of accident-related injuries and damages to justify a lower settlement. To avoid making any mistakes, it is essential to consult an experienced injury lawyer before speaking to insurance companies. If the insurer contacts you for a recorded statement or signs documents, politely decline and redirect them to your accident attorney.What is Comparative Fault and How May it Affect a Personal Injury Case?
Since California follows a comparative fault system, the amount of compensation awarded to injured parties would be reduced by the percentage of negligence assigned to them for the car wreck. For instance, this would play out as a jury verdict where the claim is worth $50,000 but is reduced to $30,000 because the claimant was assigned 40 percent at fault for the incident.
Unfortunately, insurers do not often bring a comparative negligence assessment into a personal injury case to minimize their liability for the crash. That is why it is best to work with an experienced Concord car accident lawyer prepared to argue the facts and the law to ensure that fault is not unfairly assigned to an injured party following a traffic collision.Can I Afford to Hire an Attorney for My Case?
When an accident attorney handles a case on a contingency fee basis, they only get paid if they recover fair compensation on behalf of their client. There are also no upfront fees for legal representation, and a contingency fee will come from the insurance settlement or jury verdict. Experience matters in the outcome of a case. Watch this video for details on finding the best personal injury attorney near Concord, CA.What is the Statute of Limitations on Filing a Lawsuit in California?
If an insurance company is unwilling to make a fair settlement considering all accident-related losses, a lawsuit must be filed to protect the right to seek financial compensation. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, an injured party must file a lawsuit in civil court or settle an insurance claim within two years of the crash date.
There are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations that may apply to personal injury matters in California. When bringing a claim against a government entity in the golden state, a notice of claim must be filed within six months of the incident date. This is by the California Government Code Section 911.2. If a lawsuit is filed past the deadline for the case, the claim may be barred, and the right to financial recovery may be lost. This is why it is essential to retain legal counsel immediately to ensure ample time to conduct an independent investigation, identify all possible at-fault parties, and ensure the case is filed accordingly.Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Serving Concord, CA Today
We have over three decades of experience handling cases from all types of accidents at our law office, and we can help you too. Contact us today to arrange a meeting with a team member and receive free, friendly advice by calling (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. Whatever your situation, we are available anytime to go over the details of your case and discuss your rights and options for recovery moving forward.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.3.22]
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