Lake of the Pines Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re a resident of Lake of the Pines and have been involved in a car accident, I can help. I can also help you if you’re not from Lake of the Pines but have been injured while visiting someone here.
My name is Ed Smith, and I have built my career dedicated to personal injury law, which I have practiced in Sacramento County since 1982. Please reach out to me for a free consultation so we can discuss your legal issue.Nevada County Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents aren’t uncommon in Nevada County. According to statistics kept by the Office of Traffic Safety, 2016 saw 666 victims killed or injured in car accidents. Of those, 92 were accidents involving alcohol, and 178 were speed-related.
And it wasn’t only occupants of passenger sedans who were injured. That same year, 19 bicyclists were killed or injured, as were 27 pedestrians and 63 motorcyclists.
Other accidents are also common in Lake of the Pines. As a personal injury attorney, I’ve helped people receive compensation when they were injured in a variety of accidents, such as dog bites and slip and falls.Why You Need a Lake of the Pines Car Accident Lawyer
Under California law, you can bring a lawsuit for compensation against anyone who has injured you through his or her negligence. You can file it in the county where you are injured or in the county where the defendant lives.
Most people will do anything to avoid court, and I can’t blame them. Lawsuits are stressful, and many of my clients are afraid of having to get up in open court and testifying. Fortunately, most car accident and personal injury cases can be settled outside of court, relieving everyone of the stress of going into court.
This is where a Lake of the Pines auto accident attorney comes in. Although it’s true that you can settle your case on your own, the fact is that many insurance companies would like nothing better than for an injured victim to represent herself. Insurance companies are in the market for making as much money as they can, which means paying out the smallest settlements possible.
It is highly likely that if you make a claim with an insurance company, the adjuster will offer a tiny settlement that doesn’t remotely begin to cover your injuries. The claims adjuster might also state that they are not authorized to offer any more, which carries a simple message: “Take it or leave it.”
As a lawyer for nearly four decades, I've heard everything. And I know for a fact that insurance companies can pay out more than they initially claim. With an experienced Lake of the Pines personal injury attorney by your side, you can often dramatically increase the amount of compensation you receive. You only need the right lawyer who knows how.How We Estimate the Value of Your Injuries
Many lawyers will tell you that there is no such thing as an “average” personal injury or car accident settlement. And they’re right. But few lawyers will explain what factors go into estimating the value of your injuries. When you meet with me, I’ll be perfectly honest about whether your case is worth enough to make hiring a lawyer a realistic possibility.
First, a settlement or lawsuit should compensate you for the money you lost. These are out-of-pocket expenses that you incurred solely because of your accident. Things like:
- Medical bills to treat your injuries. My clients have needed surgery, weeks in the hospital, regular doctor visits, tests and blood work, prescription drugs, and rehabilitation. If successful, you should receive compensation for all these expenses.
- Lost income. Getting hit by a vehicle can put you out of work for months or longer. Even if you have sick time accrued or short-term disability, this is a real economic loss, solely attributable to the car accident.
- Property damage. Your car, bicycle, or motorcycle might need to be repaired. If a car plowed into your home, you might need home repairs.
To calculate the full extent of your economic losses, go through your hospital bills, receipts, and repair estimates. Add up the amounts.
Second, California law allows you to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is an umbrella term for all kinds of non-economic losses like:
- Physical pain
The more serious your physical injuries, the more you can receive for these non-economic losses. Based on my experience, I can estimate how much a jury would award you in pain and suffering if your case goes to trial. That number can serve as the basis for settlement discussions.
Third, you also need to understand a couple of limitations on how much you can receive:
- Contributory fault. You might be partially responsible for the accident and your injuries. If so, the amount you can receive will get reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
- Insurance limits. Many motorists carry only the minimum required insurance, which currently is a policy with a $15,000 bodily injury liability limit. Unless the motorist has other insurance or assets, this might be all you can receive regardless of how much money you have lost.
I formed this law practice because I fundamentally disagreed with the myth that injured victims get a fair shake from insurance companies in Lake of the Pines and Nevada County. Our state’s giant insurance companies for too long have tried to delay, frustrate, and impede the ability of injured victims to receive full and fair compensation for their injuries.
Talk to five car accident victims and at least one or two will have a horror story of being offered peanuts for what turned out to be life-changing injuries. Many victims, without adequate representation, accept the first offer—much to their dismay when they later realize they didn’t receive nearly enough to cover their losses. And because they signed away their right to sue later, they’re out of luck with nowhere else to turn.
I didn’t think this was right. So I set up shop in 1983 as a car accident and personal injury lawyer, making it my life’s work to hold negligent defendants accountable for the damage they cause. I’ll fight for you—and get you every cent you deserve.
The following video gives you an idea of what to expect when you meet with a personal injury lawyer in the initial free consultation.Lake of the Pines Car Personal Injury Lawyer
I'm Ed Smith, a Lake of the Pines car accident lawyer. If you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence, you need to begin thinking about your legal options right away. You can sue for compensation, but you must act quickly. Any delay can cost you time and money. I'll never let a client accept a settlement that doesn't represent the best deal possible, and I never take a case I don't think I can win.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.21.20]
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