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Richmond Car Accidents

Richmond Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents happen every day in Richmond and throughout California for a number of reasons, many of which are unpredictable. Accidents happen unexpectedly, leaving victims wondering who is responsible and how they can recover their losses. All California drivers are required to carry auto insurance, but insurance alone may not cover a victim’s total losses, and there is never a guarantee that the at-fault driver will have appropriate coverage.

Helping Richmond Car Accident Victims Recover With Reliable Legal Counsel

If you or a family member is struggling with injuries and economic losses from a car accident that someone else caused, it is important to know your legal options and how you can recover your losses as fully as possible. Rush Injury Law has a team of attorneys with years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases in Richmond, including those arising from motor vehicle crashes. We can provide the guidance and support you need in this challenging situation.

Richmond Car Accident Lawyer

Proving Fault for Your Recent Car Accident in Richmond

Before you are able to recover any type of compensation for your recent car accident in Richmond, you must be prepared to show exactly how the accident happened and identify the driver or drivers responsible for causing it. Proving fault is crucial for both your insurance claim and a subsequent personal injury claim, and car accidents can happen in various ways:

  • If a distracted driver caused your accident, your Richmond car accident attorney can seek their phone records, secure traffic camera footage, and obtain other evidence to help you prove how they caused the accident. Cell phone use while driving is the most commonly cited form of distracted driving that causes accidents, despite the state’s ban on cell phone use behind the wheel.
  • When a drunk or drugged driver has injured you in an accident, they not only face liability for your damages but also criminal charges for violating the state’s law against driving under the influence (DUI). Penalties for DUI can include driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, jail time, and mandatory drug and alcohol counseling. These penalties increase significantly when a defendant has injured or killed someone due to intoxicated driving.
  • Speeding can not only increase the chance of an accident happening but also the severity of any resulting damages to those involved. Speeding is frequently cited as a leading cause of vehicle accidents throughout the United States and one of the top-cited causes of all fatal accidents each year.
  • When a driver commits a moving violation that disrupts the flow of traffic around them, they inherently increase the chances of accidents happening. Failure to yield the right of way, performing illegal turns, and failing to stop at red lights and stop signs are a few common moving violations that can cause accidents.
  • Vehicle defects can lead to product liability claims against manufacturers. If your accident happened because of a faulty part or defective vehicle, your Richmond car accident attorney could help you determine whether you have a claim against the manufacturer.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways that car accidents might happen, and regardless of the exact cause, if another driver is responsible for the accident, they bear liability for your damages. The first step in holding them accountable is filing a claim against their auto insurance policy.

How to File an Auto Insurance Claim in Richmond

All state-licensed drivers are legally required to have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. These include liability coverage for personal injuries and property damage. At a minimum, an auto insurance policy for an individual driver must provide at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person, and the policy must increase this coverage to at least $30,000 for multiple persons injured in a single accident. The policy must also cover at least $5,000 of property damage, such as the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle.

After an accident, the drivers involved are required to stop their vehicles and report the accident to 911. Specifically, the law states that drivers must report accidents resulting in significant property damage, injury, or death. If you are unsure whether your accident meets this definition, it is better to err on the side of caution and call 911 to report the accident. When first responders arrive, they will provide medical assistance to anyone injured, and ambulances may transport critically injured victims to the nearest hospital. If you feel well enough to do so safely, try to take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to your vehicle. These will expedite your insurance claim process significantly.

Your Richmond car accident attorney will be very helpful for the insurance claim process. Once an auto insurance carrier representative notices that you have legal representation, they will be more inclined to process your claim efficiently without any bad faith tactics. After the insurance company approves your claim, you will receive a
settlement offer. Your attorney will ensure the offer is suitable under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy.

Unfortunately, California’s rate of drivers who are uninsured is the highest in the country. While not required by law, drivers are strongly encouraged to purchase uninsured driver coverage, which allows them to claim against their own insurance policies when they experience accidents caused by uninsured drivers. Otherwise, a driver injured by an uninsured driver must proceed directly to filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover their damages.

Filing Your Personal Injury Claim in Richmond for a Car Accident

When you have exhausted your recovery options through insurance, or when an at-fault driver has no insurance coverage, you will have to file a personal injury claim against them to recover your losses. The foundation of a personal injury claim is actual harm caused by negligence or a failure to use reasonable care and caution in a specific situation. It is also possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to cause a personal injury. In this case, the defendant also faces criminal charges from the state.

If your car accident happened because of negligence, you must prove the at-fault driver had a duty of care they failed to fulfill and consequently caused your claimed damages. Your attorney will be very helpful in this effort, assisting you in gathering the evidence needed to prove their liability for your damages. If your accident happened from illegal misconduct, your Richmond car accident attorney could advise you as to how this may impact your civil claim against the at-fault driver.

When you have a compelling case, and the other party is clearly at fault for your accident, it behooves them to seek a settlement as quickly as possible. Most of the personal injury claims filed in Richmond do not go to litigation and are instead resolved through private settlement negotiations. As long as both the plaintiff and the defendant are willing to negotiate and compromise, both parties can save significant amounts of time and money they would otherwise spend on lengthy litigation.

During settlement, both parties and their legal representatives meet privately to discuss mutually agreeable settlement terms. The plaintiff may receive slightly less than they could win at trial, but the tradeoff is securing compensation much faster. The defendant could part with more than they could face from a judge’s decision, but they save time and money on legal expenses. Ultimately, settlement is the ideal way to resolve a personal injury case for all parties involved, but it may not work for every claim.

In the event that you cannot settle your car accident case for any reason, the case proceeds to litigation. This can take months to complete, with long waiting periods between courtroom appearances. If you must go to trial, the judge overseeing the case has the final say when it comes to the defendant’s liability and the plaintiff’s compensation. When you choose Rush Injury Law as your legal representation, we will seek to settle your case if possible, but we are prepared to represent you in court if necessary.

Recovering From Your Car Accident in Richmond

If you succeed with your personal injury case, you can potentially secure full repayment of all the economic losses you suffered from the accident in question. Economic damages you can claim in your personal injury case can include the following:

  • Medical treatment expenses for your injuries. The defendant who caused your injuries is liable for both immediate and future health care treatment costs arising from the accident in question. Your Richmond car accident attorney can work with your medical treatment team to determine the scope of care your injuries have required and will require in the future for you to reach maximum medical improvement. The defendant is liable for any and all health care expenses you incur due to their negligence or misconduct.
  • Lost wages, including lost future income when you have been permanently disabled. If a defendant’s actions prevent you from working and earning income for any period of time, they are liable for the income you cannot earn during this period. If you are permanently disabled from your accident and cannot go back to work ever, the defendant faces liability for the income you could have earned in the future until retirement had they not injured you.
  • Property damage. An auto insurance claim against the defendant may yield some compensation for your vehicle repair costs, but any remainder must be sought through your personal injury claim. You can seek compensation for repair and replacement costs for your vehicle as well as any personal property damaged or lost in the accident.

These economic damages, once accurately calculated with the help of a seasoned Richmond car accident attorney, could amount to much more than you initially expected at the outset of your case. However, your recovery does not end with your economic damages, as state law permits the plaintiff in a personal injury case to seek accountability for their pain and suffering as well.

There is no state cap on the amount of pain and suffering compensation the plaintiff in a car accident case can seek from a defendant. If you suffered injuries that are expected to heal completely in the near future, your attorney might recommend a “per diem” pain and suffering settlement that awards compensation for each day you spend recovering from your injuries. Alternatively, if you suffered life-changing catastrophic injuries, they will be more inclined to seek a large lump sum on your behalf. Depending on the severity of your medical condition after the accident, your pain and suffering compensation could amount to much more than the total of your economic losses.

How Your Attorney Will Help

There is no law that requires you to hire an attorney to help you recover from a car accident. However, it is essential to understand the value of investing in legal counsel you can trust after a negligent driver has injured you. Your attorney will handle all your legal affairs so you can focus on your medical needs in recovery. They will provide updates as your case progresses and will significantly increase your chances of maximizing your insurance claim.

If you cannot recover through insurance alone and must file a civil suit against the driver who harmed you, your Richmond car accident attorney will be an invaluable asset when it comes to gathering evidence to prove the defendant’s fault, substantiating your claim for compensation with appropriate documentation of your damages, and preparing you for each new phase of your case.

Rush Injury Law can help you approach your recovery efforts with confidence and peace of mind. Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have successfully represented many Richmond area clients and taken the time to learn each client’s unique story. We will help you understand the proceedings ahead of you and handle the procedural aspects of your claim so you can recover in peace.

Richmond Car Accident Lawyer FAQs

Q: What Happens if My Auto Insurance Claim Is Denied in Richmond?

A: Unfortunately, not all auto insurance carriers process claims in good faith and some clerical or technical issues could also result in unfair and unexpected denials. It’s a good idea to work with a seasoned Richmond car accident attorney when it comes time to file an auto insurance claim. Their guidance can significantly reduce the chances of meeting with an unexpected denial of coverage. However, if your claim is denied, your attorney can help you challenge the insurance company’s decision and/or pursue alternative legal action through a personal injury suit.

Q: How Much Can I Recover From a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident?

A: State law allows you to seek compensation for any and all damages another party caused through their negligence or intentional misconduct. If another driver caused an accident that resulted in physical injuries and economic harm, they are responsible for repaying all these damages. You can also seek recompense for the physical pain, emotional trauma, and psychological distress you experienced from the incident. The total amount of compensation you could win from your case depends on the severity of your losses.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in Richmond?

A: If the other driver’s fault is clear and beyond dispute, and you have the right attorney representing you, it’s possible to resolve a car accident claim within a few weeks. The insurance claim process is just the first step in recovery, however, and if you must proceed with a civil suit against the other driver, it could take longer. If your case must be resolved through litigation, this can take several months.

Q: What Happens if a Car Crash Causes Fatal Injuries?

A: If you lose a loved one in an accident someone else caused in the Richmond area, state law dictates that the beneficiaries of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim naming the driver at fault. In some ways, this kind of suit is very much like a personal injury claim but different in others. It’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust if you intend to pursue this type of case against another party in Richmond.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Richmond Car Accident Attorney?

A: It’s natural to worry about the potential cost of legal representation when you need to file a car accident claim in Richmond, but this is no cause for concern when you choose Rush Injury Law as your legal representation. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, so you will only be required to pay a fee if we win your case, and the fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered on your behalf. This eliminates the risk of your legal fees overtaking your case award.

Rush Injury Law has built a solid professional reputation as a leading choice for personal injury counsel in the Richmond area, thanks to our commitment to client-focused legal representation. We’ll take the time necessary to listen to your story and address the specific legal issues that concern you the most after your car accident. If you’re ready to learn what an experienced Richmond car accident attorney can do for your recovery, contact us today and set up your free consultation with our team.

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