Auto Accident Injuries and Compensation

In 2000, there were a total of 17,663 crashes caused by drivers with aggressive driving behaviors.

San Francisco Car Accident Attorney

California leads the nation in motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured or if a loved one suffered a wrongful death in a car accident, truck accident, SUV rollover, or motorcycle wreck, please contact the Law Offices of David G. Smith today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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To learn more about the legal aspects of motor vehicle accidents, please review the general information below. To find out how our law firm can assist you, please visit our auto accident practice page.

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Auto Accident Injuries and Compensation

An individual who has been injured in an automobile accident may be able to seek monetary compensation for injuries and damages. Cases are fact-specific, typically with complex issues of proof and fault in dispute. An experienced personal injury attorney from David G. Smith in Oakland, CA, can work with you to sort out your legal options.

Compensation for your losses

The injured party in a motor vehicle accident may be able to recover "damages" from the party or parties who caused the accident. Damages are monetary compensation for the victim's injuries or losses. Compensable injuries include physical injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head injuries. The pain and suffering caused by physical injuries may also be compensable.

Damages may also be sought to pay for the victim's medical bills, both that arose from treatment given directly after the accident and reasonable future medical expenses. If the victim requires rehabilitative services or accommodations, such as physical therapy or the construction of a wheelchair ramp leading to his or her home, these costs may be recoverable. The accident victim also may recover lost past and future wages and for property damage.

Other damages that are more difficult to quantify may also be sought. Mental pain and suffering may be compensable, as may permanent impairment or disfigurement. Loss of enjoyment of life is also compensable in certain situations.

If the injured person was already suffering from a previous injury, that does not necessarily bar monetary recovery. The accident may have aggravated or worsened the injured person's existing injury, and the new injury can be treated as a separate matter from the underlying injury.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is a good idea to keep a daily diary documenting how the injury is affecting you, both emotionally and physically. This can be of great assistance when it comes time to show the effects of the accident.

Spouse's damages: loss of consortium

Even if the husband or wife of the motor vehicle accident victim was not in the car at the time of the crash, he or she may also be experiencing a loss. Almost every state recognizes the claim of "loss of consortium." Loss of consortium refers to the negative effect the accident has had on the marital relationship. The marital relationship generally comes with certain benefits, such as companionship, comfort, assistance, sexual relations and affection. The loss of consortium resulting from a serious car accident can be temporary or permanent.

Auto insurance

It is most often the case that auto accident victims who recover in court or via a settlement are paid by the other driver's insurance company. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, however, the accident victim may need to pursue other means of recovery.

The victim's own insurance policy may have an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist provision that will provide compensation. Other types of insurance policies, such as short-term or long-term disability, often available through the victim's employer or a spouse's employer, may also provide benefits. How significant a benefit and whether it is available depends, of course, on the specifics of the situation.

Amount of financial recovery

The level of damages to which the auto accident victim may be entitled depends on numerous factors, including state law, the extent of the victim's injuries, the available evidence, any fault apportion to the victim, the type and length of medical treatment, the insurance coverage of each party, the effect of the accident on the victim's income and the permanence of the injuries. This is why an experienced attorney can be such a strong ally in planning the case and assessing damages.

Contact a personal injury attorney

A motor vehicle accident can have catastrophic consequences, both for the victim and the victim's family. Contact David G. Smith in Oakland, CA, to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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