Car Accident FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding Car Accidents

nullWhile you hope to avoid it, the average person is in four car accidents in their lifetime. While you may be a safe driver, you could say that the eventual car crash is inevitable, leading to the need to contact a car wreck lawyer Newport Beach. 

While you hope to avoid it, the average person experiences four car accidents in his or her lifetime. While you may be a safe driver, you could say that the eventual car crash is inevitable. 

While the accident itself and the aftermath are scary, having a good Newport Beach car wreck lawyer will give you peace-of-mind as you go through the financial compensation process that follows. The accident could even result in a legal battle in court, if the parties involved disagree with compensating you for damages caused. 

To help you be prepared for such a situation, our Newport Beach lawyers have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding traffic collisions below. 

How Do the Courts Determine Fault in a Car Accident?

Holding the liable party accountable is the chief reason you should contact law enforcement immediately following an accident. The police officer who arrives at the scene will interview any parties involved as well as interview any witnesses who may have seen what happened. They will then examine the crash site to see how debris and skid marks match up with what each person said. 

The officer then writes this in the official police report, which can be used by insurance agencies and car accident attorneys to decide who compensates who.

I Was Involved in a Hit-and-Run. Now What?

A car accident is undoubtedly a negative experience that can be made even worse when the other driver (usually the one at fault) flees the scene. The best case scenario would be security footage of them fleeing the scene or a witness testimony where their license plate was captured. If you have their license plate number, the police can easily track them down, and they will receive additional charges for leaving. 

However, it’s not always that easy, so it’s important to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in your insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to make sure you’re protecting against this situation.

What Can I Get in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

The money awarded in a car accident lawsuit is referred to as damages. The types of damages you can claim in the typical car accident suit are below:

  • Compensatory – Compensatory damages are the most commonly claimed damages in civil suits, and they are meant to pay for the financial losses that the accident has caused you. Property damage to your car and medical bills for your injuries would be included in this list.
  • General – General damages are difficult to quantify since they do not come with a set financial cost. Any mental suffering from the accident would be in this category.
  • Punitive – Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant showed an extreme amount of negligence for the safety of others. Punitive damages are meant as additional punishment so that the defendant does not commit the same acts again.

How Do I Prove Mental Anguish?

Car crashes are scary and take us out of our typical comfort zone. Especially if the accident resulted in severe injuries or death, you can be left with emotional trauma that can take years to learn how to manage. 

A personal injury attorney Newport Beach will tell you that proving mental anguish is more difficult than the average broken bone because there’s no set medical cost to fix it. You can start with visiting a therapist to talk about the accident, and the therapist bills can be covered in your mental anguish claims. You can also start a journal where you document flashbacks and nightmares of the accident. This is helpful evidence of your mental anguish when arguing in court. 

Do I have to Contact Insurance Every Time I’m in a Wreck?

It’s a good idea to contact your insurance agency whenever you’re in an accident, even if it’s a single-car accident. In fact, it’s illegal in some states and can result in penalties if you choose not to contact your insurance agency.  If you were in an accident with another driver, you should contact insurance to serve as backup documentation of the accident. When there are no authority figures involved, your (or the other driver’s) case for compensation turns into a he-said-she-said. 

What Do I Do if I Hit an Animal While Driving?

Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to avoid hitting a wild animal when they run in front of your car. In the event that you strike and kill an animal, you should act the same way you would if it were another car.  You should stop, get out, and take photos to document what happened. You should then contact law enforcement, which is required in some states. A police officer will help you get the animal out of the way of traffic as well as get in touch with animal control services, who will then come pick it up.  If there’s damage to your vehicle, you will need to contact your insurance agency and present your photos. 

What Should I Do if I Need Compensation Following an Accident?

Whenever you’re in a car accident, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer on your side. An experienced car crash attorney will help you gather evidence necessary to make your claim. It is the best thing you can do if you’re planning on seeking compensation for your accident.
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