Getting involved in a car accident can be a stressful experience. Thousands of such accidents are reported in California every year, and many crashes result in serious injuries and fatalities, besides extensive property damage. After an accident in Stockton, you need to report the crash to California DMV within 10 days, if there was death, injuries, and/or property damage worth $1,000 (or more) was involved. Make sure that you call 911 and the police from the accident scene. Apart from all that, talking to a Stockton car accident attorney can really help your case. In this post, we are sharing more on why an attorney is important for your circumstances.
There Is Limited Time
Like other states, California also has a statute of limitations, which only allows 2 years to file personal injury lawsuits after a car accident. If the accident resulted in death, family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit within 2 years. The clock starts counting from the date of death, which may not be the same as date of accident. Most of the crucial evidence is likely to disappear soon after the accident, which is precisely why you need an attorney. An accident attorney can investigate the matter, ensure that you have the necessary help, so that a claim or lawsuit can be filed within time.
When You Are Partly At Fault
California is a “pure comparative negligence” state. What does that mean? If you were partially at fault for the accident but suffered injuries, you can still file a claim for compensation and damages. However, your eventual settlement will be reduced by your share of fault. Unlike states that follow the modified comparative accident rule, you can file a lawsuit in California, even when your share of fault is more than 50%. You have to consult an attorney to know if you have a valid case in the first place.
Maximizing Your Settlement
Another key reason to hire a car accident attorney is to negotiate with the insurance company. Insurance companies often try tactics to minimize their financial burden of the claim, and you need a legal expert on your side to see through all of that. Your attorney is in charge of ensuring that your settlement is maximized.
Meeting a car accident attorney in Stockton doesn’t have to cost anything, and if your case is strong enough, your lawyer will agree to work on a contingency basis.