Mission Viejo is a bustling city frequently plagued by heavy traffic. It is inevitable that car accidents will happen in this city from time to time. The nature of car accidents can sometimes make it difficult to establish fault. When this happens, it is necessary to contact Mission Viejo car accident lawyers to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Under California law, the plaintiff (the driver who initiates the lawsuit) is responsible for proving that the other driver demonstrated negligence. For this reason, it is important that the plaintiff’s car accident lawyer examine the details of the accident with great scrutiny. If it is revealed that the other driver was slightly intoxicated, driving over the speed limit, talking on their cell phone, or engaging in any other distracting activity behind the wheel, it may serve as evidence of negligence on their part. Driving an improperly maintained vehicle can also be considered negligence. Burned-out headlights, broken turn signals, and malfunctioning brakes are just a few things that can serve as evidence of negligence.
<strong>California Laws on Car Accident Damages</strong>
California law allows plaintiffs to seek compensation for three separate types of damages. <i>Actual damages</i> include all direct costs incurred as a result of the accident such as car repairs, property damage, and medical costs. <i>Economic losses</i> are wages lost due to missing work or a reduced earning capacity. Injuries and transportation problems caused by car accidents frequently result in missed work days or decreased job performance. For drivers who are already living on a tight budget, this can be a serious detriment. Finally, <i>emotional and physical pain and suffering</i> encompasses the decreased quality of life resulting from the after-effects of a car accident. Lifelong pain resulting from severe car accidents is not uncommon; such a situation warrants compensation beyond simply paying the medical bills. Car accidents can take a mental toll as well; highly traumatic accidents may lead to the development of anxiety, phobias, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.
<strong>Understanding Comparative Negligence in California</strong>
California law recognizes the comparative negligence doctrine, which means that when responsibility for a car accident is split between both drivers, they are both entitled to compensation based on their percentage of responsibility. An example of such an accident would be if a driver were to run a red light, but subsequently get hit by another driver who was exceeding the speed limit, and could not slow down in time. If you were involved in an accident that was not entirely your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
California’s laws can sometimes be difficult to navigate, as can the mess of the insurance company’s red tape. This is why it is so important for ordinary citizens to have effective legal counsel on their side when dealing with car accident lawsuits. Contact a Mission Viejo car accident lawyer today to ensure that you are not swindled out of the compensation to which you are entitled.