You’ve been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident where someone else is at fault. The medical bills are piling up; and because of your injuries, you can’t work, so you can’t earn the money to pay your bills.
In California, you have a right to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses resulting from your car accident. The big question for most accident victims is: “Will I be able to get enough compensation for my injury to cover my current and future expenses?”
Speak With an Car Accident Attorney
The best course of action would be to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Manhattan Beach who has extensive experience with auto accident claims. They have the knowledge, expertise and resources to successfully negotiate with the insurance companies to get you the compensation you require for your pain and suffering.
Remember, insurance companies are in business to make a profit. They aren’t interested in a “fair” settlement; they want to pay as little as possible to protect their bottom line.
In California, you must prove the other driver in the accident was at fault in order to seek compensation for an insurance claim. A good car accident attorney knows how to gather and present the evident to establish fault.
California law also allows a judge and/or jury to apply what is called “comparative negligence” when awarding damages. This means that the court can apply a certain percentage of fault to each party, and the damages you can recover are proportional to the degree of fault (if any) you had in the accident.
For example, if you suffer $10,000 worth of damages, but the court finds you to be 10 percent responsible for the accident, then your recovery will be limited to only $9,000.
Compensatory Damages for Auto Accidents in California
The term “damages” refers to the compensation you seek for your injuries. Compensatory damages fall into two categories: special damages and general damages.
Special damages are economic losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, car rentals and property damage to which you can assign a specific dollar amount. General damages include noneconomic damages such as pain, suffering, disfigurement and impairment, reduced quality of life, loss of companionship and emotional distress.
Calculating Your Pain and Suffering – the Multiplier and Per Diem Methods
There are two ways to help you calculate the amount of damages you should receive: the multiplier method and per diem method.
Juries, attorneys and insurance adjusters frequently rely on the multiplier method to calculate the amount of reimbursement a person should receive for their pain and suffering. The multiplier method takes the total amount of your special damages and multiplies them from anywhere between 1 to 5 times, depending on the severity of your injuries.
The per diem (per day) method determines your pain and suffering by assigning a per day dollar rate to calculate your damages.
Get Help From Manhattan Beach Auto Accident Lawyers
How much compensation you receive for your pain and suffering as a result of an auto accident depends upon a lot of factors. The facts in every case are different. One thing is for sure: you have a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve with the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.
The law firm of Dinsmore and Sandelmann, LLP has been serving the residents of Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Lawndale for over 25 years. Our car accident attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering and financial losses. We handle all car, truck and motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis, so there are no up-front costs to you and we only collect our fee after you’ve won your case.
Recent Auto Accident Case Result
Over the years, we have helped many accident victims maximize their recoveries in even the most complex auto injury claims. In one recent case, our client’s car was side-swiped in an intersection when another driver ran a red light, then proceeded to flee the scene. Five years before the accident, our client had a spinal fusion that caused minor continuing weakness in the right upper arm. The car accident resulted in a new injury in an area of the spine made vulnerable by the prior disc fusion. Our client had to have another surgery for this new injury.
The hit and run driver was eventually picked up by the police. His insurance company and their defense lawyers fought the claim for compensatory damages extremely hard, hiring an expert to testify that all of our client’s injuries were pre-existing. Scott Dinsmore also asserted a claim for punitive damages based on other driver’s apparent intoxication (he claimed he did not even know he was in an accident) and failure to stop. The driver was convicted of felony failure to stop and render aid and driving on a suspended license for prior DUIs.
The negligent driver ultimately paid $25,000 of his own money, and the insurance company paid an additional $375,000 to settle the case.
We can’t promise you a multi-million dollar settlement. What we can promise is that we will fight to get you the best settlement possible for your case. Call us today at (310) 318-1220 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Manhattan Beach car accident attorneys. The sooner you speak with us, the sooner our team can go to work for you.