Posted by Prosmushkin & Davis, P.C. on 04/26/2021

Anticipated Compensation for a Car Accident

Anticipated Compensation for a Car Accident

Car accidents can be devastating, leading to severe long-term injuries or even death.  Millions of people are injured in motor vehicle-related accidents every year.  There were more than 36,000 fatalities that occurred in the year 2019 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Many victims require expensive medications, hospitalization, surgery and long-term treatment.  Passengers of vehicles that are involved in car accidents often experience severe consequences but may be unsure where to turn to for help. Many passengers of motor vehicle accidents have the misconception that they cannot seek compensation for their own injuries and other damages.  As a passenger, you had no control over the car accident and were helpless.  You deserve proper compensation the same as any other victim of a motor vehicle accident.  Continue reading to learn more about how car accident damages are assessed and what you should do to get personal injury compensation.

Seeking Personal Injury Compensation as a Passenger in a Car Accident.

California is an at-fault insurance state. In at-fault states, injury victims need to file their car accident claim with the liable driver’s insurance company. This is known as a third-party car insurance claim. It can be tricky and challenging to deal with insurance agencies. You should consider consulting a dependable car accident attorney Beverly Hills residents rely on for legal help. They will assist you in getting the compensation that you deserve. The advantage of an at-fault insurance state versus a no-fault insurance state is that, in a no-fault state, a passenger’s compensation is generally limited to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage carried by the driver of the vehicle the passenger was riding in unless injuries are severe enough to meet the state’s threshold for allowing an at-fault suit to proceed. In an at-fault state, the passenger can seek compensation from either driver, or if liability is shared among drivers, both driver’s insurance policies.

Here are some of the factors that often contribute to car accidents:

  • Driver negligence - As a passenger, you can file a claim against the liable driver of the car.

  • Mechanical failure - In some instances, the vehicle manufacturer can be held liable for the accident if a defect was responsible for it. The vehicle manufacturer is responsible for proper engineering and construction of the vehicle. If defective parts or manufacturing are at least partly responsible, you may be able to file a claim against them in some circumstances, as well.

  • Negligent Entrustment - In most cases, a negligent driver of a motor vehicle will be held liable for their own actions, even if driving another person’s motor vehicle. In some cases, however, a claim against the owner of the car can be brought if the car was “negligently entrusted” to another who the owner knew was incompetent or unfit to operate the vehicle.  This can occur when the driver is violating a law, such as operating without a license or under the influence of alcohol and the situation is known to the owner of the vehicle.

  • Employer errors - Typically, when a vehicle is being used for commercial purposes, the victim of a motor vehicle accident may file a claim against the driver’s employer.  Legal issues often arise as to whether the driver was engaged in his employment duties or was otherwise authorized to be operating the vehicle at the time of the accident.  Another issue might be whether the driver is an “employee” under the law or was acting as an “independent contractor.”  These characterizations matter when assigning liability among parties. 

How Much Compensation Should Be Expected From the Accident?

The amount of compensation a victim is entitled to will depend on various factors, most importantly the severity of injuries.  Here are the types of compensation you can recover in a car accident: 

Medical expenses - A car accident may result in permanent and long-term injuries. The car injury claim will help you recover compensation for the accident and make it easier for you to pay medical bills.  Medical bills may include the cost of diagnostic tests, scans, physical therapy, surgical procedures, and other treatments.  It will also include the anticipated costs of future medical treatments, as well. 

Lost wages and income - Injuries can be severe and may prevent you from returning to work.  It may take months or years to recover completely.  In some instances, victims experience long term disability and will no longer be able to maintain gainful employment.  You can recover current and future lost income with personal injury compensation.  The purpose of personal injury compensation is to make you “economically whole” when the consequences of an accident have caused financial turmoil. 

Pain and suffering - This is a form of non-economic damages. You can recover compensation for pain and emotional suffering caused by the accident.

Financial Loss

Injuries caused by car accidents may prevent you from working and earning an income, which can in turn lead to financial distress.  You can seek compensation to recover financial losses.  You should keep a record of all medical treatment and tests.  You should also maintain a log of any work that is missed due to the accident, whether to recover from injuries or to seek medical treatment.  This evidence can be used to prove the amount of damages you are entitled to.  Contact an experienced Beverly Hills personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for your motor vehicle accident.  The lawyer will also help you determine who is liable and how to file a claim for compensation against them.  In some instances, you may even have to file a lawsuit. A lawyer will assist you at each step to ensure that you get a fair and appropriate settlement.

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