Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer

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Bakersfield Auto Accident Attorney

Car accidents happen every day in the Bakersfield area and throughout the state. While some of these accidents are relatively easy to resolve and do not result in more than minor vehicle damage, others are much more devastating and result in life-changing injuries to those involved. The recovery process after a car accident is typically an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury claim if the victim cannot obtain a complete recovery through insurance alone. Even if this sounds like a straightforward process, attempting to manage it alone while recovering from your accident would be incredibly difficult and unlikely to yield the results you hope to see.

Helping Car Accident Victims Recover in Bakersfield, CA

When you choose the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, to represent you in a Bakersfield car accident claim, you have access to years of professional experience in California personal injury law. Our team has represented many past clients throughout the Bakersfield area in all manner of personal injury claims, including those pertaining to motor vehicle accidents. We take time to develop uniquely tailored legal solutions for every client we represent, and we’re ready to provide the comprehensive support and guidance you need in your impending civil case.

Common Causes for Auto Accidents in Bakersfield, CA

It’s possible for a driver to cause an accident that only affects themselves, and in such a case, they would be responsible for handling the aftermath on their own. When a driver causes an accident that affects another party, they are liable for all the damages they cause. A few of the most commonly cited causes of car accidents that generate complex legal proceedings in the Bakersfield area include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Any driver caught operating their vehicle while intoxicated faces a wide range of penalties, including fines, jail time, and loss of their driving privileges. These penalties increase significantly if the driver caused an accident and hurt or killed anyone.
  • Distracted driving, which accounts for most of the car accidents reported each year. Despite the state’s ban on cell phone use behind the wheel, inattentive driving continues to be the leading cause of all car crashes throughout the United States.
  • Moving violations, such as failing to stop for a stop sign or performing an illegal U-turn. These actions can startle nearby drivers when the flow of traffic is suddenly disrupted. Moving violations in busy places, especially intersections, tend to cause multi-car collisions.
  • It’s relatively common for drivers to slightly exceed posted speed limits; however, it’s vital to understand the significant risks a driver faces when they intentionally disregard speed limits. The driver will have much less time and distance in which to slow down or stop to avoid a crash. Speeding is a major contributing factor to the number of fatal car crashes in the state each year.

You may recall exactly how your recent car accident happened, or you may have been so severely injured that you have no recollection of the moments leading up to the accident and no idea who caused it. Whatever your case may be, the team at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, can help you firmly establish fault for the accident and secure the compensation you deserve.

Proving Liability for Your Recent Car Accident in Bakersfield, CA

Before you can proceed with an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury case against the driver who caused your car accident, you must prove fault. This requires accurate identification of the party or parties responsible for the collision in question. This is easier in some cases than others, but a good Bakersfield car accident attorney can help their client uncover whatever evidence they need to prove liability.

Accident scene evidence, eyewitness statements from those involved and bystanders who saw the accident happen, and various types of digital evidence may all come into play in a contested car accident case. For example, a traffic camera may have captured the at-fault driver looking at their cell phone immediately before the accident. Cell phone records could then confirm they were distracted, and their distraction directly resulted in the accident in question.

Proving fault is not always this straightforward, especially in car accident cases involving multiple drivers. For example, one driver may hit another and propel that driver into a third vehicle. In this situation, the first driver is likely to be liable for both of the other drivers’ damages. However, if the second driver is found to have been negligent in any way, they may share fault with the first driver.

It is also possible for a plaintiff to bear partial responsibility for the car accident they experienced. The state enforces a pure comparative negligence rule that allows a plaintiff to recover compensation even if they bear partial liability for causing their damages. There is no threshold of fault that would bar the plaintiff’s recovery, but the higher the plaintiff’s fault percentage, the more they lose from their final case award and the more vulnerable they are to a countersuit from the defendant.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in Bakersfield, CA

California law requires every driver in the state to have auto insurance coverage. A driver pays a monthly premium to maintain their insurance policy, and the policy is essentially a paid-for promise that the insurance company will provide compensation if a covered event should occur. California also uses the fault system when it comes to car accidents, so car insurance must include bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. At a minimum, a driver’s auto insurance policy must provide at least $15,000 in coverage for bodily injury liability for a single person in an accident caused by the policyholder, and this coverage must extend to at least $30,000 in coverage of bodily injury liability for the total accident. The policy must also provide at least $5,000 in liability coverage for property damage to pay for vehicle repair costs.

It is vital for anyone who intends to file an auto insurance claim to remember that the insurance company has no incentive to approve the full amount of coverage under the at-fault driver’s policy, and it is wise to prepare for some level of resistance against your claim. Many insurance companies prey on claimants’ desperation to avoid paying out what they legally owe. However, if you have legal counsel and your attorney helps you draft your demand letter to the insurance company, they are far more likely to handle your claim efficiently and in good faith.

The process of filing an auto insurance claim may seem straightforward, but you have a very limited time in which to file your claim and face many risks if you attempt to handle this part of your recovery on your own. The pressure to file an auto insurance claim as soon as possible in the face of mounting economic losses, unfortunately, compels many accident victims to accept lowball settlement offers out of desperation. For some victims, insurance isn’t an option at all. California has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country.

Ultimately, if you are able to file an auto insurance claim in response to your recent car accident in Bakersfield, your attorney will be invaluable when it comes to streamlining the claim process and securing as much compensation as possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance. When insurance alone cannot compensate the total amount of your damages, or if the defendant does not have auto insurance, you can proceed with a personal injury claim against them.

How to Build Your Personal Injury Case After a Car Accident in Bakersfield, CA

Most of the personal injury claims filed each year arise from acts of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care. Some claims are the results of intentional misconduct or even criminal acts intended to do harm. Whatever the root cause of your case may be, an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney is an invaluable asset if you plan to pursue legal recourse against the driver who injured you.

To succeed with a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove the full scope of compensation they are seeking from the defendant, and they must prove the defendant is directly responsible for the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff must prove causation, meaning they must offer sufficient evidence to prove that their accident would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence or misconduct.

The state provides a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. If you plan to file a personal injury claim in response to your recent car accident, you must do so within two years of the date of the accident. This likely seems like more than enough time for your claim, but it’s always best to start as soon as possible to have the best chance of success.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, excel at handling complex civil claims for damages, including those resulting from motor vehicle accidents. We have helped many past clients in the Bakersfield area file their auto insurance claims, and when this isn’t enough to compensate our client’s losses, we help them build effective personal injury claims that seek compensation for their outstanding damages.

Economic Damages in Your Civil Suit

Most people are able to accurately calculate the immediately recognizable losses resulting from a car accident, such as their vehicle repair costs and hospital bills for treatment of their injuries. However, the full scope of economic harm from the accident may not be immediately apparent. If you want to recover as fully as state law allows, it is wise to have an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney handling your recovery efforts on your behalf.

When you are able to file a personal injury claim in response to the car accident you experienced, you can claim full compensation for all of the losses the defendant caused. This includes immediately recognizable economic damages as well as those likely to manifest in the future as direct results of the accident.

Immediately recognizable losses in most car accident cases include vehicle repair costs, medical bills for treatment of the victim’s injuries, and lost income while they are unable to work. The average person may be able to identify these immediately noticeable losses, but they are likely to struggle when it comes to calculating the full long-term impact of an accident. Your attorney will be instrumental in helping you secure full repayment of:

  • Medical expenses, both immediately after your accident and any costs associated with necessary ongoing treatments. If you are left in critical condition from your accident, the defendant could face extensive liability for your long-term medical treatment costs. Your Bakersfield car accident attorney will assist you in gathering the medical documentation you must produce to establish the full range of medical expenses resulting from your accident.
  • Lost income and lost earning potential. A car accident can easily leave the victim unable to work for weeks or months until they recover, and some victims will be unable to return to work at all due to the severity of their injuries. If the defendant in your claim caused you to miss work for any amount of time, they are responsible for the wages you were unable to earn during this time. If you cannot return to work at all, they are liable for your lost future earning capacity. Your attorney can help you calculate the future income you could have earned and hold the defendant accountable for these unrealized losses.
  • Property damage is also commonly cited in personal injury claims related to car accidents. An at-fault driver’s auto insurance may cover some of the victim’s repair bills, but a minimum coverage policy is unlikely to compensate for the total cash value of the victim’s car. Any property losses not covered by the defendant’s insurance can be included in the victim’s personal injury claim.

Once you have an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney handling your case, you will be far more likely to maximize the total compensation you receive for your economic damage. However, your recovery does not stop there when you have the right attorney on your side. You can also claim compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering

You may not know how to assign a monetary value to an abstract loss like physical pain, emotional distress, or psychological trauma resulting from a serious accident. Pain is subjective, and it can be difficult to objectively assess anyone’s psychological state after a traumatic event. The state recognizes pain and suffering as compensable losses in a personal injury case, and an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney can help their client determine a suitable figure based on the severity of the client’s experience. There are two main methods attorneys typically use to calculate appropriate pain and suffering for their clients:

  1. The per diem method is typically suited to injured plaintiffs who are expected to make full recoveries relatively quickly. This type of pain and suffering compensation awards a specific amount each day for the duration of the plaintiff’s recovery. For example, the plaintiff may be awarded $300 per day in per diem pain and suffering compensation; 100 days in recovery would translate to $30,000 in pain and suffering compensation.
  2. The multiplier method is more commonly used in cases involving severe or permanent damage. The attorney multiplies the client’s total economic damages by a factor reflective of the severity of their experience. For example, an attorney could multiply their client’s damages by five or more to reflect the severity of permanent harm done by the defendant. If the plaintiff claimed $200,000 in economic losses, their pain and suffering compensation might be several times this amount.

If you’ve experienced a motor vehicle accident, including car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, our attorneys can help you navigate the legal process. We also handle cases related to rideshare accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and wrongful death claims.

When you have an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney handling your case, you are more likely to maximize the total compensation you receive from the defendant. Your legal team will help you accurately calculate your claimable economic damages and build a compelling case seeking maximum pain and suffering compensation on your behalf.

Benefits of Trustworthy Legal Counsel After a Car Accident in Bakersfield, CA

There may not be a strict legal requirement to hire an attorney after a car accident, but doing so will dramatically improve the results you reach in all of the recovery efforts you attempt after the accident. If you tried to manage your recovery on your own, you would struggle with the pain of your injuries, mounting economic pressure on your household, and demanding procedural requirements in the civil court all at once.

Contact Our Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyers Today

The attorneys at the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, provide compassionate legal counsel to injured drivers in Bakersfield and surrounding communities. We know the challenges you are likely to encounter as you pursue compensation for the damages another driver caused. Our goal is to empower your recovery and help you navigate all your recovery efforts as efficiently as possible, maximizing your final recovery. Contact the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, today and schedule a free consultation with a Bakersfield car accident attorney you can trust.

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