Getting involved in a car wreck is a frightening experience that can significantly alter your future. Even if you are able to recover from your injuries, a severe accident could have long-term effects on your financial stability, emotional health, and social life. If you are struggling with medical bills, lost work income, or potentially permanent disabilities, you should talk to a skilled personal injury attorney right away.
A Stockton car accident lawyer could help you prove the other party was at fault and hold them financially accountable. Allow our legal team to guide you through every step of the legal process.
How Negligence Works in Stockton Car Accident Cases
The central component of every car accident lawsuit is legal negligence. California Civil Code §1714 broadly defines this as a violation of the responsibility everyone bears for both willful and unintentional acts that lead to injury. All motorists on state roads are required to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
A driver who breaks a traffic law, drives while distracted or impaired, or acts recklessly in any other way has breached their “duty” to others. If that breach leads to an accident, they would be liable for all subsequent injuries and damages, even if they had no intention of causing anyone any harm. “Damages” in this context include both economic and non-economic consequences of an accident.
To successfully prove negligence in a car wreck case, you and your attorney must prove that the other party’s breach of duty caused the accident, and the accident directly caused your damages. An experienced lawyer could provide more detail about the legal concept of negligence.
Potential Obstacles to Recovering Compensation for an Auto Wreck
In a successful legal claim, you could recover compensation for many types of damages. However, lack of insurance, partial fault, and missed deadlines could limit your potential damages award.
Seeking Compensation as an Uninsured Driver
Under state law, every motor vehicle owner must maintain a minimum level of car insurance coverage that could offer compensation to individuals harmed in accidents the policyholder causes. Not only is driving uninsured illegal in Stockton, but it can hinder your chances of obtaining compensation. Under Cal. Civ. Code §3333.4, uninsured drivers cannot seek compensation for non-economic “pain and suffering,” even if another party is entirely to blame for an accident.
Can You Recover Damages if You are Partly Responsible?
If you are deemed partly responsible for the auto accident, the court overseeing the case can reduce your damages award by your percentage of fault. While this does not prohibit you from recovering at least some compensation, it can significantly limit restitution for long-term damages.
The Statute of Limitations
California Code of Civil Procedure §335.1 sets a two-year filing deadline for personal injury claims, meaning you have a maximum of two years after discovering your injuries to file a lawsuit based on negligence. A knowledgeable vehicle collision attorney in Stockton could help you navigate these potential obstacles and maximize your chances of comprehensive recovery.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Stockton Car Accident Attorney
Even if you are able to reach full physical recovery after a car accident, the financial and emotional costs of the incident can linger for months or years. Civil compensation could help you preserve your financial security after a collision. Call a Stockton car accident lawyer today to learn how you could hold the responsible party accountable for your losses.