Van Nuys Car Accident Lawyer
You have to drive to get anywhere in L.A., which means virtually everyone drives. But some drivers are much more skilled than others and your commute to Hollywood from your home in Van Nuys can sometimes be a white-knuckle adventure through dozens of potential hazards. You’re always alert and don’t dare look at your phone while you’re driving, but all it takes is another careless driver to change your life forever. That’s why it’s a good idea to be prepared ahead of time.
When someone else is at fault for your injuries resulting from an automobile accident, you have the right to seek monetary compensation. And if you played a role in your California car accident, you have a right to get paid for the portion you didn’t cause (which can still be A LOT of money in many cases). The cost of living in Van Nuys is pretty high, so you can’t afford to miss a week or more of work and high hospital bills, not to mention the cost of fixing your car. Working with a top Van Nuys car accident lawyer at Walch Law can help ensure success in filing your claim.
Make sure you’re prepared ahead of that accident by reading the following primer on the importance of working with legal counsel, how liability is determined, the different types of damages you may claim, and more.Determining Fault for Your Van Nuys Car Accident
Since car accidents are quite common, California law requires motorists to carry a base level of liability insurance in the event they cause damage or bodily injury to others. When someone is liable, it means they’ve been determined to be at-fault for the other party’s injuries and are thus legally required to compensate them for their losses. The monetary cost of those injuries is referred to as damages.
Liability for car accidents may be established in a few different ways, although the most common by far is negligence. The four main types of fault in car accidents are:
- Negligence (general carelessness)
- Recklessness (the person knew or should have known their actions could injure others)
- Intent (they intended to cause harm)
- Strict liability (a party is responsible for injuries regardless of intent or carelessness, such as automobile manufacturers)
It’s very rare that someone intends to cause injury by causing an accident, while strict liability may come into play for known automobile defects. Reckless is more common, but much less so than your standard case of negligence. While recklessness may involve an at-fault party who’s drag racing or doing something inherently hazardous, negligence is standard carelessness. To be negligent is to owe someone a duty of care (a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner), such as driving the speed limit and watching for others.
In order to prove your claim, even if it settles out of court (as most do), you’ll have to prove the presence of the following elements:
- Defendant (at-fault driver) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (injured party)
- Defendant breached that duty
- Plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by this breach
- Defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of the injury(ies), which means the plaintiff wouldn’t have suffered those injuries if not for the defendant’s breach
- Plaintiff has suffered actual damages, such as bodily injury and lost wages
The law can get complicated, which is why it’s always a smart idea to work with the highly successfully team at Walch Law when your claim is complicated or involves serious injuries.Claiming Damages for Your Van Nuys Car Accident
So how much will an accident set you back and how much is your case worth? These are very important questions we get from our clients every day. Some of the more obvious losses include medical expenses (even if your own insurer covers them, they’ll want to be reimbursed), any modifications that have to made to your home, and lost wages. But since injuries can have a ripple effect on various aspects of your life, you’ll want to work with your Van Nuys car accident lawyer to determine other, not-so-obvious losses as well.
Depending on your situation, you also may be able to claim the following damages:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future earning potential
- Loss of consortium (intimacy and affection)
Driving in the Los Angeles area carries quite a bit of risk, but you shouldn’t be left holding the bag when someone else’s carelessness is to blame for your injuries. Make sure you have adequate legal representation. The experienced legal professionals at the Law Offices of Gary K. Walch, a Law Corporation will help you get the maximum value of your claim. The father-son team of lawyers at Walch Law have a 95%+ success rate and are always available to work with you and update you on the status of your case. Unlike some of the bigger law firms out there that pass you onto support staff and you never hear from, we give you our direct numbers and emails. We know the time following a major accident is difficult and we are here to make thing easier on you—give Walch Law a call today to find out why we are the right choice to handle your Van Nuys car accident case!