Accidents involving motor vehicles happen nearly every minute of every day. Many result in injuries. Some of these injuries are catastrophic, some are deadly. When you or someone you love is involved in a serious accident your first thought may not be to hire a lawyer, but perhaps it should be. Blackman Legal Groupattorneys are available to meet you at our convenient offices located throughout California. Click here for office locations.
DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?
When you have been wronged your impulse is to want justice now, or you may simply want the ordeal to end. Perhaps you considered accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. A quick and early settlement might be swift, but most likely it won’t be fair and it won’t provide justice. For justice to prevail, your case needs to be analyzed and prepared by an experienced attorney, who will, if necessary, present it in a court of law. A clear and strong presentation requires the involvement of a law firm capable of a diligent investigation, that has experience in dealing with the issues in your case, and expertise handling cases involving serious injury, disability and/or death.
Accidents involving motor vehicles, car accidents frequently result in injuries, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of income, property damage and other inconveniences and expenses. There are many interrelated laws governing such accidents in California. In theory, it may seem that it would be easy to figure out who is at fault. In reality, the issue of fault – who should pay damages and how much – is complex. For example, when more than one party is potentially responsible for your injury you may inadvertently release all parties by settling with just one. Additionally, if you receive a damage award from the responsible party, you may be expected to reimburse your insurers for the payments they made to you. This is called subrogation and it is intended to ensure that you do not receive a double recovery. The Blackman Legal Group understands the intricacies of the law and can help you to avoid potential pitfalls on your way to recovery.
Whether your accident involves a car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, moped, snowmobile, plane, boat, wave runner, water craft, train or pedestrian the issues involved in a motor vehicle accident fall into two broad basic categories: liability or fault and damages.
LIABILITY: WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?
The idea of fault in a motor vehicle case generally revolves around the issue of negligence. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable due care to avoid a foreseeable harm to a person, place, or thing. The care due is based upon the particular situation you are in. In short, you are expected to behave with the care that a reasonable person would exercise in that situation. A reasonable person generally would not drive their car in such a way that they would be likely to injure someone. A person who behaves in an unreasonable or negligent way is responsible for the injuries and/or damages that result.
It sounds simple. But, what if the weather was particularly bad the night of the accident? What if your vehicle malfunctioned due to design flaw? What if the other driver’s vehicle malfunctioned due to an error by the repair shop? What if the road was in poor condition or the signs were confusing or misleading? What if more than two vehicles are involved in the accident? What if there is only one vehicle involved? What if one of the drivers had been drinking all night at a bar before the accident? What if they had been drinking at someone’s house? What if that drunk driver was not the one who caused the accident? What if you or your loved one were partly to blame?
The questions and answers in an accident seldom follow textbook examples. Accidents are often the result of a number of factors. A motor vehicle accident may involve negligence on the part of one or more drivers, a repair shop, a vehicle manufacturer, or even the State of California. The accident may also involve issues ofproduct liability, liquor liability and/or intentional or reckless conduct. Because the issues surrounding liability in an accident can be complicated, when you or a loved one are in an accident it is imperative that you take immediate action to preserve your rights. That is why you need an experienced lawyer with the resources to examine all of the issues surrounding your accident. The attorneys at the Blackman Legal Group have the experience and resources to preserve evidence related to your claim, thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, and ensure that you have access to physicians and other expert witnesses who will thoroughly evaluate your injuries and provide you with the most appropriate care so that you can concentrate on your recovery.
DAMAGES: HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?
Although an accident can occur in minutes, the financial, legal and emotional toll can last a lifetime. When you or a loved one are involved in a serious accident there will likely be days when you think that no amount of money will compensate you for the losses you have suffered. And there may be days when you are tempted to take what ever money an insurance adjuster offers you just so you can get some of your bills paid. An experienced attorney can not only help you to sort through the liability issues surrounding your claim but also help you to better understand the types of damages you are entitled to.
Contrary to what you might think, there is no chart that predetermines the damages you are entitled to in a motor vehicle accident. Rather, damages are awarded to injured parties based upon California law. Under the law when you are injured by another you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries. Such compensatory damages include pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of income, the cost of replacement services, loss of consortium, and damage to property. Some of these damages may have been paid by your medical insurance, disability insurance, and the insurance on your vehicle. Nevertheless, the party responsible for your injuries is still liable for the damages.
At the Blackman Legal Group it is our policy to help our clients recover physically as much as possible before initiating their claim. We believe that it is crucial to have a good understanding of the permanent medical issues, disability, pain, and suffering our clients will face in the future. While you concentrate on getting better we use our experience, expertise, and knowledge of medical, rehabilitative, and economic experts to ensure that all areas of liability and damages are thoroughly examined so that you receive the maximum monetary recovery for your injuries.
WILL MY CASE GO TO TRIAL?
Contrary to what you see on television, it is unlikely that you can walk into a lawyer’s office one day and expect to be in trial the next day. Even if you could, such expediency would not be desirable. Careful preparation is the key to success in a lawsuit. And, you may be surprised to find that generally when a case is well prepared for trial it is more likely to settle. Our firm provides a team to investigate and prepare your case so that we can obtain the best possible outcome for you. As a general rule, once we feel that you have reached maximum medical improvement and we have fully investigated your claim, we will initiate settlement discussions with the appropriate parties. If the defendant fails to make a settlement offer we feel is appropriate to recommend to you, we will recommend commencing a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is commenced there will still be several additional opportunities to discuss settlement before trial. If the settlement discussions do not prove fruitful, our experience in trying motor vehicle cases will ensure that you get the best possible representation.
When you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need an experienced legal team on your side. At The Blackman Legal Group we take the time to ensure that our clients receive the care they need to obtain the maximum physical and financial recovery for their injuries. Contact Us Today!