Being involved in a Sacramento car accident can be overwhelming. Even when no one is seriously injured, dealing with the property damage claims can be time-consuming and frustrating. Minor injuries can result in significant medical bills and lost wages. Traumatic injuries could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and life-altering conditions.
The first step in recovering reimbursement for your financial losses and compensation for your damages is to file an injury claim with the insurance company for the other driver. However, what happens when the insurance company blames you for causing the accident?
Who Has to Pay for a Car Accident in California?
California uses a fault-based theory for automobile accidents. The party, usually one of the drivers, who is responsible for causing the crash is liable for any damages arising from the crash. Damages in an automobile crash typically fall into one of two categories: financial damages and non-economic damages.
Financial damages are the expenses and costs related to the accident and injuries as well as any financial losses caused by the accident and injuries. Examples of financial damages that are common in car accident cases include:
- Medical expenses, including doctor’s bills, hospital stays, surgeries, therapy, medications, and medical equipment
- Loss of income, including past and future loss of income and diminished earning potential
- Property damage to the vehicle and other personal property
- Cost of personal care and assistance with household chores
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and costs, such as travel expenses to and from doctor’s visits
Non-economic damages are often referred to as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering include a victim’s physical, emotional, and mental suffering caused by the auto accident and the injuries. It can also include permanent impairments, disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement caused by the injuries sustained in the crash. It can be very difficult to place a value on a person’s pain and suffering after a traffic accident. An experienced Sacramento car accident attorney understands the complexities of calculating noneconomic damages and how to maximize the recovery for these damages by using the facts of the case.
In most cases, the insurance company for the at-fault driver pays the injury claim for a victim. However, the insurance companies attempt to lessen their liability in several ways, including blaming the other driver for causing the accident.
Why Would the Insurance Company Try to Blame Me for the Accident?
Under California’s comparative fault laws, a driver who is at-fault for an accident cannot recover compensation for damages from the other driver. Furthermore, if a driver is partially at fault for causing a car crash, the compensation paid to that driver can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the driver.
Therefore, if the insurance company can prove that you were at least partially at fault for the cause of the crash, it can lower the amount it pays to you for your claim. For example, if your damages total $200,000, but you are found to be 50 percent at fault for the crash, the most you can receive for your claim is $100,000.
Insurance companies try to use comparative fault laws to decrease the amount they must pay to accident victims. Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of you. Talk to a California car accident attorney immediately if the insurance company tries to blame you for causing the crash.
Contact Our Sacramento Car Accident Attorneys for Help
Contact our Sacramento car accident attorneys for a free consultation by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.