Experienced Oakland, CA Car Accident Lawyer
In the State of California, a majority of personal injury claims stem from auto incident/accident cases. The following information will feature some of the most important things an injured driver should be aware of when he or she has experienced an auto accident. For the most part, a majority of these types of cases will settle before the case even goes to trial. In some cases, the claim will often settle before a lawsuit is even filed. When it comes to auto accident claim preparation, the pursuing party will need to determine how successful the lawsuit could be and if there is a potential to reach a fair settlement before a lawsuit is filed.
With many years in auto accident experience, our Oakland, CA car accident lawyers have the ability and expertise to swiftly evaluate cases, which is imperative in securing a fair and just settlement offer. As experienced attorneys, we are proud to have successfully won significant settlements and jury verdicts for numerous auto accident victims. This includes the following cases:
- A $2.1 million dollar settlement for a Bay Area man who was injured when the auto service vehicle he was in made a left turn into oncoming traffic in Las Vegas. As a team of professionals, we retained counsel from Las Vegas to assist in the claim, which was done at no additional cost to the victim.
- A case settlement of over half a million dollars for an auto accident victim who sustained a hand injury while traveling in Vancouver, Canada. Again, our firm hired the support of localized attorneys in Canada to assist with the San Francisco-based victim.
- A case settlement of $3.75 million for an injured client who was struck by a San Francisco street sweeper. A surpassed case challenge involved a policy of $500,000 that placed a limit settlement for the client struck by a motor vehicle. The client in this case was in dire need of knee surgery.
How To Obtain the Best Settlement Offer in an Auto Accident Case
Many insurance companies will look into their records in order to determine what a person should receive for a similar claim. Insurers also have experts who will research the claim and determine what the trajectory has been for jury decisions on similar cases. For the most part, insurance companies will look into the history and reputation of the attorney representing the injured party. Many insurance companies will not take a claim seriously if the injured person has not hired an attorney. Simultaneously, insurers will also take into consideration if the hired attorney has a reputation to settle claims quickly. When a personal injury settlement has been made, the settlement is considered full and final. This means that there could be no changes to the settlement once the settlement has been reached and therefore, the process should never be rushed. It is important to not attempt to settle a case until you have received the full treatment of your injury. If for any reason this this is not possible, you should at the very least wait until the condition is stable and your medical caretaker has a reasonable expectation of the outcome of your injury. It is our great reputation with insurers as well as defense attorneys that allows us the ability to successfully reach just settlement offers. Insurance companies and defense attorneys alike know our reputation for vigorously defending our clients and take the claim to a court of law if a just settlement cannot be reached. In some cases, a maximum offer will not be reached unless there is a looming trial date approaching. Our firm has a reputation of taking cases to trial if a reasonable settlement is not offered.
Recent Motor vehicle Accidents in the Oakland Area – October, 2019
- 10/1/19: Woman killed, 4-year-old girl injured in hit-and-run
- 10/4/19: Bicyclist dies in Oakland after colliding with two vehicles
- 10/14/2019: Oakland pastor, visiting Indian archbishop die in car accident
How To Determine If Going To Court Is Necessary in an Vehicle Collision Case
As a result of the complexity of many cases, which includes the dispute of what party was at fault or the sheer size of the claim, many claims will demand a lawsuit to be filed. With our experience, we can help you quickly determine when, and if the case will need to go to court. Despite the fact that a majority of lawsuits will be settled before the case even goes to trial, the entire process can take many months; therefore, it is important to establish when the lawsuit should commence. In the event that it is evident that your case will be headed to trial, we will develop an aggressive approach, and will ultimately seek your full approval to file the case early in the development.
What To Look For In An Auto Accident Attorney
Immense experience, in-depth knowledge, as well as field competence – these skills are a great place to start when looking for a car accident lawyer in Oakland, CA. Another important suggestion would include seeking an attorney whom you can relate to and ultimately feel comfortable with. A reason for this is because it is likely that your will spend a lot of time working with your lawyer, over an extended period. Be sure to make your selection partly based on someone you feel good about and someone you feel comfortable expressing your opinions to.
What Injuries Are Generally Caused By Automotive Accidents?
Auto accident injuries can greatly vary from person to person because of the person’s age, susceptibility to injury, force of impact, and much more. In many auto accident cases, a majority of victims will suffer spinal cord injuries in the lower and upper back, broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and even and muscle lacerations. As an experienced firm, we have knowledge in working with these types of injuries and also have sizeable understanding of the human anatomy and the treatment involved. We have experience in helping our clients obtain the best medical treatment available along with providing our clients with feedback on the doctors seen, what the recommendations being given, and the tests and treatment administered. We also know the best experts to obtain when proving your case as well as how to have your costs prolonged until compensation is recovered. This includes medical charges, radiology, orthopedics, collision reconstruction, and much more. Our Oakland, CA auto accident attorneys are equipped with the utmost experience in auto accident cases and can help you obtain the maximum monetary restitution available for your grievances.
How To Handle A Case Where the Party At-Fault Does Not Have Sufficient Insurance Coverage
For over fifty years, the State of California has maintained the same required minimum liability coverage for bodily injury in auto insurance policies. With the increasing costs of medicine as well as the increase in other expenses, many auto accident victims will find that the at-fault party does not have sufficient coverage in their auto policy. For this issue, there are two prominent solutions. The first is for the victim to obtain underinsured motorist coverage. This is regularly offered when the driver signs up for auto insurance and will typically cost a few dollars more for the added coverage. In the event of an incident, the accident victim will refer to his or her own insurance company for the coverage. The second solution to this dilemma is attempting to obtain an out-of-pocket monetary contribution from the driver at-fault.
Unbeknownst to many accident victims, auto accidents can often involve an affluent at-fault motorist, who did not have the right auto insurance coverage. Seeking an out-of-pocket coverage can be a lengthy process but the majority of these cases do result in a successful payout. As an auto accident victim, you should not have to struggle to cover your recovery expenses: allow us to champion on your behalf and assist you in recuperating what is rightfully yours.
Understanding Traffic Collision Reports in California – The TCR
When the California Highway Patrol or other local law enforcement agency responds to the scene of an accident, the officer will make a written report generally referred to as a Traffic Collision Report or TCR. The majority of police agencies will use a similar form that is laid out in the same way and will cover similar details. Reports are important in an auto accident claim, as they will detail various circumstances that transpired in the collision. In past years, the majority of responding officers would generate a TCR even for small/minor auto accidents. Today, however, reports are not regularly made. Unless there is significant bodily injury, responding agents will only help the parties involved exchange necessary information. In some cases, police officers in the greater Oakland area will not respond to a scene unless there is a report of an injury person or if an auto needs towing because there is severe obstruction.
Diagramming An Auto Accident Scene
Traffic Collision Reports can vary greatly and this will largely result in the details the officer finds to be important. Virtually, all Traffic Collision Reports will have a diagram of the incident scene. This can include measurements of the road in question or other elements such as the location and identification of obstructing debris, area of impact, positions of the vehicles, etc.
The Traffic Collision Report will also contain a summary of statements provided by the parties involved or eyewitnesses. This can sometimes include specific quotes provided by these individuals.
Determining Liability For the Accident
One of the most important parts to be analyzed in a Traffic Collision Report is the Primary Collision Factor. This is the segment of the TCR that states what party the responding officer believes is responsible for the collision. The Primary Collision Factor will always refer to California’s Vehicle Code and will state what laws the at-fault party violated. There is another section in the TCR for “related factors”. This section can be used by the officer to place blame on another party and will also generally cite the Vehicle Code for that violation.
For the most part, insurance companies will refer to the conclusion of the Traffic Collision Report to deal with an auto accident claim. It is important to keep in mind, however, that a Primary Collision Factor is the officer’s personal opinion. This opinion is not binding and is not admissible in court. At Callaway & Wolf, we have encountered various cases where a TCR found a person entirely at-fault for an accident. We have successfully helped these clients obtain monetary compensation for their injuries.
There are, however, portions of the Traffic Collision Report that are admissible in a court of law. They usually go under as a form of business record. Other portions routinely seen as inadmissible can be also used in a court of law under the premise of being a refresher and to aid in the recollection of the testifying police officer. In the State of California, nearly any document can be used for this but cannot be disclosed to the jury.
Traffic Collision Report Preserve Key Information
There are other important functions of a TCR that should be noted. For one, it is the documentation of all parties involved primary contact information as well as their insurance information. Additionally, it serves as the documentation of the name and contact information of witnesses. Many officers will also take pictures of the scene and will include these in the report. In certain cases, the responding officer will also scout the area for the potential of video cameras and seek to preserve those recordings.
How To Obtain a Traffic Collision Report In the Aftermath of An Automobile Crash
Obtaining a TCR can vary depending on the responding agency, since each agency will typically have its own respective policies. Some agencies charge a nominal fee to obtain a copy of the document; others do not but require some sort of petition, which could take several days. TCRs can take many days in order for it to become available. Depending on the agency and even the seriousness of the incident, the TCR can take many months to become available. Furthermore, many TCRs need to be signed off by a supervising agent before they are released, especially in incidents that caused major grievances. When the accident resulted in catastrophic injuries, it is likely that the agency will take their time with the report since there is a likelihood of the case going to litigation, which could implicate the officers for testimony.
In the State of California, What Damages Are Available for An Auto Accident Claim?
A personal injury claim in the State of California will allow an injured person to recover the costs of medical aid that was rendered for any physical, emotional, and mental suffering. It can also cover the costs of damage to a vehicle, or other property in the vehicle. Additionally, it can also cover the victim’s loss of earning capacity and related expenses like transportation costs or at-home care. When a personal injury case involves the untimely death of a person, there are different damages that could be recuperated. These can be based on the surviving family member’s losses in both monetary as well as physical form. If you need assistance in obtaining compensation for any damage caused to your vehicle, this is always done at no cost for our clients who were injured in the City of Oakland.
The State of California’s Statute of Limitations for An Auto Accident Claim
The State of California has a two-year time limit for all vehicle accident claims. This statute of limitations begins from the exact date of the incident and the claim should be filed in court or reached a settlement before the time limit ends. When the case involved a public agency, such as a county vehicle or a city bus, there is an exact six-month time allowance for filing a claim. Cases not properly filed in the allowable time will not be heard, even if they are valid. Although it may seem that there is plenty of time to file a claim, the entire process can be very time consuming. As a professional team, we can help you through the entire process and help to ensure that you have a sturdy foundation for your claim.
How To Determine When To File An Attorney For an Auto Accident Claim
For the majority of personal injury cases in California, attorney fees are contingent. This means that the attorney will charge his or her fee based on a set percentage of the recovery and is therefore only payable if there is a recovery. An attorney’s fee will not be determined based on when the attorney is hired, therefore, it is important to seek the support of the experienced team of attorneys at Callaway & Wolf straight away.
Does It Always Make Sense to Hire An Attorney After An Accident?
Hiring an attorney does not always add value to a case. If there are substantial damages and there is little to no money available in an insurance coverage, an auto accident attorney may not be able to do much for a case. We are well aware of this and will do all we can to elude taking a case unless there is a need to be represented for sufficient compensation. The Oakland car accident attorneys at Callaway & Wolf will immediately tell you if it is evident that your case does not need legal representation.
Hire an Experienced Vehicle Collision Attorney In the City of Oakland, CA
In the event that you or someone you know has suffered an injury because of an auto accident, you can request a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys in Oakland by calling (510) 603-4988. Contact the attorneys at Callaway & Wolf online for a free consultation.