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Santa Monica Car Accident Lawyer

Santa Monica Car Accident Lawyer

Auto Accident Attorney in Santa Monica, CA

Car accidents happen every day in the Santa Monica area, and the fault for these incidents isn’t always clear. While some drivers make mistakes behind the wheel and cause injuries to themselves, many other car accidents are the result of other drivers’ negligence and misconduct behind the wheel. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident another driver caused, you could seek accountability for your damages.

Helping Santa Monica Car Accident Victims Recover Their Losses

The process of recovering from a serious car accident will differ for every victim, but the recovery process will almost always begin with an insurance claim. If insurance alone cannot cover the victim’s losses, a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver is likely to be an essential next step for ensuring an appropriate recovery. The attorneys at Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, have the experience necessary to guide you through the full range of the legal proceedings ahead of you when you must hold another driver accountable for the damage you suffered.

Our team has a solid reputation as an experienced, responsive, and compassionate personal injury firm representing a wide range of cases for clients in the Santa Monica area. As one of California’s busiest metropolitan areas, car accidents are common, and many victims are unaware of the legal options available to them that can help them recover. Our firm can help you understand what to expect as you pursue compensation for the losses you sustained in your car accident and maximize your recovery.

Commonly Reported Causes of Car Accidents in Santa Monica, CA

If another driver is responsible for causing your recent car accident, you must firmly establish their liability before you can secure any kind of compensation from them. The state’s fault rule applies to car insurance claims, but you must also establish liability if you must later pursue a personal injury claim to ensure complete recovery. Your Santa Monica car accident attorney will be essential when liability isn’t immediately clear, but no matter how straightforward you expect your case to be, it is always best to approach the situation armed with the legal representation you trust.

A few of the commonly cited causes of motor vehicle accidents in Santa Monica that generate contested insurance claims and subsequent personal injury cases include:

  • Distracted driving, which is the cause of most of the car accidents reported each year. Despite a ban on cell phone use behind the wheel and various other measures in place designed to curb distracted driving accidents, inattentive driving continues to be the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the country each year.
  • Speeding, which is dangerous for the speeding driver and everyone around them. Exceeding the speed limit not only increases the chances of an accident happening in the first place, but also leads to much more severe damage when an accident does occur. Speeding is one of the most commonly cited contributing factors to fatal accident rates across the country.
  • Moving violations. Illegal turns and lane changes, failure to stop for red lights and stop signs, or navigating busy intersections incorrectly can all lead to devastating accidents.
  • Intentional misconduct, such as aggressive driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver who causes an accident through any intentional bad behavior is likely to face criminal prosecution from the state along with a civil claim from the party they injured.

Regardless of the exact cause of your recent accident, if another driver caused it, they are liable for your damages under California law. The state requires drivers to carry auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements, but a minimum coverage policy may not compensate the full scope of losses you suffered due to the at-fault driver’s negligence or misconduct. Whether you anticipate recovering your losses with insurance alone or you anticipate filing a personal injury claim, you need reliable legal representation to maximize the results of your recovery efforts.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim in Santa Monica, CA

Every driver must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. First, a policy must provide at least $15,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury for a single person injured in an accident caused by the policyholder. Their policy must provide at least $30,000 of this liability coverage for bodily injury for all persons injured in an accident they cause. Finally, the police must also provide at least $5,000 in liability coverage for property damage.

These coverage limits may seem like they should be enough to fully cover the damages resulting from a car accident, but many drivers unfortunately learn very quickly that an insurance claim alone will not fully compensate their losses. Additionally, the at-fault driver may not have insurance coverage at all, and the state has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country. All drivers are encouraged, but not required, to purchase additional underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage to account for this possibility.

When it comes time to file an auto insurance claim after your accident, having a Santa Monica car accident attorney assist you will make the process easier to face and more likely to generate an acceptable outcome. Most insurance companies will attempt to persuade claimants to accept lowball settlement offers, often engaging in bad-faith tactics to accomplish this. However, the right attorney can identify any such issues present in your situation and resolve disputes that arise with the insurance company. The attorneys at Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, have helped many past clients face down large insurance companies, and we do everything we can to streamline this aspect of our clients’ recoveries.

Claimable Damages in a Santa Monica Personal Injury Case

If the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy does not provide enough coverage to fully compensate the losses they caused, you can proceed with a personal injury claim against them to recover the remainder of your damages. Once you have exhausted the compensation available through auto insurance, your Santa Monica car accident attorney can potentially help you recover:

  • Compensation for any and all medical care you require to recover from your injuries. When a defendant is responsible for physically injuring you in a car accident, their insurance may only cover a portion of the total cost of the medical care you require to reach maximum medical recovery. Remember that you can not only claim compensation for the medical expenses you faced immediately after the accident, but also for the ongoing medical treatment you require to manage symptoms, restore lost functional capacity, and recover as fully as possible from the injury.
  • Lost wages if you are left unable to work after your accident. Any lost income you experience after the accident qualifies as claimable economic damages. This includes lost future earning potential if you can’t return to your job due to your injuries. An experienced Santa Monica car accident attorney can help their client calculate the future income they would have likely earned if their accident hadn’t occurred.
  • Property damage. An auto insurance claim may only cover a portion of the total cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, and any remainder can be included as economic loss in your personal injury claim.
  • Pain and suffering. This likely sounds like it would be hard to define in monetary terms, but the right attorney can assist you in determining a fair amount to reflect your experience. You have the right to hold the defendant accountable for physical pain and psychological distress they caused with their negligence or misconduct, and state law does not limit pain and suffering compensation in car accident claims.

Once you have an experienced Santa Monica car accident attorney representing your claim, you are significantly more likely to reach a suitable outcome to your impending personal injury case. When Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, represents you in a personal injury case, our goal is to streamline your case proceedings however possible without risking the amount of compensation you recover. We have the experience necessary to help a client maximize their case award in any type of personal injury case, including one generated by a motor vehicle accident.

The attorneys at Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, have such a strong reputation as a leading choice for personal injury representation in Santa Monica due to our commitment to ensuring the fullest recoveries possible for our clients. We listen to each client’s story and address their individual concerns as they arise. When we take your case, you will be able to rest and focus on your recovery knowing that a dedicated legal team is carefully addressing your legal affairs. The sooner you secure our counsel after your car accident, the more likely you are to reach the best outcome possible and maximize your final compensation.

FAQs About Santa Monica, CA Auto Accident Law

Is It Worth Hiring a Santa Monica Car Accident Attorney?

You might assume that your claim is straightforward enough to handle on your own or that the at-fault driver’s auto insurance will cover your losses, and you don’t need to file a personal injury claim. However, it is always best to consult a Santa Monica car accident attorney to review your case to help you understand the full scope of your options for legal recourse. You could overlook valuable avenues of compensation or settle for less than you deserve if you attempt to handle everything alone.

How Soon Should I Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident?

If you were seriously injured in an accident someone else caused, address your medical needs before anything else. Once you are stable and able to reach out to legal counsel, hiring an attorney as soon as possible significantly improves your chances of securing the compensation needed to recover as fully as the law allows. Ideally, you should reach out to an attorney immediately after a car accident as long as you are medically able to do so safely.

How Much Might My Car Accident Claim Be Worth in Santa Monica?

The at-fault driver’s auto insurance may cover some of your damages, but if you were seriously injured and/or the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to fully cover your damages, it is natural to wonder how much compensation you could obtain for your losses. Your Santa Monica car accident attorney can assess the full range of economic damages you can seek from the defendant, and they will also assist you in recovering suitable pain and suffering compensation.

What If I’m Partially Responsible for My Recent Accident?

It is common for drivers to share fault for causing car accidents, but one party will almost always bear more fault than the other. Under the state’s pure comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff will lose a percentage of their final compensation equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident in question. If you are concerned about bearing any level of partial responsibility for your recent car accident, documenting as much as possible from the scene of the crash and connecting with a Santa Monica car accident attorney are important first steps to take in your recovery efforts.

How Much Does a Santa Monica Car Accident Attorney Cost to Hire?

Most of the personal injury attorneys representing clients in Santa Monica accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This ensures their legal counsel is accessible to those who need it most, especially considering the fact that most people do not have the financial flexibility to pay exorbitant hourly attorneys’ fees. When you choose Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, to represent you, our contingency fee for representing you is a percentage of your final case award, and you owe nothing if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf.

Contact Us

The attorneys at Heimanson& Wolf, LLP, want to help you and your family recover from the car accident you recently experienced. Any vehicle accident has the potential to be a life-changing experience, and it’s natural to feel frustrated and uncertain once you glimpse the scope of the damage your car accident has caused. While your situation may seem overwhelming and desperate, you can find legal counsel you trust when you contact Heimanson& Wolf, LLP. Schedule your consultation today and learn how we can assist you in your recovery.

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