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Things to Know if You've Been Injured in a Sacramento Auto Accident

If you have been injured in a Sacramento auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for such expenses as your medical bills, auto repairs and lost wages.

However, successfully suing the other driver in the accident requires you to prove that the other driver was at fault. Proving fault in Sacramento auto accidents can be difficult. That is why you should consider hiring a Sacramento auto accident attorney to assist you with your personal injury case.

Determining Fault in a Sacramento Auto Accident

Just because you were injured in a car accident does not mean you are automatically entitled to compensation. You and your Sacramento auto accident attorney will have to prove the other driver was at fault. To do this, you will have to prove that he was negligent. Negligence means that the driver did not use reasonable care.

Whether you live in Midtown, Greenhaven, Del Paso Heights or another area of Sacramento, proving negligence requires the same criteria:

  • The driver who injured you owed you a duty to not cause you injury
  • The driver failed to live up to that duty
  • This failure caused your injuries
  • You suffered damages, or financial loss, as a result of these injuries

Under Sacramento auto accident law, the amount of money you can recover in your auto accident lawsuit may be reduced if it you share some fault for your accident and injuries.

Compensation Available in a Sacramento Auto Accident

If the other driver is at fault, an attorney can help you recover a variety of damages. These damages serve to compensate you for a number of expenses and losses, including:

  • Past, present and future medical bills related to your injuries
  • Lost wages for time off of work, including time spent going to doctor visits
  • The repair or replacement of your car and any property damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident
  • Permanent disfigurement and disability as a result of the accident
  • The cost of hiring someone to assist you around the house while you are disabled or injured
  • Emotional distress

Dealing with Sacramento Auto Insurance Companies

Under California law, all Sacramento drivers must have liability auto insurance. Liability insurance compensates the non-policy holder in the event of injury or property damage.

Requirements for California liability insurance are:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for damage to property

After you are injured in a Sacramento auto accident, you will want to contact your insurer as soon as possible. When speaking to the agent, describe your accident. After the conversation, make sure to document your property damage, injuries and expenses for both the insurance company and your potential lawsuit against the other driver. Take photos of your damaged vehicle and your injuries. If there's a police report, obtain a copy. File all receipts related to auto repairs and medical care.

You may also have to deal with the other driver's insurance company. When speaking to the driver's insurance company, you only need to provide the most basic information, such as your name and address. You will want to talk to your attorney before divulging any information to the insurance company. If you feel you are being harassed, it is your right to refuse to communicate with the insurer.

Filing Your Sacramento Auto Accident Lawsuit

If you and your attorney are unable to negotiate a settlement with the other driver's insurance company or with the other driver, you will want to file a lawsuit to collect damages.

If the amount of damages exceeds $7,500, you will want to file your lawsuit in the Sacramento Superior Court.

Otherwise, if the amount of damages is less than or equal to $7,500, you can file your lawsuit in the Sacramento Small Claims Court.

Sacramento Auto Accident Statute of Limitations

In California, there is a limit as to how long you can wait after an accident occurs to file a personal injury lawsuit. This limit is known as the statute of limitations.

In Sacramento, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the other driver. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this timeframe, you will forfeit your right to sue.

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