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

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a San Diego auto accident, you may be able to get compensation for certain expenses related to your accident and injuries. To understand your legal options, you will want to speak to a San Diego auto accident attorney.

This article will explain things you should know if you are injured in a San Diego auto accident.

San Diego Auto Accident Damages

The financial loss you suffer as a result of a car accident or personal injury is called damages. In San Diego auto accident cases, there are several different types of damages that you can try to collect, including:

  • Lost wages due to work you had to take off due to your injuries, including doctor appointments
  • Past, present and future medical bills related to your injuries
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Emotional distress
  • The cost of hiring someone to help with household chores while you recover from your injuries
  • The repair or replacement of your car and all other property that may have been damaged or destroyed due to the accident

Negligence & San Diego Auto Accidents

To receive any compensation as a result of your auto accident, you will have to show that the other driver was at fault. If you share some of the fault, then the amount of money that you can recover will be reduced proportionally.

To prove fault, you will have to show that the driver was negligent. Negligence means that the driver had a duty to use reasonable care when driving and failed to live up to this duty. Furthermore, you will have to show that this failure directly caused your injuries. You will also need to supply evidence of your financial losses.

Whether you live in La Jolla, Grantville, Logan Heights or another part of the city, you will want to use the services of a San Diego auto accident law firm to help build your case against the other driver. To build your case, you will want to supply the attorney with as much evidence and background information regarding the accident, your injuries and your expenses as possible. Examples of information to provide the attorney include:

  • Photos of the accident scene, your damaged vehicle, damaged property and your injuries
  • A police report if one is available
  • Letters from your doctor or doctors describing your injuries
  • Copies of your medical bills
  • Copies of auto repair receipts or estimates
  • The names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident

Where to File Your San Diego Auto Accident Lawsuit

If you choose to pursue litigation against the other drive, you and your attorney will need to take the appropriate steps to file a lawsuit in the proper court.

First, you will need to make sure the statute of limitations has not yet expired for your case. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. In San Diego, this time limit is two years. Once this two-year period passes, you will be barred from seeking compensation in court.

Next, you will need to file your suit with the proper court. If the amount of damages you are seeking exceeds $7,500, you will want to file your case in the San Diego Superior Court. If the damages are $7,500 or less, you must file your case with the San Diego Small Claims Court.

Filing a Lawsuit or Settling

The San Diego auto accident trial is a lengthy and often expensive process. Once you file your lawsuit, it could take one or more years until your case is resolved. In addition, the various steps involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit can be very stressful. For example, the other driver's insurance company may put you on the stand where you'll have to answer tough questions in front of a judge and jury.

However, there is a major benefit to filing your claim with the San Diego court system. If you lose your case in court, you are allowed to appeal.

You can also decide to settle out of court, thereby avoiding the lengthy, and sometimes expensive, trial process. Your attorney can try to enter negotiations with either the driver or the driver's insurance company. If a favorable agreement is reached, then you can settle. However, once you settle, you have no opportunity to appeal.

Insurance Requirements in San Diego

If you are a driver in San Diego, you must have liability auto insurance. This type of insurance compensates the non-policy holder in the event of an accident.

California's liability insurance requirements are:

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