San Jose California Car Accident Law: Important Information for California Drivers
It is important for anyone driving in San Jose, California to know the basics on California car accident law. This involves liability, insurance, Statute of Limitations, medical treatment and more. If you have been involved in a car accident in the San Jose, CA area use the form above to contact our San Jose accident attorneys today.
The Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Department or Police Officers called to the scene of the accident make an initial determination of who was at fault for the accident. This can be challenged later by an accident reconstructionist and an attorney in court. The attorneys for the insurance carrier of the person at fault may try to prove some fault on the part of the other driver. This is called “comparative negligence.” Depending upon the judge and jury when the case goes to trial, fault may be assigned to the drivers on both sides of the case.
Statute of Limitations:
In California car accident law, injured parties have only one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. After that one-year period, they lose their right to sue.
Changes in Insurance Coverage:
After an accident, the insurance premium of the driver at fault goes up substantially. In fact, the insurance carrier may even cancel that driver’s insurance coverage. This then, bumps the at-fault driver into the high-risk insurance category, and he or she will have to pay a lot more money for car insurance coverage.
California car accident law dictates that the med-pay provision of a driver’s insurance policy should cover their medical expenses. This, however, may have a monetary cap on the coverage amount. Certain treatments, like chiropractic care, may not be covered by the insured’s policy.
If the insurance company for the driver not at fault covers their insured’s medical expenses, that insurer may file a “subrogation” action against the insurance company of the driver at fault to try to recover the pay-out on their insured’s med-pay provision.
Treatment on a Lien Basis:
If the driver not at fault retains a personal injury attorney to help recover his or her monetary and other damages, that attorney may refer the injured driver to a physician who agrees to treat the victim on a lien basis. This takes the financial burden off the driver not at fault and his or her insurance company. Then, at the end of the case, the doctor is paid from the victim’s favorable settlement or winning trial verdict.
The doctor’s services also include any specialists that the physician refers the victim to, pharmacy costs and physical therapy expenses.
Benefits of Retaining an Attorney:
An accident victim will benefit by hiring an attorney, if the medical costs are high. This is because of the treatment arrangement where the doctors are not paid until after settlement or a winning trial verdict. If the case is not successful at trial, the victim pays nothing to the doctors or the personal injury attorney. By hiring a San Jose car accident attorney, the victim has more resources available for investigating the accident, the driver at fault and all other aspects of the case. California car accident law makes financial recovery possible.
Our California personal injury lawyers help clients throughout California recover physically, emotionally and financially after being involved in serious injury accidents. If you’ve been injured in any of the following areas, please contact our experienced accident attorneys today: