Known for its rich farmland, abundance of parks, and vibrant festival scene, Modesto is a beautiful place to live and visit.
It’s also one of the worst cities for traffic accidents in California. The latest California Office of Traffic Safety data ranks Modesto second worst among 67 peer cities.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a traffic accident in Modesto, an experienced Modesto car accident lawyer can improve your chances of obtaining maximum compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Contact Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers today to discuss your legal options.
Your Guide to Car Accident Attorney in Modesto
Why Choose Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers for Your Modesto Car Accident Claim?
Since its founding, the law office of Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers has focused its practice on helping victims of personal injury and car accidents in Modesto and throughout the Central Valley seek justice and recover the compensation they deserve.
We understand how accidents can create hardships for injured people and their families. We can’t take away your accident or the pain and suffering it caused, but we can help alleviate the financial burden and provide peace of mind in this most challenging time. Contact the Modesto car accident attorneys at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers today for your free and confidential consultation.
Should I Accept an Offer from the Insurance Company?
After an accident, you may face extensive medical treatment. The bills can add up quickly, especially if you or your loved one cannot work while recovering from your injuries. You may not fully grasp how much your injuries will affect your and your family’s lives.
A quick offer of compensation from the insurance company can help pay bills and quickly settle your claim so you can focus on your recovery. Please don’t accept an offer before talking with an attorney. If you do, you may sign away your right to request more compensation if your injuries require more treatment or services or if you cannot return to your job in the same capacity as before.
During your free and confidential consultation with Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers, a lawyer can assess your injuries and other damages and the circumstances of your accident. The insurance company is likely short-changing you.
Should you retain our legal services, we will handle all negotiations with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. And, if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, we will take them to court and fight for justice.
What Damages Can I Collect in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Modesto?
In a Modesto car accident claim, various damages may compensate the injured party for their losses and injuries. These damages include economic and non-economic.
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment related to the accident, such as hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and any necessary medical equipment.
- Lost earnings: If the accident causes you to miss work or decreases your earning capacity, you can claim compensation for lost income and future earning potential.
- Property damage: This covers repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses: You can also seek reimbursement for other accident-related expenses, such as transportation costs to and from medical appointments, home modifications, or household services you had to hire due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma resulting from the accident and its aftermath.
- Emotional distress: Beyond physical injuries, accidents can lead to emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of consortium: If the accident significantly affects your relationship with your spouse or domestic partner, they may recover compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries limit your ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed, you can seek compensation for the loss of your quality of life.
Who May You Hold Liable in a Car Accident Case?
Liability in a car accident case typically depends on who caused the accident. You must establish liability to determine financial responsibility for compensating the injured parties. In some cases, you can hold more than one party liable, and you may seek compensation from all who share the blame.
Here are some examples of parties that you can hold liable in a car accident case:
- Another driver: In many cases, another driver’s negligence or recklessness is the primary cause of a car accident. Examples of driver negligence include speeding, running red lights, texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to yield the right of way.
- Vehicle owner: If the at-fault driver was driving someone else’s vehicle with permission (such as a rental car or borrowed vehicle), you can hold the vehicle owner liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
- Employer: If the at-fault driver was operating a vehicle as part of their job responsibilities (such as a delivery driver or company vehicle), you could hold their employer liable for the accident under the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees during work-related activities.
- Government entity: Poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other road hazards caused by a government entity can contribute to accidents. In such cases, you can hold the government entity liable for failing to maintain safe roads.
- Vehicle manufacturer: Sometimes, accidents occur due to vehicle or part defects. If a defect in the vehicle played a role in the accident, you can hold the manufacturer liable through a product liability claim.
- Passenger: In some cases, passengers in the at-fault driver’s vehicle may share liability if their actions (such as distracting the driver) contributed to the accident.
How Do You Prove Who’s At Fault in a Drunk Driving Case?
In a car accident claim based on negligence, you need a car accident lawyer to prove four essential elements of negligence to establish the liability of the at-fault party.
Duty of Care
The first element involves establishing that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the injured party. For example, all drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles reasonably safely and responsibly, taking into account the safety of others on the road. This duty includes obeying traffic laws, maintaining vehicle control, and avoiding actions that could harm others.
Breach of Duty
To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. This means they failed to meet the standard of care expected of a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances. Examples of breaches could include speeding, running a red light, driving while distracted, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Causation involves establishing a direct link between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and the injuries or damages suffered by the injured party.
Causation includes two components:
- Cause in fact (actual cause): You must show that the at-fault party’s actions caused the accident. In other words, but for their negligence, the accident would not have occurred.
- Proximate cause (legal cause): You must demonstrate that the injuries or damages you suffered were a foreseeable consequence of the at-fault party’s breach of duty.
The final element of negligence is the existence of actual damages. A car accident claim typically involves physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and other measurable losses. The injured party must have suffered actual harm or damages in the accident to pursue a negligence claim.
Modesto Car Accident Laws
California is a fault car insurance state regarding car accident insurance claims. In a fault state, after a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company must cover the costs of injuries and property damage suffered by the other party or parties in the accident.
California law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance. This insurance covers the costs of injuries and property damage the at-fault driver causes others in an accident.
In California, the minimum liability insurance requirements are:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $5,000 for property damage per accident
In some cases, when insurance coverages do not fully cover the losses, injured parties may pursue a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek additional compensation.
What if I Partly Caused My Car Accident Injuries?
California follows a pure comparative negligence rule in car accident cases. This considers each party’s fault when determining liability and compensation in a car accident and allocates damages accordingly.
After a car accident, insurance companies, law enforcement, or the courts will assess the actions and behaviors of all parties involved to determine their levels of fault or negligence. This assessment considers speeding, failure to yield, distracted driving, and other relevant actions or violations.
Each party involved in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault based on the assessment findings. For example, if two drivers are involved, one might bear 70 percent of the fault and the other 30 percent.
Each party must pay damages in proportion to their assigned percentage of fault.
When filing an insurance claim following an accident, the insurance companies will consider the comparative negligence rule when determining how much each party’s insurance should pay.
If the insurance company refuses a fair settlement, the comparative negligence rule will apply in court if the case goes to trial. The court will assess the evidence and arguments presented by both parties to determine the appropriate allocation of damages based on each party’s percentage of fault.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Case in Modesto?
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including a car accident case, generally gives you two years from the car accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
You must adhere to this statutory deadline, as failing to file your lawsuit within the prescribed time frame can result in the court dismissing your case, and you may lose the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations in California car accident cases may shorten or lengthen this deadline. Given these nuances and exceptions, consult a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident.
Contact the Modesto Car Accident Lawyers at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in Modesto, an experienced car accident attorney can explain the statute of limitations that applies to your case, gather evidence, assess your legal options, and file your claim within the appropriate time frame.
Our Office in Modesto, California
Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers
1301 G St., Modesto