Whenever another person or entity is legally at fault for an incident or event that causes anyone damage or injury, there may be grounds to sue under a valid legal claim.
The most common claims in auto/car accident cases are for personal injury (medical expenses, absence from work, loss of ability or limb, etc.) and property damage (car repairs, rental car costs, loss of use, etc.).
How do you determine if you have a legal, valid and pursuable claim?
In most cases, you must prove that the person who caused the car accident was negligent, or acted carelessly or without regard for others’ well being. Possible pieces of evidence include:
- A police report documenting the circumstances and cause of the accident
- Eyewitness statements attesting to the details of when, where, and how the accident occurred
- Photographs from the accident scene and any evidence that might help document the cause and circumstances of your injury
- Records of all medical treatment associated with your injury — including emergency services, hospital visits, physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors
- Documentation of time missed at work, and records showing your typical income, to support a lost wages claim
- Testimony from a doctor or medical expert regarding the cause of your injury. For instance, your doctor or another medical expert would need to testify that it was the impact from the car accident that caused the injury, and not simply an existing or unrelated injury.
In California, the statute of limitations to sue for any personal injury caused by a car accident is two years (California Code of Civ. Proc. §335.1), and three years for any property damage caused (California Code of Civ. Proc. §338). A statute of limitations is the legal amount of time allotted for anyone to bring a claim associated with the event, in this case, a car accident. The clock starts ticking the day the car accident occurs, so if you are considering suing, don’t wait to contact an experienced attorney to discuss all of your legal options.
Contact the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz today to learn more about your options after being injured or damaged in a car accident.