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  • Car Accident

    • Do I really need a lawyer after a car accident?
      In many cases, yes. While there is no law requiring you to hire an attorney after a car accident, several studies have shown that your chances of securing fair compensation are much higher if you retain legal representation. Smaller claims that involve little more than cosmetic damage or minor scrapes and bruises typically don't require a lawyer to be resolved. On the other hand, if your injuries have caused you to miss work, incur substantial medical expenses, or if there is a dispute over who is at fault for the collision, it is in your best interests to get a lawyer involved in your case.
    • How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
      The statute of limitations that governs car accident lawsuits in California is typically two years from the date of the collision. This time limit also applies to several other personal injury cases filed in the state's court system. Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, you typically have two years from the date of your collision to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you do not file a claim within this window, you will essentially lose your right to sue and will be unable to recover compensation for your injuries. If you are unsure how the statute of limitations applies to your case, it is important you contact our attorneys to discuss your options.
    • Do I have to go to court for a car accident?
      Possibly. Many car accident claims end up being resolved in the form of an out-of-court settlement negotiated between the involved parties without a personal injury lawsuit having to be filed. It is only if the settlement process fails that your case may escalate to a lawsuit and end up going to trial, which will require you to appear in court. This may happen if the other driver's insurance carrier denies your claim, if there is a dispute over who was at fault for the collision, or if the insurance company offers you a settlement that is far lower than what you deserve.
    • How long will my car accident case take?
      There is no definitive way to predict how long it will take to resolve your car accident case. Uncontested claims can sometimes take about 6 months for a claimant to receive compensation, while cases involving litigation can take anywhere from 12 to 36 months to come to an end. Generally speaking, the biggest factors that will dictate the length of your case are the nature and severity of your injuries, the cooperation of the involved insurance companies, and whether or not your case goes to trial.
    • I'm partially at fault for my accident. Do I still have a case?
      Most likely, yes. California follows a "pure comparative fault" rule which allows car accident victims to recover damages even if they are found to share some of the blame for the collision, though their eligible compensation will be reduced according to their level of fault. For example, say you were injured in a crash and suffered $10,000 worth of damages. At trial, the jury finds you to be 20% at fault for the crash because you were speeding at the time. In this scenario, under pure comparative fault rules, you would be eligible to recover a maximum of $8,000 (or $10,000 less 20%).
    • What should I say to an insurance adjuster after a car accident?
      In most serious car accident cases, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will send out an appraiser, otherwise known as an insurance adjuster, to determine the value of all damages. While they may be friendly and appear to have good intentions, it is critical that you remember their job is to obtain information from crash victims when they are most vulnerable in order to minimize the insurance company's financial liability. If an insurance adjuster calls, it is recommended you do not speak with them and instead direct them to speak to your attorney. Our lawyers understand the insurance company's tactics and can handle all communication on your behalf.
    • How much does it cost to hire a Sacramento car accident lawyer?
      It does not cost you anything upfront to hire a Sacramento car accident attorney from our firm. Piering Law Firm handles car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only be paid if we are successful in handling your case. Instead of paying us a traditional retainer, our attorneys will receive a portion of your final settlement amount or jury award as payment. If we are not successful in handling your case, you will not owe us a dime. This ensures our interests are aligned with yours, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery without undue stress.
    • How much is my car accident case worth?
      Every case is different, therefore it is impossible to predict the value of your case. With that being said, auto accident claims that deal with catastrophic or life-changing injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or broken bones tend to yield higher verdicts and settlements than those involving comparatively minor injuries like whiplash. Ultimately, the value of your case will be dependent on factors such as the level of medical treatment you require, the long-term impact of your injuries, the amount of available insurance coverage, the strength of evidence proving the other party's liability, and the negotiation skills of your attorney.
    • Is there a cap on auto accident damages in California?
      No. California has no statutory maximum damage cap for personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents, meaning there is no limit to amount of economic and non-economic damages you can recover.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • What Is My Case Worth?
      The value of your claim depends on many factors, including the type of accident you were involved in, the injury that you sustained, how long your injury will affect you, your past and future medical expenses, and other ways your life will be affected going forward. Additionally, details of the accident can greatly affect the value of your claim, including who was responsible for your accident, and whether there were drugs or alcohol involved. We will work with you to determine the fair and full value of your case.
    • What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue?
      In California personal injury cases, damages are typically awarded in two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, also known as monetary damages, are meant to compensate victims for the direct financial costs of their injuries and can be tracked via receipts, bills, etc. Commonly awarded economic damages includes things like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, attempt to account for more subjective types of harm that are not as easily quantifiable. Commonly awarded non-economic damages include physical and emotional pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or scarring, loss of personal relationships, or loss of enjoyment of life. Our attorneys can review your situation and help you seek compensation for all types of damages applicable to your case.
    • Why Should I Work With a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer?
      After an accident, you’ll be left dealing with the insurance company. You’ll also be facing medical bills and may be experiencing financial difficulties if you miss work. A lawyer can handle your claim for you, negotiating for a fair settlement or taking your case to court to pursue a favorable verdict. In addition to greatly improving your chances at securing maximum compensation, an attorney can take the weight of your case off your shoulders so you can focus on healing. Because every case is different, we recommend calling our offices to see if you need an attorney in your specific situation.
    • How Long Do I Have to File My Injury Lawsuit?
      The California statute of limitations, as addressed in California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, states that victims of personal injury are eligible to file a lawsuit for up to 2 years after the date of their injury. So what does this mean for you? It means you should contact a skilled injury attorney immediately to discuss your case. Filing a lawsuit can take time, and the more time that passes after your injury the more difficult it can be to prove your claim.
    • Will My Case Go to Trial?
      Though most personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom, our Sacramento injury lawyers prepare each case as if it were going to trial. This enables us to enter into negotiations in a position of power, which helps our clients obtain the best possible results. As aggressive and skilled litigators, we are fully prepared to protect your rights and interests at trial.
    • Will My Personal Injury Settlement Be Public Record?
      This is an important question for some people who want to keep the details of their injury or settlement a private matter. Generally a settlement that is reached out of court will not be public record. However, if a case is settled in court it may be available as public record. This is something to keep in mind when discussing your case with your injury lawyer.
    • Is My Personal Injury Settlement Taxable?
      In general, personal injury settlements that are awarded to replace out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment are not taxable. However, it is important that you discuss your situation with a tax professional if you are concerned about whether or not your settlement may be taxed.
    • What if I Was to Blame?
      In California, even if you were partially to blame for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. The principle of comparative negligence will apply. This means that, as long as you are less than 50% at-fault for your accident, the other party will be responsible for your damages. Your award or settlement may be reduced by the percentage that you are to blame, however, so if you were 10% to blame and were entitled to a $10,000 settlement, the other party would pay for 90%, or $9,000.
    • I Don’t Have Any Money. How Can I Afford an Attorney?
      When you work with an attorney at Piering Law Firm, you pay no up-front attorney fees or other out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, we work on personal injury lawsuits on a contingent fee basis, which means we only get paid if you do. Our fees are paid out of your settlement or award and will be a previously agreed-upon percentage, so there are no surprises.
    • How Soon Should I Get an Attorney Involved?
      If you have been injured, it is recommended you speak to an attorney as soon as practically possible. The longer you wait to get an attorney involved in your case, the more likely you are to encounter difficulty with your case. As time passes, memories fade, evidence is lost, and key people in your personal injury case may become harder to track down. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can get to work building your case.
    • I Already Have Insurance. Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
      In a perfect world, your insurance company would pay for the full value of your medical bills and other losses after suffering a sudden injury. Unfortunately, it is rare for this to happen. Insurance companies are businesses, and as such, their primary purpose is to make money. Insurance companies can only stay profitable if they pay out less money than they receive, so they will use any tactic within their arsenal to limit, delay, or even outright deny your claim. Having a lawyer on your side who understands how insurance companies work can help to shield you from mistreatment and maximize your chances of securing a fair settlement.
    • What if My Case Is Small?
      Not all personal injury cases are of the multi-million dollar variety that draw media attention. The majority of cases are smaller claims of ordinary people who need help. Even small cases can benefit from the assistance of an attorney. In some cases, your case may actually be worth more than you initially think. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and guide you towards the most appropriate course of action.
    • How Long Will My Case Take?
      Every case is different, so there is unfortunately no reliable way to predict the timeline of your case without discussing your situation with an attorney. Some cases can be resolved in as little as a few months, while others may potentially take years of litigation to be resolved. Ultimately, the length of your case will depend on factors such as the extent of the medical treatment you require, the level of cooperation of the involved insurance companies, the complexity of case law applying to your case, and whether or not your case goes to trial.
    • Is There a Limit on What I Can Receive?
      Generally speaking, no. With the exception of medical malpractice cases, personal injury awards for economic damages in California are not subject to any monetary caps, though these losses must be documented and well-supported by evidence and reasonable estimates. Compensation for pain and suffering is awarded at an amount that the jury deems appropriate.