Child and Passenger Injury Claims
As a passenger in an automobile accident you may be entitled to receive compensation for injuries you incur. Questions regarding much you are entitled to receive, as well as who may be liable for the damages, depends largely on the particular circumstances of your case. There are, however, some general rules which apply to passenger injuries under California law. For specific guidance on your personal injury claim, speak with one of our seasoned auto accident attorneys.
As with any personal injury case, the first step is to determine who or what caused the injury you received. Under California law, a driver of an automobile has a duty to the passengers in their car to exercise care and caution while operating a motor vehicle. Failing to properly exercise this duty can lead to injury or death for which the driver’s automobile insurance is liable. For example, was your injury caused by your driver being distracted by their cell phone, radio, or another passenger? Was the driver being reckless when the injury occurred? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you should speak with one of our firm’s accident attorneys.
It is not just the driver of your vehicle who could be at fault in a personal injury claim. Liability for the accident may lie with the driver of another vehicle, the city or county where the injury occurred, or even the company that manufactured the car. Determining which party or parties is responsible is a question of law your auto accident attorney can address with you.
If you are a passenger who is injured in an automobile accident, there are steps you can take to bolster your chances of having a successful personal injury claim. As soon as the accident happens, if you are able, you should take the following steps:
First and foremost, if your child is a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in an accident, have them examined by a medical professional as soon as possible, even if they do not seem to have suffered any injuries. Comply with any directions you are given for their care.
If your child is injured in a car accident you, as their parent, are able to file a car accident claim on their behalf. The statute of limitations (or time you have to file a claim) is extended when you are filing a claim for a child, but you should still act quickly in obtaining an attorney to represent your child. Whether or not it is in the best interest of your child to delay in filing the claim is an issue you can discuss with your auto accident attorneys.
In addition to being able to file for the cost of medical care and pain suffered, you may also claim lost wages if your child is employed. Any income you have lost due to having to care for your child rather than work may be recoverable as are any expenses you have in hiring someone else to provide care to your child while you work.
In the state of California, a driver is required to carry automobile insurance. Determining which insurance company should pay for your injuries depends on which driver caused the accident. If the fault lies with the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in, you should seek restitution from that driver’s automobile insurance company. If the fault lies with the driver of another vehicle involved in the accident, then you will seek damages from that driver’s automobile insurance company.
It is possible for more than one driver to be at fault for the accident and in that case you may seek monetary damages from both automobile insurance companies. It is also possible that an at-fault driver may have no insurance coverage, or not enough insurance coverage, to cover the claims for which the driver is liable. If this should happen, an adept auto accident attorney can assist you in recuperating your damages through other avenues, including uninsured coverage under your own policy.
Most of our clients are concerned that if they make a claim with their own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured benefits it will increase their rates, expose them to being dropped from their insurance company, or uninsurable in the future. Rest assured that the insurance company cannot take any of these actions in response to making an uninsured or underinsured claim. In California, under proposition 103, an insurance company is not permitted to increase rates, drop an insured, or not extend coverage to a person who makes an uninsured or underinsured claim. You can, and should, make a claim under your policy’s uninsured or underinsured coverage since you pay for this benefit and it will have no negative consequences.
With a practice focused exclusively on handling personal injury claims, our auto accident attorneys are skilled at providing representation to passengers and children injured in motor vehicle accidents. Backed by years of experience and a track record of successful results, our lawyers have developed winning strategies and informed perspectives that result in our clients receiving premier representation and the solutions they seek. Our firm can handle every step of the process for you and our assistance never costs you anything unless our representation results in your receiving the monetary compensation you are owed. Contact us at 310-273-7300, or on our contact page, for a free consultation, We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and se habla espanol.
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