Santa Cruz Car Accident FAQs

What are the benefits of hiring a car accident attorney?

No two car accidents are the same and although the basic process can appear similar, each case will have its own unique set of details and issues. If the central issue in your case is liability, you risk receiving no compensation by not retaining the services of an experienced car accident attorney. Failing to make the proper liability arguments at the right times could result in the at-fault party walking away from the case and owing you nothing in damages. Furthermore, many accidents are caused not by driver error but due to a defective product or part. In such a case, there could be any number of at-fault parties and holding each one responsible could make or break a victim's ability to receive fair compensation. The skilled injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP will thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding the accident to find all potential negligent parties and hold them accountable in a court of law.

Even if liability is not an issue in your case, receiving a settlement offer from an insurance company that provides you with full and fair compensation is not a given. Insurance companies will attempt to settle cases for as little as possible and strong arm unrepresented parties into unfair settlements. There are a wide variety of damage claims available to injured parties and knowing how to present them to the insurance company is a crucial component of any car accident case. The accident attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP will use extensive experience to ensure all viable claims are made and work to help you receive proper compensation.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you cannot afford to mount an ineffective case. Victims should be aware that settlement of a case is generally a one-time occurrence and that cases can rarely be reopened after settlement. Don't risk settling your case and being stuck with an unsavory settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will examine the details of the accident and give you honest, straight-forward advice on whether representation should be considered for your case. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis so there are no up-front costs to you and we do not receive our fee until you have been compensated.

How much can I expect to receive in damages for my car accident case?

Compensation for a car accident varies a great deal from case to case. The most important threshold issue in most car accidents is whether negligence played a role in the incident. If so, negligent parties will be responsible for personal injury damages. How much you receive for your injuries, however, can hinge on many factors. One of those factors is simply who the at-fault parties are and what types of insurance policies are involved. Many accidents will have several negligent parties, each with their own insurance policies that could be used to satisfy a damages award. In some cases, the insurance policies of the at-fault parties are insufficient to cover a victim's damages. If that occurs, a victim's own insurance policy may be used to help cover damages. Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP will examine all the details of your case to uncover all applicable negligence theories and to find all potential negligent parties and applicable insurance policies.

Another important factor in determining compensation is the severity of the injuries sustained and the effect the accident has had and will have on the victim's life. Generally speaking, a broken bone is worth more than a simple soft tissue injury but the unique facts of each case make any broad generalization difficult. Compensation in all cases usually consists of payment for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The victim of a more serious injury can also expect to receive damages for future medical bills, future wage loss, and future living and care expenses. Damages associated with an affect to family members' lives may also be awarded in some circumstances, particularly wrongful death auto accidents.

In a nutshell, if you have been injured by another party's negligence, you are entitled to personal injury damages in the large majority of cases. A skilled personal injury lawyer at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP will present your damages claims in the best possible light and will aggressively negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company or negligent parties to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

When should I speak to the insurance company following a car accident?

There may be two or more insurance companies involved following a car accident and knowing when to speak to them is an important determination. You should make sure your insurance company has notice of the claim but discussing the details beyond that is risky without first consulting with a personal injury attorney. This is especially true if the at-fault party's insurance company tries to get a statement from you. Any information you provide to them, including unintended representations, will be used against you to try and reduce the value of your claim. To ensure your rights are protected and that you don't damage your case, it is in your best interests to hire the personal injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP.

Should I settle with the insurance company after my car accident or go to trial?

The decision of whether to settle your case is one of the most important ones you will face following a personal injury. Settlement might be the best option but making that decision without first consulting with an experienced traffic accident attorney is not advised. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and one way they do that is by attempting to settle cases for as little money as possible. Settlement offers also can vary significantly from company to company and knowing if an offer is fair can be difficult to ascertain. Moreover, settlement is usually a one-time occurrence and after settling your case, it can generally not be reopened. In some situations, receiving a fair settlement offer does not happen and going to trial becomes the best course of action, even though it is more risky and typically more expensive.

What's the best thing I can do to ensure that I receive fair compensation?

Retaining the services of a skilled car accident lawyer should be step one. Don't risk being taken advantage of by the insurance company or having your legal rights infringed upon. If you have been injured, the negligent party or parties should bear the full cost for your injuries and if you settle for less than fair compensation or before it is appropriate, you could be stuck with medical bills or other costs. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, our experienced car accident attorneys will make sure your injuries are properly documented, and that you receive the compensation you deserve. We will aggressively negotiate for all types of damages available, including punitive or loss of consortium, so that you don't have to. Your focus following a personal injury should be on healing and being with family and our attorneys will allow you to do that while we fight to get you maximum legal compensation. For more information and a free consultation, please contact us today.

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