The 4 W’S You Need To Know Before Filing A Lawsuit After A Car Accident

If you are injured in a car accident, you have the ability to file a lawsuit. Several rules govern who you can sue, what you can sue for, when you can sue, where you can file the lawsuit, and how the lawsuit must be filed.

Who Can You Sue?: If you are involved in a car accident, California allows you to file a lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for the collision. Generally, this would include the driver of the vehicle who caused the collision as well as the owner of the vehicle (in the event the vehicle is owned by someone other than the driver). If the accident was caused by a commercial or business vehicle, then you may be entitled to sue the driver responsible for the collision as well as the company that owns the vehicle.

What Can You Sue For?: In California, you can sue the person, company, and/or any other responsible party for many types of injuries and damages. The most common types of injuries and damages are as follows:

  1. Medical Bills: You have the ability to sue for the medical bills that you incurred as a result of treatment for you injuries in the accident.
  2. Future Medical Bills: In some situations, a doctor or other medical provider will recommend future treatment for injuries that you suffered in the car accident. For example, your doctor may tell you that you will require surgery or medical treatment as a result of the collision. You can sue for the reasonable cost of that surgery or treatment even if you have not yet had the surgery or treatment at the time you file the lawsuit.
  3. Property Damage: You are entitled to sue the responsible party for damage to your vehicle. Sometimes, property inside the vehicle is damaged in a collision such as: a car seat, a computer, clothing, etc. You are entitled to file a lawsuit for those property items.
  4. Loss of Past and Future Wages: Loss of past wages refers to the amount of money you lost because you were unable to work.  Loss of future wages refers to the amount of money you were reasonably expected to make in the future if not for the car accident.
  5. Pain, Suffering, Emotional Distress.
  6. How Much Can I Sue For? The value of your often case depends on three main factors: Liability, Injuries, and insurance coverage.

Where Do You File the Lawsuit? It is necessary to know the specific facts and circumstances of your accident before determining where to file the lawsuit. Most of the time, you must file the lawsuit in the State and County where the accident happened. It is important to consult an attorney before deciding to file a lawsuit as you want to make sure you are filing the lawsuit in the proper courthouse and at the proper location.

When Do you File the Lawsuit? In California, you must file a lawsuit for injuries in an automobile collision before the statute of limitations expires. Generally, the statue of limitations for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle collision is two years. However, it is very important that you consult an attorney because there are exceptions to that rule, and you may have more or less time to file the lawsuit in your specific circumstance.

How Do You File the Lawsuit? Contact The Koppelman Law Firm if you are interested in protecting your rights!