Auto Accident Attorney based in Pasadena, CA
Have You Been Injured In A Car Crash? Pasadena Auto Accident Attorney Don Matson Can Help You Recover Compensation
Being involved in a car accident can be an extremely harrowing experience, especially if you or a loved one were critically injured in the collision.
In addition to enduring physical pain, you may also be struggling to pay your medical bills and cover other expenses for you and your family. During this difficult time, you should know that you have certain legal rights and options available to you.
If your accident was due to the negligence or carelessness of another person or entity, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the damages incurred from the crash.
Auto accident attorney Donald J. Matson is pleased to offer you a Free consultation to discuss your case.
We will give you an honest assessment regarding the strength of your claim and provide our best recommendation for moving forward. Give us a call at (626) 792-1900.
A Trusted Auto Accident Lawyer By Your Side
Don’t go it alone after your accident — get an experienced lawyer on your side who has your best interests at heart.
Auto Accident Attorney Don Matson has been fighting to recover maximum
compensation for auto accident victims for over 10 years.
Attorney Matson can provide you with the legal guidance you need to contend with car manufacturers and insurance companies, and he will support you throughout your case, whether it reaches a settlement or goes on to court.
Get The Compensation You Deserve With the Help of a Car Accident Attorney
Depending on the specific characteristics of your case, you may be able to seek compensation for the following:
- Present and future medical expenses (including physical therapy, surgery, ambulance transportation costs, and the cost of medical devices like crutches, braces, and walkers)
- Present and future lost earnings and wages
- Repair or fair market replacement value of any property (including the vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the incident)
- Current and projected physical pain
- Mental suffering/emotional distress
- Permanent Disability
- Loss of consortium (loss of spousal companionship and services)
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while distracted
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Road conditions
- Mechanical failure
Common Injuries Caused By Car Accidents
- Back: Spinal, cervical, thoracic, lumbar sprains, strains, bulging and herniated discs
- Head: Traumatic brain injury, concussions
- Neck: Whiplash, cervical fractures, sprains, cervical disc nerve impingement
- Body / Extremities: Broken bones, arm, leg, foot, shoulder, ribs
Do I File A Personal Injury Claim or a Lawsuit?
If you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you would file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The claims process involves a series of negotiations with the insurance company’s claim adjuster to reach a mutually agreed upon settlement payment.
If negotiations break down and the insurance company is not offering fair compensation for your injuries, then you have the option to file a lawsuit against the at-fault person, car manufacturer or government entity.
Technically, you can file a lawsuit at anytime, but considering the time and expense of going to trial, the best case scenario is often to reach a compromise.
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is within two years of the accident.
Do’s And Don’ts After Experiencing An Auto Accident
The steps you take immediately following an accident could affect your ability to be fairly compensated for your injuries.
- Stop and assess the situation
- Call 911 for immediate police and ambulance
assistance for serious injuries
- Call the local police or California Highway Patrol to report the car accident
- Request a traffic collision report from the police
- Collect contact information of the other driver including: name, address, driver’s license information, automobile insurance policy number
- Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident
- Photograph the accident location before moving the vehicles. Take pictures of your injuries
- Call your insurance company to make a claim
When You Call an Auto Accident Lawyer in Pasadena at the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we can immediately begin to:
- Make sure you are receiving the medical care you need
- Help you gather and preserve evidence
- Obtain accident reconstruction experts to determine cause
- Obtain valuable witness and expert testimony
- Aggressively protect you from insurance company tactics
- Flee the scene
- Admit fault for the crash or say anything that may attribute the collision to you
- Wait for the insurance adjuster to take pictures of the scene
- Provide a written or recorded statement to insurance company
- Offer to share photos with insurance company
- Sign any paperwork from the insurance company, including medical releases and statements, until your personal injury attorney has reviewed it
After a Car Wreck, The Insurance Adjuster Is Not Your Friend
When you first report the accident to your insurance company, it’s critical that you only provide limited factual information. This may include when and where the accident took place and the number of vehicles involved.
You are under no legal obligation to provide a recorded statement or to answer any questions regarding your injuries. Simply tell the insurance adjuster that your lawyer will be contacting them to answer any questions they may have.
Unfortunately, in most cases, insurance companies are not looking out for the well-being of their policyholders. Rather, they seek ways to limit their payout to you in an effort to increase their own bottom line.
That’s why it’s so important to limit your discussions with the insurance company and let us negotiate on your behalf!
Don’t Take The Bait On The First Settlement Offer
Don’t be surprised if the insurance company offers you a settlement right away. The reason they do this is because they know you need the money and are vulnerable following the accident.
Never take the first offer. Even if the amount they quote you sounds like a lot, you’re most likely entitled to a much higher payout.
Their offer is probably just enough to cover your basic expenses and doesn’t take into account the full extent of your injuries.
As your auto accident attorney, I will consult with medical and vocational experts to determine the true value of your claim and will make sure you receive nothing less than what you deserve.
Negligence occurs when a person or entity behaves in a thoughtless or careless manner that causes harm or injury to another person.
To prove negligence, you must show:
- the law required the driver to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle to avoid hurting others on the road
- the driver breached or violated the “duty of care” owed to you by failing to behave how a reasonably prudent person would have behaved in a similar circumstance
- the driver’s conduct caused your injuries
- you suffered actual damages or financial loss as a result of the injury
Comparative Negligence Rule in California
In auto accident cases, it’s not uncommon for the at-fault driver to accuse the victim of being partially responsible for the accident. When this happens, California’s rule of comparative negligence is used to determine each person’s percentage of liability.
This means that if you are somewhat responsible for the accident, you will recover monetary damages but your reward would be reduced by your percentage of guilt.
For example, if the court finds you were liable for 20 percent of the accident, and you are seeking $100,000 in damages, you would be awarded $80,000.
California Auto Insurance Requirements
California laws require all drivers to obtain the following mandatory automobile insurance:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for property damage
What If The Person Who Hit Me Is Uninsured Or Does Not Have Enough Insurance To Cover My Injuries?
If the driver who hit you is uninsured, and you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your own insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurer to seek compensation for your injuries.
If the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover your losses, then you can recover the outstanding difference from your insurance company up to the limits of your policy.
Let a Car Wreck Lawyer in Pasadena Help You!
Car accidents can change the lives of everyone involved, and there is no reason why you have to tackle the consequences on your own. Most accidents involve reckless behavior from someone involved, and if you are hurt by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be financially compensated.
If you have been involved in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson as soon as possible for a free consultation at (626) 792-1900.