Agoura Hills Personal Injury Lawyers | Accident Attorneys
Agoura Hills Car Accident Attorneys
If you were hit by a negligent driver and are now facing medical bills and other unexpected losses, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies have incentive to deny or reduce the value of any claim brought against them. Our Agoura Hills car accident attorneys can help you and your family fight for the settlement needed to cover the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the crash.
With many decades of collective experience, our lawyers know what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in cases of varying complexity. We have represented more than 5,000 accident victims and have won over $300,000,000 in settlements and verdicts. For a free consultation, call 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Agoura Hills
There are countless reasons why an auto accident might happen, but the vast majority of these cases can be traced back to driver negligence. The specific cause of the accident will have a major influence on how your Agoura Hills car accident attorney approaches the investigation. It could also determine whether punitive damages are recoverable. For instance, if the liable party acted with malice, fraud, or oppression, punitive damages might be available.
Some of the most common causes of vehicle collisions in Agoura Hills include:
- Distracted Driving: Looking away from the road for only a moment could be enough to cause a devastating wreck. Evidence of negligence in these cases might include cellphone records, social media posts, and surveillance footage.
- Drunk Driving: When an intoxicated motorist causes a crash, it may be possible to obtain a punitive award in addition to compensatory damages.
- Speeding: Traveling faster than the speed limit not only reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to unexpected hazards but also increases the force of impact.
- Vehicle Defects: When an auto part defect contributes to a collision, the liable party might be the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the part, or a negligent mechanic.
- Negligent Road Maintenance: Sometimes it is possible to hold a government entity liable for an accident. This might apply to your case if the wreck was caused by negligent road design or maintenance.
What If My Loved One Died in a Car Accident?
There are several key differences between personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. These include the types of damages recoverable and the parties who can bring the claim. Whether you were injured or lost a family member in the crash, our car accident lawyers in Agoura Hills can help you navigate the legal system.
In the state of California, a wrongful death claim can only be brought by certain family members of the deceased. Priority for bringing the claim goes to the spouse of the deceased, followed by their children, dependent stepchildren, minors who were living with the deceased for at least one year, and then the deceased’s dependent parents.
Assuming none of these parties is available, the surviving parents of the deceased (even if not dependent) would have the right to bring the claim, followed by the deceased’s siblings, grandparents, and then the children of a spouse who had passed away. If none of these parties is available, the right to bring the claim would go to the deceased’s next of kin.
Any of these parties can have the personal representative of the deceased’s estate bring the claim in their stead. Regardless of who brings the claim, any proceeds garnered from the action would be distributed to eligible beneficiaries pursuant to California’s wrongful death statute.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to bring a survival action in addition to a wrongful death claim. These actions are usually combined and brought to court together. While a wrongful death claim is brought to pursue damages incurred by surviving loved ones of the deceased, a survival action is intended to pursue damages to which the deceased would have been entitled had he or she survived. The survival action must be brought by the personal representative of the estate or by the deceased’s successor in interest.
Damages available in a survival action may include the deceased’s healthcare costs, property damage, and lost income. Punitive damages may also be recoverable if the deceased survived for a period of time after the fatal accident or the deceased’s property was damaged in the accident while he or she was still alive. If the death was an intentional killing and the person who caused the death has been convicted of a felony, punitive damages may be recoverable even if the deceased did not survive momentarily.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Agoura Hills Today
Our office can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to set up a free consultation, or send us a message on our Contact Page.