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Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Bakersfield - What Next?

This legal question related to Automobile accident attorneys in BakersfieldCalifornia has been answered.

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I've been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in Bakersfield, CA. What should I do now?

I was driving down Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield, California last Saturday evening, when I was hit by a car that ran a red light. The driver later admitted to me that they didn't have any car insurance. My vehicle suffered significant damage, and the repair costs could be in the thousands. Furthermore, I'm experiencing some neck pain and would like to see a doctor, but I'm worried about the medical bills. I've never been in this situation before and I'm unsure about my rights and the steps I need to take. I'm looking for a local lawyer who specializes in auto accidents to guide me through this process.

How can I compare lawyers in my area to find the best one for my case? What are the average fees for such services, and is there a way to get financial assistance if I can't afford them?

Commonly posted questions...

A close-up, vibrant and positive image reflecting the theme of insurance and legal advice in an accident scenario. The image should depict a professional setting, perhaps a comforting and reassuring environment of a legal or insurance office. There should be elements symbolizing protection and support, like a shield or a safety net, incorporated subtly in the decor, emphasizing the theme of security and assistance in legal matters. The colors should be realistic yet leaning towards a warm and inviting palet Is it normal for insurance to deny coverage for a hit-and-run in Atlanta?
8 months ago, Automobile accident attorneys, Atlanta

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Automobile accident attorneys in the jurisdiction of Bakersfield. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Uninsured Motorist Claims in California

If you're involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in California, it's vital to understand your rights and potential sources of compensation.

Relevant California Laws:

  • California Vehicle Code Section 16025: This law requires all drivers involved in an accident to exchange insurance information. If one of the parties does not have insurance, they must still provide their driver's license and vehicle registration information.

  • California Insurance Code Section 11580.2: Mandates that all auto insurance policies issued in California include uninsured motorist coverage unless explicitly declined by the policyholder.

  • Homepage of the California Department of Insurance: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/

Potential Solutions

  1. Your Own Insurance: Your first option is to file a claim under your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, if you have it. This is a part of most auto insurance policies in California unless you've opted out.
  2. Personal Injury Lawsuit: If your UM coverage isn't sufficient, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, collecting damages might be challenging if they lack insurance and financial resources.
  3. Medical Payments Coverage: This can help with medical bills regardless of who was at fault.
  4. Legal Assistance: Reach out to a personal injury lawyer or auto accident attorney in Bakersfield to assist you with your claim. You can compare lawyers in your area and find the right lawyer for your case.

Average Legal Fees in Bakersfield

Service Average Cost
Initial Consultation $200 - $300
Representation in UM claim 25-30% of settlement
Representation in personal injury lawsuit 30-40% of settlement
Medical Payments Coverage claim 20-25% of settlement

Note: Many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win the case or secure a settlement.

More Information Needed

To provide more precise guidance, it would help to have further information.

  • Have you reported the accident to your insurance company?
  • Did you obtain a police report from the accident scene?
  • Were there any witnesses?

Frequently Asked Questions in Bakersfield:

Q1: Do I have to file a police report if I'm in an accident in Bakersfield?

In California, if there are injuries or the damage to vehicles/property exceeds $1,000, it's a requirement to report the accident to the police and the DMV.

Q2: If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, do I still have to pay my deductible?

Typically, if you make a claim under your UM coverage, you will have to pay your deductible. However, you can later recover it if you sue the at-fault driver.

Q3: How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an accident in California?

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years from the date of the injury.

Q4: Can I still get compensation if the accident was partly my fault?

California follows a "comparative negligence" rule, which means you can get compensation even if you were partially at fault, but your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Q5: What if I don’t have uninsured motorist coverage?

If you don’t have UM coverage, your options may be limited. It's best to consult with a lawyer to discuss potential avenues for compensation.

Disclaimer

This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Bakersfield - What Next?" has been changed 10 months 1 week ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of Bakersfield & area of law: Automobile accident attorneys.
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Seeking the counsel of a personal injury attorney is paramount after vehicular accidents resulting in substantial injuries or necessitating long-term medical care. Engaging an adept attorney amplifies your likelihood of securing rightful compensation. Retaining a personal injury attorney immediately post-accident ensures you have an expert advocating for you - someone well-versed in the nuanced legal landscape and critical procedural rules that could profoundly influence your claim.

A lawyer's proficiency in this domain can often be gauged by their litigation success rate, meticulous pre-trial preparation, and adept negotiation prowess with opposing parties. While certain car accident scenarios may entail complexities around insurance coverage limits, seasoned attorneys might use the potential of litigation as leverage. Yet, more often than not, a skilled attorney can broker a settlement without resorting to court. Why engage a car accident attorney? Overlooking this crucial step could culminate in significant financial setbacks, particularly if either party involved in the accident lacks adequate insurance coverage, resulting in the insurance company disputing or denying the claim.

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