Monterey County Car Accident Lawyer
Practicing in California for Over 40 Years
Practicing law in California since 1975, Robert (Bob) E. Rosenthal is uniquely qualified to represent auto accident victims. As our lead car accident attorney in Salinas, Bob Rosenthal represents clients across the Central Coast who have been injured in traffic accidents. He and our team are experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, whether they involve automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, cyclists, or pedestrians. JRG Attorneys at Law has handled literally hundreds of personal injury cases and has vast experience in trial, mediation, and settlement of these cases.
Why You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal Injury cases arise from situations in which another person causes you or a loved one to suffer an injury that was neither normal nor expected and was the result of that person’s own fault or negligence. Being rear-ended by another person is the most obvious example, but often you may have more complicated legal rights, rights you may not fully understand. It is for this reason that you should immediately contact a car accident lawyer in Monterey County to review your situation and protect your rights.
JRG handles all types of auto accident cases across California’s Central Coast, including:
- Drunk driving accidents
- Semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Light truck accidents
- SUV accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian and bicyclist accidents
- Rideshare accidents (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
- Bus and other public transportation accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
California Is an "At-Fault" State
While some states follow a "no fault" system in regards to car accidents in which a person's own insurance company covers the damage regardless of blame, California does not. California follows a traditional tort system for car accidents, meaning that aach party is financially responsible for the damage they cause. Injured parties have a right to sue one another for compensation for bodily injury and property damages after an auto accident, though most car accident claims are ultimately settled out of court through negotiations with insurance.
With that being said, determining liability for a car accident is not always black and white and multiple parties may share part of the blame depending on the situation. Because of this, California also follows a rule known as "pure comparative negligence" which allows injured parties to recover compensation from the other at-fault party at a reduced percentage. For example, if you suffered $10,000 worth of damages in a collision but were found to be 20% at fault, you would still be able to recover $8,000 in compensation (or $10,000 less 20%).
Insurance adjusters understand these rules well and may attempt to shift a greater share of blame to you after a crash in order to limit the insurance company's liability. It is important to work closely with an attorney after a wreck to ensure your rights are protected and maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of your car accident case will vary depending on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the extent of damage to your vehicle, the long-term effects of your injuries, and the specific events that led up to your collision. Since every case is different, it is best to consult with an attorney to get a more accurate representation of your potential monetary award.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages and other income
- Physical therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death (if a loved one was killed)
What Happens If the Other Driver was Uninsured?
If the driver that hit you was uninsured or had insufficient coverage to pay for your damages, you may be able to turn to your own auto policy for compensation if you have elected to purchase uninsured / underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage. California requires auto insurers to offer this coverage, though it is not mandatory and may be declined. Since California has more uninsured drivers than any other state, purchasing this coverage is usually a good idea.
While you may still sue an uninsured driver for damages, uninsured and underinsured drivers tend to have fewer assets and income than drivers with insurance. This means that you will likely encounter difficulty collecting on any judgments you may receive. It is best to consult with an attorney to determine the most appropriate course of action.
What to Expect from Your Car Accident Case
When you work with JRG Attorneys at Law, we will usually try to settle your case without having to file suit, but if that is not possible due to a disagreement on who was at fault, the severity or worth of your injury, or insurance availability, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and pursue your rights in court. While very few cases proceed to trial after a suit has been filed, Bob Rosenthal is a seasoned trial attorney and will be prepared to fight for you before a judge or jury, if needed.
All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay hourly fees or any other attorney fees unless and until we obtain a judgement or settlement for you. We will advance on your behalf all costs we require to prepare the case for settlement or trial. If we do not obtain a settlement or verdict for you, you do not pay us any attorney fees.