Motor Vehicle, Aviation & Car Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
The Sacramento car accident attorneys at Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation maintain a widespread personal injury, wrongful death, and general negligence practice, encompassing cases arising from all types of motor vehicle accidents, as well as accidents involving airplanes and helicopters.
A Sacramento car accident lawyer knows that California law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance to cover $15,000 for personal injury to one person, $30,000 for personal injury to multiple people, and $5,000 for property damage. Unfortunately, these limits provide only minimal compensation, and in a serious car accident the costs incurred by the injured party are likely to be much higher.
Car accidents in Sacramento and throughout California are on the rise. According to the information office of the California Highway Patrol, 1,119 accidents were reported during 2008, which amounted to an 8 percent increase over 2007.
Whether you experienced a simple fender bender or an accident caused by a drunk driver, some of the financial hardships can include the following:
- Property damage. Damage done to your car and contents you had on board
- Medical bills. Includes not only immediate bills resulting from the accident but also continuing expenses, such as physical and psychiatric therapy
- Lost wages. All the time you miss from work due to the accident
- Pain and suffering. Physical pain that you suffer after the accident or chronic pain that lasts long after the accident
The car accident attorneys in Sacramento at Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation help people throughout California recover these damages. Our Sacramento car accident lawyers have decades of experience handling personal injury claims in California state and federal courts.
While you may assume that your insurance company or the insurance company of the person or persons responsible for your accident will take care of any claim, the truth is that most insurance companies only look to pay out the lowest amount possible and not what is a fair settlement for your injuries and damages.
In spite of this law, up to 20 percent of drivers on the road may not be carrying insurance. For this reason, it may be worthwhile to carry uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. With UM/UIM coverage, your own insurance company will cover you in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver or one whose policy limits fail to cover your damages incurred in an accident.
For more assistance with car accident issues, our Sacramento car accident attorneys provide the following resources:
Motorcycle riders are at an even greater risk of harm from negligent drivers. Not only are motorcyclists more difficult for drivers to see, they are also much more exposed and therefore at greater risk of catastrophic injury or wrongful death in the event an accident does occur.
Motorcycles are also particularly susceptible to road defects, including roads that are defectively designed or constructed. Debris blown on the road from nearby construction can also cause a biker to skid or spill. For this reason, even where an accident is attributed to rider error, it is important to have a thorough Sacramento auto accident attorney examine the scene to determine whether any dangerous road conditions may have contributed to the accident.
Aviation and Helicopter Accidents
Aircraft operators in California are required to carry a certain minimum amount of liability insurance to pay for any property damage or personal injury they cause in an accident. Unfortunately, as with car insurance, the required statutory minimums are often woefully inadequate to cover the damage resulting from an accident.
Most aviation accidents are attributed to pilot error, but ground crew, maintenance workers, or mechanics may also be negligent in performing their duties, leading to a disaster. Likewise, a defect in the aircraft’s design or manufacture or in some component part may have caused the accident, in which case a products liability lawsuit may be the proper recourse.
Small private plane manufacturers are protected by a statute of repose under the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA), which restricts the ability to bring lawsuits after a certain time has passed since the craft’s manufacture. Another important issue concerns whether the aircraft qualifies as a commercial or common carrier and is therefore subject to the strict standards imposed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. Even ostensibly private operators may fall under FAA rules, for instance if they received reimbursement for fuel or other expenses. An attorney who has handled aviation accident cases will understand the limitations, exceptions, and application of GARA and other industry regulations to the case.
Helicopter accidents involve issues all their own and require an in-depth investigation to determine whether a crash is the fault of the owner, operator, pilot, mechanic, air traffic controller, defective equipment, a defectively designed helipad, or other cause. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the cause of the crash, this investigation will likely take many months or even a year before any report is issued. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations, memories are fading, and evidence may be lost, mislaid, or destroyed. Experienced attorneys will supervise their own investigation into the crash to determine where the negligence lies, ensure all deadlines are met, and all evidence is preserved.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento Is Essential
Even when working with your own insurance company on a UM claim, it is in the company’s financial interest to pay as little as possible or deny the claim altogether if it can. It takes an experienced Sacramento car accident attorney to estimate the true value of a claim and stand up to insurance company pressure to settle quickly for less than you are entitled to.
Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation has over 30 years of experience negotiating at the bargaining table and litigating in the courtroom. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys have obtained a wide range of favorable settlements and tried over 100 cases to jury verdict in state and federal courts throughout California. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle or aviation accident, consult with the law firm of Mastagni Holstedt, A Professional Corporation, and contact us online or call 916-446-4692 for a free consultation.