When you or a loved one faces battery charges with serious bodily harm, you may face significant legal consequences, depending on whether the presiding judge or jury finds you guilty. As a result, you want to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you prepare for trial and build strong defenses for your case. Furthermore, a good criminal attorney will anticipate the prosecutor’s arguments and work to discredit them or challenge them on a valid basis. At Foos Gavin Law Firm, you will receive excellent criminal defense services tailored to suit your needs and place you in the best position to obtain a favorable outcome. Our team of experts has worked with hundreds of clients in Sacramento, California, to help them fight battery with serious bodily injury charges. Therefore, you can rely on us to provide the best legal assistance to meet your expectations.
The Nature of the Offense
Committing battery is prohibited under section 243(d) of the California Penal Code. Under the provision, you are prohibited from touching another person offensively, leading to their bodily injury. Thus, any actions surrounding the factors discussed under the penal code section can attract legal repercussions for the suspect.
Battery falls within the broader category of assault and battery offenses often charged based on similar characteristics. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between assault and battery to understand further how the elements of this offense are arrived at.
Usually, assault offenses involve an attempt to create offensive physical contact with the alleged victim to cause harm. Since the assault is an attempt, charged parties face criminal accusations based on the actions made towards the attempted launch at the alleged victim.
On the other hand, battery is an offense involving physical contact between the offender and the alleged victim. Parties facing criminal charges will have launched offensive contact, meaning that they aimed to cause harm to the victims or aggravate them. Due to this, the elements of crime required to charge you with battery must establish that you were successful in creating physical contact.
Battery with serious bodily injury is, therefore, an aggravated form of the offense of battery. This is because regular cases may not cause injuries to the alleged victims, yet they are still entitled to press charges against you. On the other hand, when the alleged victim suffers bodily injury, you will face a wobbler crime charge, meaning that the prosecutor may charge your case as a felony or misdemeanor.
Elements of Crime for the Prosecution to Prove
Once you face arrest, booking, and the initial court arraignment for battery with serious bodily injury, you want to prepare yourself for the subsequent trial set to begin within the stipulated time frame. The best way to prepare yourself is to retain a criminal defense attorney, who will then help you anticipate the prosecutor’s case build-up. Furthermore, your defense lawyer plays an instrumental role in developing defenses to present your position.
Usually, criminal law regulations require the prosecutor in your case to assume the burden of proof, meaning that they are responsible for acquiring and presenting all evidence available against you. Further, the law imposes a standard of evidence that requires the prosecutor to present their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Based on the high evidential standard, the prosecution team must build upon various elements of crime relating to the battery with serious bodily injury. This helps them do a thorough job proving each of your guilt in each component, leading to the overall culmination of having proven their case.
Although the prosecutor collaborates with many officers in the law enforcement and investigation department, having the burden of proof on them makes their task more challenging. You can use this to your advantage by ensuring you understand the various elements of crime related to the charge to counter them effectively. Thus, the following are the factors leading to a battery with a serious bodily injury charge:
You Wilfully and Physically Touched the Alleged Victim
Firstly, the prosecutor must prove that your actions were conducted willfully, meaning that nobody forced you to touch the alleged victim. The essence of proving this element of the crime is to establish that you understood the nature of your actions yet proceeded to execute them. Following this line of thought, the prosecutor can then show that you had the criminal intent to attack the victim and expose them to serious bodily harm.
Although proving that an accused person acted willfully may seem straightforward, it often requires the prosecutor to rely on circumstantial evidence rather than directly sourced details. This is because a person’s intentions may not become apparent at first, so the investigating persons must study their behavior and the events of their criminal actions.
Therefore, the prosecutor will analyze the type of actions, words, or body language available moments before you attacked the alleged victim to show that you acted willfully. For example, if you uttered words to the victim threatening their safety, the prosecutor can repeat the statements in court to portray the type of mind frame you were in.
Similarly, observing body language is often helpful for the prosecutor, especially if the attack on the alleged victim involved physical violence. For example, edging towards the victim slowly before swinging your arm to hit them is clear body language to show that you contemplated your thoughts and decided to proceed with the attack.
Several evidential sources include witness statements, footage, and police reports. The authorities can demonstrate your wilful intention by elaborating the circumstances leading to your actions. Hence, you want to prepare adequately for the prosecutor’s case and determine the best counterargument to apply.
The second factor that the prosecution team must establish when proving this element of the crime is showing that you created physical contact with the alleged victim during the attack. This distinction is important because it frames your actions into the appropriate battery charges instead of assault. As discussed above, assault involves physical and offensive touch attempts, while battery pertains to actual physical contact against the victim.
You should also note that the physical contact between you and the alleged victim does not necessarily have to involve body-to-body engagement. The court will consider evidence involving any object or weapon launched from your efforts to be included as possible justifications of the physical attack.
For example, throwing a heavy tool like a hammer toward the alleged victim and hurting them is still considered physical touch, as would a case involving punching the victim. The only requirement is that you were the party responsible for initiating the physical contact, in this case, throwing the hammer or swinging the punch.
Evidence to support the claims that you had physical contact with the victim is relatively easy for the prosecutor to access, especially if they are working with several investigation officers in the case. The officers will only need to retrieve the collected evidence in court to demonstrate your alleged attacks.
2. The Actions Were Offensive or Aggressive
Secondly, the prosecutor must prove that you acted offensively or aggressively when initiating physical contact with the alleged victim. Doing so would distinguish you from a case involving an innocent or accidental physical touch resulting in the victim’s serious bodily injury.
When building on their case, the prosecutor may consider including information on why your attack is perceivable as offensive or aggressive, as they intend to prove your guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.
Subsequently, you can expect the prosecution team to call on witnesses to speak about your character moments before and during the attack. They will rely on this tactic because attacking your character is often difficult to counter unless you have prepared to present several character witnesses yourself.
Furthermore, having witnesses speak of your alleged irrational and aggressive behavior may offset you in court, which the prosecutor would hope serves their interests to prove their point further. Hence, you want to remain calm during the proceedings and ensure you consult your attorney when you strongly believe that the narrative built against you includes inaccurate information. This way, you will not quickly react negatively in court, as it may affect your credibility before the judge or jury.
Further, you should note that the prosecutor may rely on police reports recorded after the battery incident occurred to support their case. The information often contains specific details on the nature of the arrested person’s actions resulting in the crime. If the parties are available, they may have depicted your actions as offensive or aggressive, meaning that evidence from the prosecution team is piled against you.
Similarly, witnesses who testify about the events that triggered you to act offensively may also appear on the prosecutor’s side and present their case. When they do, you want to carefully listen to all the provided details to ensure no exaggeration or inaccurate information is available for the judge’s reference.
3. The Alleged Victim Sustained Serious Bodily Harm from Your Actions
Lastly, the prosecutor must show that the alleged victim of battery sustained serious bodily injury from the incident, meaning that your attack was a significant threat to their safety. The prosecutor may rely on doctors' reports, medical prescriptions, and other medical records like X-Rays and MRI scans retrieved to demonstrate that the alleged victim suffered serious harm.
Further, the prosecutor may rely on an expert witness, specifically a medical doctor, to provide verified details on the victim’s injuries and their seriousness. Granted, the expert witness should provide information as an independent source and not in the interest of promoting the prosecutor’s case.
Therefore, you can inform your defense attorney to object if you notice that the expert witness may be exaggerating or providing false information unrelated to your case. For example, the expert witness may talk of the alleged victim having severe back pain while the case facts involve hitting them. The testimony is likely to be altered to favor the prosecution.
Nevertheless, judges hold the discretion to determine how severe the alleged victim’s injuries are upon assessing the case facts and receiving evidence from expert witnesses like doctors, if any are available. Hence, you do not have to worry about the evidence presented by the prosecution, especially if it appears to be blown out of proportion.
Conditions Found to be Serious Bodily Harm in Previous Cases
Notably, case law forms a significant reference point for litigating parties because the judicial precedent is considered to form part of the law. Over the years, cases involving battery with serious bodily harm have been decided on varying physical conditions.
Thus, information is available on physical conditions now acceptable as falling under the serious bodily harm category. Learning this information beforehand can give you an upper hand in determining the strength of the prosecutor’s case. The conditions include:
A Victim Losing Consciousness
Naturally, losing consciousness indicates your body’s inability to function, especially after a traumatic event. As a result, an alleged victim who lost consciousness after a battery attack may have a valid claim against you, especially if they have records to prove that they lost consciousness.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Similarly, bone fractures indicate excessive force that impacts your body, resulting in the condition. A healthy human’s bones are made to support heavyweights, so having them fractured means excessive force that results in the injury. In the context of battery, causing fractures would indicate a powerful physical attack against the victim, warranting your arrest and trial.
Broken or Lost Teeth
Your teeth are built similarly to your bones and can withstand substantial force. Hence, having broken or lost teeth is considered a severe injury based on the impact level required to crack or displace a tooth from its root.
Wounds Requiring Sutures or Stitches
Moreover, if the alleged victim had to receive sutures or stitches after sustaining wounds, it could indicate deep tissue wounds suffered during the battery attack you are charged with. Therefore, previously decided cases included wounds of this nature as serious bodily harm that entitles the victim to pursue legal action.
Based on the information, the presiding judge or jury will need to reach a decision that may ultimately impact whether you face any penalties. Overall, you should note that the prosecutor is bound to present and prove your involvement in all elements of crime before their case succeeds.
This means that you may have several chances to invoke reasonable doubt, raise concerns and present your counterarguments to reduce the prosecutor’s chances of success. By consulting your criminal defense attorney, you will better understand how the criminal trial process works and how best to intervene and build strong defenses.
Defenses Applicable for Battery With Serious Bodily Harm
Laws guiding the criminal process require the promotion of a fair hearing process, meaning that both sides must be accorded time to present their case. Based on this, you, as the accused person, will have a chance to present your defenses after the prosecutor closes the case. The defense hearings are crucial to determining the final case outcome, as the defendant may show a different angle that draws attention to overlooked facts.
Therefore, you want to work with an experienced attorney who understands the importance of conducting thorough research and engaging in due diligence before choosing a suitable defense. Further, your attorney should guide you through the applicability of the defenses discussed below. This means that not all counterarguments are helpful in your case, so you will need to choose the best options depending on the case circumstances.
The following are applicable defenses to a battery with a serious bodily injury charge:
The Victim Did Not Sustain any Serious Injury.
One of the valuable defenses to apply involves questioning the prosecutor's claims that the victim suffered severe bodily harm from the attack. You can dispute this by raising questions on the nature of the victim’s injury and whether they are related to the battery case facts under scrutiny in your matter.
This defense should be applied when you strongly believe that the prosecution wrongfully exaggerated the victim’s injuries or even presented false details to make you seem to have caused severe bodily harm.
Your attorney can request to present an expert witness, preferably a medical doctor, who can help ascertain that the victim’s injuries do not pose serious harm to them. You should also compare the expert witness statements to the prosecutor’s expert witness statements as a test of objectivity.
However, you should note that some courts may deny the request to present an expert witness twice, as the general assumption is that these witnesses give information subjectively. Despite this, you can still have the request granted when your defense attorney successfully proves that the expert opinion was biased.
If successful, the defense may lead to your acquittal or reduce the severity of penalties you would have otherwise received.
You Acted in Self Defense
Self-defense is among the best counterarguments to present in this case because, if applied successfully, the defense can absolve you of all charges. The basic premise of using this defense is showing your innocence by asserting that you were forced to resort to violence after being in a dangerous situation.
Most cases will have the alleged victim as the person who made you think your safety was at risk because they are the person you are now accused of attacking. You should note that relying on self-defense as a counterargument requires you to meet several thresholds set by the law to show that your claims are genuine and should therefore be considered.
Firstly, you need to prove that you reasonably believed in being in danger or impending danger. The best way to do this is by recounting the moments just before your alleged battery attack. For example, if the person posing a threat was following you around, you can explain how uneasy and unsafe you felt, especially if they seemed to target you.
Since the prosecutor may perceive your statement to be made only to make yourself seem blameless, you want to support them by presenting evidence. For example, your defense attorney can have several witnesses corroborate your narrative and build credibility.
Secondly, any person seeking to rely on self-defense must prove that their use of violence or force was the only accessible option in the circumstances. Thus, you must prove that you could not avert the perceived danger by running away or calling for help. Subsequently, your only option was to use force or violence to protect yourself.
Lastly, you should prove that the force you used in retaliation to the imminent source of danger was proportional to the type of danger you believed you were in. For example, if the person following you appeared to have had a weapon, throwing a medium-sized rock at them can be a reasonable retaliation to keep them away as you seek help. Nevertheless, the judge will apply discretion in most cases to determine whether the force you used was appropriate.
The Physical Touch was Accidental
You can also present the accident defense for the charges, which would help counter the claim that you acted offensively. Accidents may happen unexpectedly and leave you little room to avoid hitting a person close to you.
Consequently, the person may have perceived your physical contact as offensive and decided to file a claim. Hence, if you have the necessary evidence to prove that your actions were accidental, you can choose to present them in court.
Penalties for Battery With Serious Bodily Harm
The offense is classified as a wobbler crime, meaning you may face a misdemeanor or a felony charge and subsequent penalties. When found guilty of a misdemeanor, you may receive a jail sentence of up to one year in county jail or a $1000 maximum fine.
A felony may result in up to four years in jail or a maximum fine payment of $10,000.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
Facing battery with serious bodily injury charges may be challenging, especially if unfamiliar with the criminal process. Thus, partnering with a defense attorney is among the best options to help you increase your chances of a positive outcome. You are well-positioned to prepare and present strong defenses against the prosecutor. At Foos Gavin Law Firm, you can expect to partner with highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys ready to handle your case adequately. Our team has helped hundreds of clients seeking defense services after facing battery charges in Sacramento, California. Therefore, you can rely on us to deliver quality services. For more information, contact us today at 916-779-3500.
A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of one's physical condition. Such injuries may include loss of consciousness, concussion, bone fractures, impairment of an organ or body part or a wound that requires extensive stitches.
California Penal Code [CPC] §242 – Simple Battery – California Penal Code Section 242 makes it illegal to use willful and unlawful force on another person. Conviction under CPC §242 permits up to six months in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
The degree of injury caused by a battery can also lead to felony battery charges. If the offense causes moderate bodily injury to any other person, then it will be considered felony battery. Indiana law defines “moderate bodily injury” as any impairment of physical condition that includes substantial pain.
Battery as a Misdemeanor
At the most basic level, battery charges are considered a misdemeanor in Indiana. If it is alleged that the accused person touched another person in a rude, insolent or angry manner, a battery charge may be filed. If no injury is alleged, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
Battery is a violent crime according to California law, and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for misdemeanor battery can carry lifelong negative consequences.
Serious physical injuries. — Any person who shall wound, beat, or assault another, shall be guilty of the crime of serious physical injuries and shall suffer: 1. The penalty of prision mayor, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the injured person shall become insane, imbecile, impotent, or blind; 2.
The main difference between a battery charge and an assault charge is the actual presence of harm and the threat of harm. Someone can only be charged with battery if they have caused real physical harm to someone, while a person can be charged with assault if the mere threat of harm is present.
Definition of Battery under PC 242
California Penal Code (PC) 242 makes it a criminal offense to intentionally and unlawfully touch someone else in a harmful or offensive manner without their consent. This includes punching, kicking, poking, slapping, spitting on someone or kissing someone against their will.
The term battery refers to a specific type of criminal charge involving the unauthorized application of force against another person's body. This unauthorized application of force results in offensive touching, or actual physical injury.
The Consequences of Conviction
Simple battery is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If the battery caused bodily injury to the victim, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
"Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes: (1) serious permanent disfigurement; (2) unconsciousness; (3) extreme pain; (4) permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or (5) loss of a fetus.
Assault and Battery Penalties in Indiana
A Class A misdemeanor can have penalties of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine, and a level 3 felony will have penalties between three and sixteen years in prison and an advisory term of nine years.
Level 6 felonies carry a sentence of 6 months to 2 ½ years' imprisonment (advisory sentence of 1 year). Criminal stalking, strangulation, and vehicle theft are examples of Level 6 felonies. The law allows a judge to reduce or convert a Level 6 felony to a Class A misdemeanor under certain circumstances.
A Level 5 Felony is the second lowest level felony charged in Indiana. An Indiana Level 5 Felony is generally viewed as being a more severe offense than misdemeanors and Level 6 Felonies. At the same time, Indiana Level 5 Felonies are less severe than Levels 1-4 Felonies.
The second provision of causing “bodily harm to the complainant” represents the battery within the assault charge. A simple assault charge may not include bodily harm and direct “use of force,” which means it does not carry the idea of battery within the context of the law.
To prove a charge of battery, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements: The defendant intentionally and unlawfully touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner. AND the defendant did not act in self defense, in defense of someone else, or while reasonably disciplining a child.
Simple Assault is a Misdemeanor crime. Conviction can result in six months in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both jail time and a fine.
The legal definition of battery requires that a person actually inflict harmful or offensive contact on the victim. There is no requirement that the person caused any personal injury or bodily harm to the alleged “victim.” In fact, the slightest touching can be a battery.
For example, if you get into a bar fight, and the other person hits a stone table and suffers brain damage, you could be charged with aggravated assault causing serious physical injury.
Based on the law, the elements of the crime of less serious physical injuries are, namely: (1) that the offender inflicted physical injuries upon another; and (2) that the physical injuries inflicted either incapacitated the victim for labor for 10 days or more, or the injuries required medical assistance for more than ...
Serious physical injury means “physical injury that creates a reasonable risk of death, or that causes serious and permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health or loss or protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb” as provided by A.R.S. § 13-105(38).
Types of sentences include probation, fines, short-term incarceration, suspended sentences, which only take effect if the convict fails to meet certain conditions, payment of restitution to the victim, community service, or drug and alcohol rehabilitation for minor crimes.
When someone punches, pushes, kicks, pinches, and slaps another person, they have committed battery. In a nursing home setting, if a caretaker does these acts with the intent of harming the patient (which is often the case with nursing home abuse), they may face aggravated battery charges.
Assault and battery charges can be filed either as a misdemeanor, or as a felony offense. The difference between the two is very severe, principally turning on the punishment involved. Misdemeanor convictions are punishable by incarceration in a County Jail/House of Correction, typically for a maximum of 2 ½ years.
Contrary to what most people think, the police can issue charges even if the victim asks them not to go forward. If the police charged you even though the alleged victim doesn't want to pursue a criminal complaint, you still need an experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side.
In general, you cannot be charged without evidence, but many people take this to mean physical evidence. In the absence of physical evidence, you can still receive drug charges if you had control over an illegal substance or had the intent to sell or distribute that substance, even if you did not physically possess it.
It is assault and you will be arrested.
Assault refers to the wrong act of causing someone to reasonably fear imminent harm. This means that the fear must be something a reasonable person would foresee as threatening to them. Battery refers to the actual wrong act of physically harming someone.
Battery is a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact, distinct from assault which is the act of creating apprehension of such contact. Battery is a specific common law offense, although the term is used more generally to refer to any unlawful offensive physical contact with another person.
Battery need not require body-to-body contact. Touching an object "intimately connected", to a person (such as an object he or she is holding) can also be battery. Furthermore, a contact may constitute a battery even if there is a delay between the defendant's act and the contact to the plaintiff's injury.
A: Some misdemeanors, including convictions for a “crime of domestic violence” (including but not limited to the specific crime of Domestic Battery) disqualify a person from legally possessing a firearm under Indiana and/or federal law, according to Ind.
Simple battery is a Class A misdemeanor (max. $1,000 fine; 6 months to 1 year in jail). It's aggravated battery if there's “great bodily harm.” It's also aggravated battery if there is an aggravating factor. Most of the factors that aggravate an assault also aggravate a battery. All aggravated batteries are felonies.
Definition of Felony Battery
Under the law, Felony Battery is committed where a defendant actually and intentionally strikes a person (without the person's consent) and, in doing so, “causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement” to the alleged victim.
"Moderate bodily injury" means any impairment of physical condition that includes substantial pain. As added by P.L.158-2013, SEC. 376.
A person who knowingly or intentionally inflicts injury on a person that creates a substantial risk of death or causes: (1) serious permanent disfigurement; (2) protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or. (3) the loss of a fetus; commits aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony.
Assault-Related Offenses in Indiana
Assault is usually an attempt or threat to commit a violent act, like battery, but not in Indiana. However, this does not mean that attempts or threats are legal. In fact, these crimes can also be misdemeanors or felonies and carry serious penalties.
This equates to 75% of the executed portion of the sentence needing to be served. It is important for those charged with a criminal offense to know their rights and have legal representation.
However, should the prosecutor fail to bring charges within the 90-day period, the charges cannot be refiled. An Indiana criminal defense lawyer can help you identify when the statute of limitations begins and when the prosecutor has failed to initiate the case by that deadline.
For most misdemeanor defendants, and especially those facing first-time charges for a non-violent offense, being convicted of a misdemeanor charge does not result in incarceration.
A judge can suspend a part or all of your sentence for a Level 6 felony conviction. When a judge suspends your sentence, they place you on probation. You do not need to report to jail if you meet all of your probation conditions.
Class I felonies are the lowest in the class ranking.. This occurs if someone makes a threat to commit a crime that would result in the death, terror, serious injury, or serious physical property damage. However, a person can make a “threat” simply through innuendo and even body language.
Under Chapter 35-38-9 of the Indiana Expungement Law, expungement is not available to sex offenders or violent offenders or persons convicted of official misconduct, homicide offenses, human and sexual trafficking offenses, or sex crimes.
In Indiana, convicted felons lose the right to vote during the time they are serving their sentences. Once they complete their term of incarceration and are released from prison, felons in Indiana regain the right to vote. They are permitted to vote even if they are on parole or probation.
The defendant must file a petition with the court that sets forth the crime they were convicted of, the date of the conviction, the date the sentence was completed, the conditions of the sentence, the date the conditions were completed, and a verified statement that there are no other criminal charges pending against ...
A crime that's a Class A federal felony is the worst, with a maximum prison term of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. A Class E federal felony involves a prison term of more than one year but less than five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
The Term Battery
Historically, the word "battery" was used to describe a "series of similar objects grouped together to perform a function," as in a battery of artillery. In 1749, Benjamin Franklin first used the term to describe a series of capacitors he had linked together for his electricity experiments.
ABH and GBH (grievous bodily harm) are terms used to describe the severity of injuries in cases where there has been an unlawful application of force. It is effectively a more serious form of battery.
"Application of force" requires only the slightest touch, either directly or indirectly as long as it is done in a harmful or offensive manner. Thus, for example, poking your finger at someone's chest could be an assault.
Bodily injury refers to specific kinds of harm done to the body after an incident, such as bruises, burns, cuts, fractured bones, and nerve damage. When someone carries bodily injury insurance, it covers the costs of the other person involved in the accident.
- Ask the driver. The police report will have the contact information for the negligent driver. ...
- Send a demand letter. ...
- Get help from your insurance company. ...
- Sue the negligent driver.
If you are responsible for a car accident, bodily injury liability coverage pays for the medical costs of the people who are injured (not including yourself). This coverage also helps cover payment for legal defense in the event you are sued for damages.
One of the first thoughts that many drivers have surrounding accidents is whether their state has a no-fault policy regarding crashes. California is one of 38 states that does not subscribe to a no-fault policy. This means whoever is responsible for the accident will be liable to pay for the damages.
"Serious bodily injury." Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
The law defines a serious injury as an injury that results in any of the following: death. significant disfigurement. dismemberment.
The best liability coverage for most drivers is 100/300/100, which is $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $100,000 per accident in property damage liability. You want to have full protection if you cause a significant amount of damage in an at-fault accident.
Can you recover more than the insurance policy limits after a car accident? The short answer is yes, you can. It is not easy, and you will need an experienced and savvy California car accident attorney to navigate the claim on your behalf.
If you are in a car accident, your insurer determines that you are not at fault, and the insurer of the at-fault driver accepts responsibility, good news—you won't have to pay your deductible! The coverage for any damage will come from the at-fault driver's third-party liability coverage.
You'll still be held responsible for all of the damage caused in an at-fault accident, even if you don't have enough car insurance, but there are some types of insurance that can help fill in the gaps in coverage.
As a rough rule of thumb, auto insurance experts recommend liability coverage of at least 100/300/100 — meaning, $100,000 in body injury liability insurance per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 in property damage liability per accident.
Bodily injury typically refers to a type of liability insurance coverage that can protect you if you injure someone else in an accident, whereas personal injury refers to a type of civil action against the party responsible for your damages.
- Liability coverage. Protects you if you cause damage to others and/or their stuff. ...
- Collision coverage. Covers your car if you hit another car, person or non-moving object (like those darn ornamental rocks cousin Todd has at the end of his driveway). # ...
- Comprehensive coverage.
Avoid using phrases like “it was my fault,” “I'm sorry,” or “I apologize.” Don't apologize to your insurer, the other driver, or law enforcement. Even if you are simply being polite and not intentionally admitting fault, these types of words and phrases will be used against you.
Average Car Accident Settlement Amounts Received in California. According to settlement data from across the United States, most reported cases generally settle for between $14,321 and $28,215. The average is around $21,000.
The compensation might max out your policy limits and go beyond that in which case you have to pay money from your pocket to cover the damages including medical expenses of the other driver (accident victim). This could potentially mean selling off your house.