If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and damages. In most cases, car accident claims are settled with the insurance provider for the at-fault driver. However, there are some cases in which an accident victim may need to contact a California personal injury attorney to discuss filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are in the process of seeking car accident compensation, it is helpful to know the following five factors that could impact your ability to recover compensation for an injury claim:
1. Evidence of fault for the other driver
California is an at-fault state for car accident claims. You must prove that the other driver caused the accident to receive compensation for your injuries. When building a case against the other driver, it helps to have accident reports, eyewitness testimony, and accident scene evidence that clearly shows the other driver’s actions led to the cause of the crash.
2. California’s comparative fault laws
Under California’s pure comparative fault laws, being partially at fault for a car wreck does not bar you from recovering compensation for damages. However, the amount of money you receive for your car accident claim is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the crash. Therefore, if your claim is worth $100,000, but you are 50 percent at fault, the most you can receive for your claim would be $50,000.
3. The severity and type of injuries impact the value of your claim
The severity of your injury and whether you sustained permanent impairments impact the value of your injury claim significantly. Claims involving catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities are worth more. Injuries that typically increase the value of a car accident claim include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Severe burns
- Back injuries
If you sustained permanent impairments, you might be entitled to future damages, including loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and ongoing medical bills, in addition to losses and damages to date.
4. Your actions after a car accident can have a significant effect on your claim
The actions you take after a car accident can have an impact on the compensation you receive for an injury claim. If you failed to seek medical attention or did not complete your treatment plan, the insurance company may claim that you were not injured in the accident or your injuries are not as severe as you allege. If you apologized after the accident, the insurance company might allege you admitted fault for the accident and attempt to reduce the compensation it must pay to settle your claim. It is easy to make a misstep if you are not familiar with the insurance claims process or personal injury laws.
5. Your time to settle your car accident claim is limited.
In most cases, car accident victims have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries. There are a few exceptions that could shorten the time to file a lawsuit. If you are unable to settle your injury claim within a reasonable period, you may want to consult an attorney regarding your legal options. Waiting too long to talk to a car accident lawyer could result in no compensation for your car accident claim.
Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for More Information
Dealing with a car accident claim can be stressful and challenging, especially if the insurance company for the other driver refuses to negotiate a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our California personal injury attorneys can handle all aspects of the injury claim, including investigating the accident, gathering evidence, filing an insurance claim, negotiating a settlement, and filing a car accident lawsuit, if necessary. If you have questions or need help with a claim, contact our office to speak with an attorney.