A quick list of California car accident FAQs
Do I have a legal case?
Each car accident is different. There are no catchall rules to determine whether or not you have a legitimate claim, so you should consult an experienced California personal injury lawyer to examine your situation. You will need to be able to prove that the other person was negligent, that their negligence caused the accident, and that you suffered significant damages as a result.
What is my case worth?
Since each accident is unique, calculating damages for personal injury cases is complex. Often, without the help of an experienced attorney, accident victims will not receive the full amount of compensation that they deserve, because they overlook future losses that will result from the accident. Compensation can cover a wide range of damages including medical bills, lost wages now and in the future, physical therapy, ongoing pain, emotional trauma, and diminished enjoyment of life.
Do I need a lawyer?
You can negotiate a settlement on your own, but this is rarely the best course of action. Insurance companies are only interested in minimizing the amount of money they dish out. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side will level the playing field. Such a lawyer will also help you receive compensation that doesn’t just include financial damages, but also present and future quality of life damages such as pain, emotional anguish, and disability.
Do I need to see a doctor?
You need to go see a doctor immediately after any automobile accident. While the doctor examines and treats you, he or she will provide valuable documentation of your injuries that can be used for legal purposes. Also, even injuries that seem minor to begin with can turn into major complications over time, so make sure you tell your doctor about everything. As new symptoms arise, make sure you keep your doctor up-to-date.
How will my medical bills get paid?
California does not have no-fault insurance, so you will be responsible for paying for your medical bills using your own insurance, Med Pay, or personal funds. If you lack insurance or Med Pay coverage and can prove that the other driver was at fault, you may have a claim against the other driver’s insurance. You will need the skills of an experienced personal injury legal team, because such cases are tricky.
Should I speak to an insurance adjustor?
Refer your insurance adjustor to your personal injury attorney. Do not discuss the accident with them, give them any paperwork, or sign anything without the consent of your lawyer. Adjustors have many tricks for saving the insurance company as much money as possible, and any mistakes you make can cost you thousands of dollars.
What if the other driver was not insured?
If you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, you will be able to file a claim for damages from your insurance company along with your own claim. If not, your lawyer may be able to help you find other avenues of payment.
Will my case go to court?
Courtroom trials are expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable. The insurance companies know this, so most claims can be settled out of court. However, you need to make sure that you have hired a lawyer comfortable with going to trial if it comes to that.
How long will it take for my case to settle?
Many factors affect how long it will take to complete your case, including its seriousness and complexity and whether or not it must go to court. A simple accident with minor injuries may be completed within six months, but catastrophic injury cases often take several years.
Is my settlement money taxable?
Most of your settlement money is not taxable. However, compensation for lost wages and punitive damages are subject to income taxes.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
In California, you have 2 years from the time of the accident to file for an auto accident lawsuit. After this time, you have forfeited all ability to receive compensation for damages.
If you have any further questions or need the help of an experienced personal injury legal team, call Grennier Law, PC today. We would be happy to help you through the stressful and confusing process of filing for automobile accident claims.