What You Need to Know About Car Accident Compensation
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 3,563 people lost their lives in one year on California roads. After a collision many are left vulnerable and do not understand their rights, or most importantly what legal measures to take next.
Filing for motor vehicle collision compensation can be a complex task and a feat that should not be tackled on alone.
If you are loved one has been injured in a car crash, there are important facts and details about compensation, actions to take, and laws that you should be aware of.
Frequently Asked Questions About Receiving Compensation for a Car AccidentRecovering the full amount for your injuries can be a complicated process. Accident victims are usually at a loss what to do after a car accident that is not their fault and have many unanswered questions regarding their auto insurance claim. The following are common questions that injury victims frequently ask after a motor vehicle collision.
Once you have contacted your insurance company and have filed a claim, you then will be assigned to an adjuster. The adjuster will ask you to provide information such as photos, the other person's car insurance policy number and will ask for a statement of what took place at the scene of the accident.
When you have filed a claim through your car insurance company it is critical that you keep in contact with your adjuster. Constant communication is imperative because medical and rental car expenses can add up. Ask your adjuster what the status of your claim is and if they need any further evidence or information from you.
Property damage, after a motor vehicle crash, needs to be evaluated by an expert. The car will be evaluated by a professional of your choosing or one the insurance company has offered to you. The appraiser will then examine the car, then state how much repairs will cost or if the car is even salvageable.
If your car is not drivable or it needs to be in the repair shop for quite some time, you are potentially entitled to compensation. The term potentially is included in the following statement because what you are entitled to is also dependent on your insurance policy plan.
Pain and suffering, in personal injury law, refers to the physical and emotional injuries a victim may experience after a car accident. Many insurance companies use what is known as the multiplier method to calculate a typical car accident settlement amount for pain and suffering damages. Calculating pain and suffering is a complicated task and there is not a standard dollar amount that every motor vehicle collision victim will be awarded. Call 949-203-3814 to learn more about how much you can receive.
The term known as actual cash value, which is used amongst insurance adjusters involves the total loss of your car. This means that if the repairs for your car exceed the actual amount that your car is worth, your car can be classified as a total loss. If your motor vehicle is declared as a total loss the insurance company will try to obtain the compensation you need to buy a new car. More than likely, insurance companies do not succeed at this task and it is strongly encouraged that you contact a car accident attorney to get the maximum compensation for your incident.
Actions to Avoid Taking After a Crash
Insurance companies all too often can prey and use the vulnerability of an injury victim to their advantage. The negligent party can also use information you stated at the collision scene against you, potentially affecting your settlement amount.
Actions to avoid after a car wreck are:
- Do not leave the accident scene: It is not only critical but illegal if you leave the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene is a criminal offense and can lead to a large fine or jail time. Make sure to stay and not leave until the local authorities state that it is okay to go.
- Do not delay seeking medical assistance: Even if you believe and feel that you are not suffering from injuries, please seek medical assistance. Injuries such as traumatic head injuries and internal bleeding may be occurring and worsen if they are not treated early on.
- Do not admit to any fault: Right after an incident, do not indicate that you were at fault for the accident. Implying you were at fault can sound like "I'm sorry," "I could have been more careful," "my bad," or actually saying "this was my fault." There is nothing wrong with showing emotion or compassion for the at-fault driver. Be cautious with the words that you use. You do not want to have anything held against you later on.
- Do not downplay your injuries: Many victims after a collision may insist that they do not need medical treatment or that much property damage occurred. Although the accident victim may think that they didn't experience any losses, you should not ever lessen the extent of your injuries or damages. The reason being is because underlying medical or motor vehicle issues can arise later down the line.
- Do not take the first offer that the insurance company provides you with: In a moment of vulnerability, it could be easy to accept the first offer. It is strongly suggested that you sit down with a car accident lawyer before accepting any insurance company's compensation. If you accept an offer and it does not cover all of your losses, you can potentially have to pay out of pocket for expenses for a car accident.
Information that is Needed When Filing for Compensation
Every piece of information related to your car accident case can give you the upper hand when fighting for compensation. Do not underestimate the value of certain types of information, such as the weather the day of the incident.
Important information that you need to have when filing for car accident compensation in California include:Photos and witness statements: After a collision, you must gather evidence such as photos of the damage to the car, any injuries that you have experienced, and also the location of the incident. The location, weather, and time of the accident matter because they could have contributed to the incident. If any onlookers were present at the time of the collision, collect their information so the insurance company can contact them later for a statement.
Insurance and car information: Gathering contact information, car registration, insurance policy numbers, and license plates are not the only types of information exchanged after an accident. Information such as the year, make, and color of a vehicle is also useful.
Police reports or medical documentation: California law states that if any injuries or fatalities had taken place in the event of a collision, it is required that a report be filed within 24 hours. If property damages exceed the amount of $1,000, those involved have 10 days from the accident to inform the department of motor vehicles of the accident.
Laws & Car Crash Compensation in California
The state of California has multiple laws that apply to motor vehicle wrecks. These laws regulate how the insurance process should go, damages that car accident victims are entitled to, and if further legal actions should take place.
California enforces that insurance companies are to provide insurance policyholders a coverage known as the 15/30/5 rule.
Insurance companies are to supply a minimum of:
- $15,000 the death or bodily injury of an individual
- $30,000 for the death or bodily injury of multiple people
- $5,000 for damages to property
There are many monetary compensation and damages forms, broken down into two key groups: economic damages and non-economic compensatory damages. Together, they include current and future medical bills, lost income, emotional pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and more.
Another type of non-economic damages will be the loss of consortium, which is always a sensitive and tricky issue. How much you have and will lose across these various categories sets your baseline car accident injury compensation.
What actual types of injuries did you suffer, and what kind of impact have they had on you physically, emotionally, financially, and so forth? A broken finger and a broken leg could result in equal medical bills but drastically different impacts elsewhere.
If they don't have insurance or assets or only have an insurance policy set to a minimum amount, you won't receive more compensation than that. Therefore, their ability to pay is a major determining factor in what you actually end up receiving and how much your personal injury claim will be worth.
Insurance companies are also to provide motorists with plans to protect them from under-insured or uninsured drivers.
Calculating How Much You Will Receive for Your Settlement
After a collision, accident victims may use various online damage calculators to understand how much they could potentially be awarded as compensation. Do not rely on these "car accident compensation" calculators. Car accident settlement calculators do not take many details into account. This can make you more apt to take a low insurance offer that will not cover the extent of your injuries and damages.
When you seek the help of a car accident lawyer, they will then calculate how much you would need for losses such as:
- Medical bills (accident injuries can range from physical and emotional such as whiplash, lower back pain, a nerve injury, a brain injury, anxiety, PTSD, depression)
- Lost wages
- Non-economic damages .
Take Action to Protect Yourself Today
Learning about car accident injury compensation is a great way to begin protecting yourself when you're in this unenviable position. Make sure that you get what is entitled to you, and make sure you fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve as an auto accident victim.
Our law firm has over four decades of experience recovering compensation for losses such as medical expenses, property damage, emotional distress and permanant disabilities. We have successfully represented thousands of clients suffering serious injuries from car accidents, and we'll offer you our complete dedication for your accident case.
We'll ensure that you receive the full level of car accident injury compensation that your injuries and circumstances warrant. Of course, you also never need to pay us any fees until your case is successful as well. That means there's absolutely no reason not to pick up the phone and begin seeking your compensation.
Have you been injured in a car accident?
Call the Personal Injury Lawyers of Bisnar Chase at 949-203-3814 to receive your free legal consultation, and we'll show you how we can help you when it's time to go after the rightful compensation you deserve.
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