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Below are some of the many questions you might have if you have been in a car accident.
1. Will my medical bills be paid?
2. Will I be paid for the time I'm losing from work?
3. What do I do if the person who hit my car doesn't have auto insurance?
4. Will my car be repaired?
5. What if I don't make a full recovery and cannot return to my former work?
6. What will the insurance company offer me for my personal injuries?
7. How will I know that the insurance settlement is fair for my injuries?
8. How will I know that the lawyer I've chosen to represent my case is a competent lawyer and will know what to do?
9. How will I be able to know if I don't have a competent lawyer?
You can recover such damages, if your injury was caused by the fault of someone other than you.
I have seen honest, hard working, unsuspecting people being taken advantage of by uncaring insurance company adjustors.
I want you to know that if you are injured through no fault of your own but by someone else's negligence, California law entitles you to recover various types of damages: The insurance giants like State Farm, Geico, and Farmers did not become super profitable by paying out large claims.
Harms and Losses : Ordinarily, the most "valuable" element of your bodily injury claim is the right to compensation for physical harm and physical losses you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. These general damages are in addition to and may be far more than the amount of your lost earnings and medical expenses.
1. Loss Of Earnings: You are also entitled to recover the loss of earnings suffered from your injuries. Thus, wages, commissions, bonuses and all other earnings and fringe benefits are recoverable.
2. Future Loss Of Earnings: If your injuries permanently limit your ability to earn, you can recover the value of the reduction in earning capacity with reasonable probability, which will occur in the future. These damages compensate you for your lost earning power over the remainder of your working years.
3. Death: Damages for "wrongful death" are available for the wife, husband, parent and child of the deceased person. Sometimes, persons related by blood or marriage, who were dependent upon the deceased, may recover. Damages are not limited to economic loss and may include damages for members of the family.
4. Damage to The Marital Relationship: Serious injuries to one spouse may cause damage to the marital relationship. If this occurs, you are entitled to recover for the loss of society, affection, assistance, conjugal fellowship and loss or impairment of sexual relations that occurs.
5. Damage to Vehicle or Other Personal Property are available and the insurance company is required to pay you the full value of those claims
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Crash or other Injury. 1. Take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of the other car. Take pictures of the car you were in. Record as much information as you possibly can, if you are able. The biggest mistake people make in this area is failing to have the police or other authorities fill out a Uniform Crash Report or Accident Report. Preservation of this type of evidence is crucial.
2. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment. Another mistake people make, is failing to seek medical treatment. Oftentimes, people do not feel the full effect of injuries for several days after the incident. It is important that you seek medical attention, immediately and important that you follow through on the medical treatment. I also see people make mistakes by discontinuing treatment or skipping doctors appointments. Insurance companies use this information to minimize your injuries. Do not skip treatment or doctors appointments. It has a profound impact on your claim. A quick side note, over the weekend I was laying a wood laminate flooring. I was on my hands and knees for several hours laying the floor. I would get up and down 100's of times, walk over to the saw, make a cut, and then back on my hands and knees. I did not feel it right then but let me tell you, the next day I was sore.
3. I Can Do It On My Own. The third biggest mistake that I see people make after an injury, is the mistaken belief that the insurance company will treat people fair. People often settle for less than their claim is worth. Statistically, people who hire attorneys to represent them against insurance companies recover more money and put more money in their pocket, even after paying their attorney. Why is this? We deal with insurance companies on a regular basis. We know their tactics and we know what you are entitled to receive as compensation for your injuries. We use our knowledge, training and skill to get the most money for your injuries.
Another benefit to hiring an attorney, is that, as an attorney, I can file a lawsuit on your behalf and force the insurance company to go before a jury. All in all, people who seek the services of an attorney do better in the money they recover, have peace of mind to know that their claim is getting handled properly and have someone to turn to for answers to questions involving their injury claim.
The harsh reality is the BIG, STRONG, and POWERFUL insurance companies often try to force injured victims into accepting a lower settlement for their injuries than they truly deserve, being victimized all over again. The truth of the matter is insurance companies are in business to make money, and the less they pay injured victims the more profits they get to make.
Please do not let this come as a surprise to you, but there is a strong possibility that the insurance company you have been or will be dealing with will try to get you to accept a lesser amount than you deserve. Many of these cases happen each year with hundreds of people recovering with far less compensation that they're entitled to receive.
CAN YOU SETTLE YOUR CASE YOURSELF?
Contact your insurance company immediately.
As soon as you can, call your insurance company to let them know the accident happened. Sometimes they’ll deny any compensation if you wait too long.
It’s also helpful to talk to your insurance company right away so that you can more readily recall all of the accident details. Don’t admit fault or give any opinions. Just tell them the facts. The only way to truly protect yourself from saying something that will be used against you later is to consult with an experienced attorney prior to speaking to anyone about the accident.
Don’t be quick to settle.
Insurance companies profit by getting you to settle as quickly as possible and for as little as possible. The worst thing you can do is settle before you’ve finished treatment for your injuries or figured out a fair amount for the settlement.
It’s generally not possible to know the total cost and extent of your injuries until your treatment is finished and you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Wait to consider a settlement offer until after your doctor has cleared you, or until you know the amount of all of your medical bills and car repairs.
Keep all of your medical bills, car repair estimates, doctors visit details, lost wages and any other relevant information to the car accident. We can’t stress this enough.
It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of how you’re feeling and the many ways the accident has affected you to help calculate your pain and suffering compensation. Having everything documented will help give you substantiated proof for your demand letter.
Calculate all of your bills and losses.
After you’ve received all of your medical bills and gotten your car repaired, you can add up the total cost. You’ll also need to include your lost wages and any other losses in the total.
The part where it gets tricky is when you have to factor in things like pain and suffering, future loss of wages and emotional distress. It can be difficult to put a specific number on these damages, and that’s where a car accident attorney comes in. They have the expertise to be able to look at your case as a whole and figure out a fair amount.
Send a demand letter.
Once all the numbers and documentation are in-hand, send a demand letter to the insurance company, along with the documentation and any witness accounts. This letter details the accident and the amount of compensation you’re requesting (and why).
A demand letter is also something you might need professional legal help putting together. You’ll likely have to negotiate with the insurance company to come to an agreement, so your attorney can deal with all of that while you focus on treatment and healing.
Hire an experienced car accident attorney.
For the reasons mentioned above, and just for the fact that car accident claims can be difficult to maneuver, hiring an experienced attorney can help lighten your load. You’re already dealing with a lot of stress and pain, so hiring a professional to help you navigate the legal maze is often worth it to get the best possible outcome.
Protect yourself and don't let this happen to you.
If you have been in a car accident there are a number of things that might be going thru your mind. Where do I get my car fixed? What if my car is totaled and I don't have GAP insurance? What if you are injured who is going to pay to get you better? Are my medical bills covered? What if I have long term medical issues who is going to pay for that? Worse yet, what if you are seriously injured? Will you be compensated for your full loss? How do I make a claim with my own insurance company? There are no attorney fees unless we can recovery money for you. If you were involved in a car accident give us a call to discuss your legal rights. We have knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules and regulations. Call Car Accident Lawyers 909-GOT-HURT
Give us a call at 909-GOT-HURT
Silva & Silva Attorney's at Law
205 E. State St. Redlands CA 92373