Filing a Car Accident Claim? What You Should Know
Filing a Car Accident Claim? What You Should Know
Filing a car accident claim is important after a crash. It’s the first to hold the party responsible for your injuries to account. However, there are numerous things you should know when filing a car accident claim in Bakersfield.
Personal injury damages cater to the expenses resulting from your injuries like medical bills, lost wages, and more. Residents of California can call a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield to help them pursue injury claims.
Car Accident Claims—What You Should Know
Injury claims are lengthy and can be frustrating for legal amateurs. However, a personal injury lawyer can help you move forward with confidence. Here are ten things you should to know about car accident claims:
Insurance Companies Don’t Have Your Interests
Auto insurance companies and their representors—insurance adjusters, look out for themselves and not clients. They’ll use all devious tactics to protect their bottom lines — employers, including:
- Denying liability;
- Reducing value of a claim;
- Defrauding claimants, and more.
Fortunately, claimants can protect themselves by hiring legal representation. You should enlist a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Hiring legal representation at the initial stages of your case allows them sufficient time to review and understand your case, and develop a recovery strategy.
Lawyers understand those tactics, so they can claimants understand their rights and how to navigate the process. Injury claims are based on negligence, so you must furnish your lawyer with potential evidence needed to build a strong case. Admissible evidence in a car crash case can include:
- Witness accounts;
- Medical records;
- Police reports;
- Car accident reconstruction experts accounts, and
- Doctor’s report, among others.
File Your Claim Immediately
The consequences of a crash, including physical, mental, and financial hardships, can be hard to deal with. Consequently, many people delay to file their injury claims.
By law, personal injury claims should be filed within a specific timeframe, which can vary by jurisdiction. The statute of limitations sets these timelines.
In California, injury claims must be filed within two years from the date of injury. However, the deadline can be extended to one year from when injuries are discovered, as per the discovery rule.
Always Sign Documents in the Presence of a Lawyer
Insurance adjusters use many strategies to confuse clients. For instance, they can send over numerous documents and expect you to review, sign, and submit them in a vert short time frame.
This is when you need your lawyer. A skilled attorney will review the documents to ensure everything is in order. They should advise you on the legal aspects and implications of such documents.
If anything in the documents violates your rights, the lawyer should let you know. Insurance companies are typically straightforward if they know you have legal representation.
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You Must Prove Negligence and Liability
To sustain an injury claim, you must prove the negligence and liability of the person or party responsible for your loss—bodily injuries and property damage.
Proving negligence and liability isn’t always easy. California is a fault state. Consequently, claimants file injury claims with the other driver’s auto insurer.
You or your lawyer will be required to prove negligence by showing:
- The plaintiff owed you a duty of care;
- They breached this duty;
- The breach resulted in the accident, and
- The accident caused your loss.
Car Accident Claims Can Take Time to Settle
Many people prefer the insurance claims recovery process because it’s faster than the judicial process. However, this doesn’t mean that your case will settle within days.
Depending on the complexity of your case and other factors, settlement can take weeks, months, or years. Rogue insurance companies use delay tactics to frustrate claimants, lengthening the recovery process.
It’s imperative to have legal counsel when pursuing an accident claim through insurance companies. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the potential challenges of the insurance recovery process.
Numerous Factors Determine the Value of Your Claim
What’s the value of my claim? Thus is a common question claimants struggle with. Multiple factors come into play when calculating the value of an injury claim. These factors include your:
- Medical bills;
- Severity of damages —property loss and physical injuries;
- Your legal team
- Personal injury law, and others.
While many factors play a vital role in determining the value of a claim, your injuries are arguably the most important. Your lawyer can help you draft a reasonable injury claim and negotiate on your behalf.
Many Personal Injury Lawyers Work on Contingency Fees
Suppose you’ve recently been involved in a car crash. You need to pursue an injury claim, but you don’t have money. What to do? Many personal injury work on a contingency fee basis, meaning clients pay for successful cases. If your lawyer loses the case, you pay nothing.
It’s important to schedule a free legal consultation to understand how a lawyer works before enlisting them. These consultations are free, so you can get legal counsel and interview a lawyer for free.