Following a car accident in which you were injured in any way by someone else’s negligence, the best thing you could do is contact a good car accident attorney to guide you and help you with your accident claim.
Especially in California, an at-fault state where you may be entitled to a good compensation if you were found not responsible for the car accident. Having a car accident lawyer can help you manage this stressful situation much better.
Car accidents are a common occurrence in California. Especially in bigger cities like Los Angeles where statistics show a staggering number of car accidents. For example, according to LAPD crash data for 2019, there were nearly 54,000 accidents in Los Angeles only.
That means that around 150 car accidents happened every day in LA in the same year. Luckily, there are so many car accidents attorneys in Los Angeles to help anyone that has been hurt in a car crash.
In case you were wondering if you can pursue your car accident claim on your own, the answer is yes. You can. Just make sure you understand the volume of the work and the burden you may be placing on yourselves that will not help with your recovery at all.
Having an experienced auto accident attorney by your side, however, has many benefits that outweigh any lawyer fee you would have to pay. Simply put, spending the money on the attorney will benefit you in the future because your car accident attorney will bring a lot to the table.
1. Explaining Your Claim to You
After your car accident, you would have to report the accident to the insurance company and file a car accident claim. Now, insurance policies are just a set of rules describing what each party’s responsibilities are.
But those rules are written in such a way that can make your head spin after reading the first paragraph. You might feel like they’re written in another language, but this is the language your car crash attorney speaks really well.
Not only can they interpret an insurance policy to you and explain what the most complicated phrases mean, but an attorney will also make sure that the insurance company is honoring their part of the deal, as described in the insurance policy. In a case where the insurance company is being vague or unresponsive, your attorney will let you know what your legal options are in order to recover your losses and damages.
2. Handling the Insurance Company
Don’t let the insurance adjuster sweet-talk you into accepting their initial offer. Insurance company’s and their employees’ only goal is to make more money, not give it away to you. There were many instances where insurance companies denied a perfectly valid claim all because they just don’t want to part with the money you are entitled to for your injuries.
Insurance adjusters will use anything and everything to weaken your claim, even lead you on to make a statement that will put your claim in jeopardy. But what insurance adjusters are afraid of the most is going to court, and when an is involved, they are not so brazen to offer an insulting payout amount.
Your attorney knows the insurance company’s weak spots and will use them for your benefit. They can help you write a demand letter containing your statement regarding the details of the accident and propose an amount you are satisfied with, setting a payout bar much higher than an adjuster would.
3. Proving the Liability
In California proving liability for the accident is mandatory. As we said, California is an at-fault state and in The Golden State, you must determine who was negligent and responsible for the accident, both morally and financially.
California is also a comparative negligence state which means that all parties involved in a car accident may end up being responsible for the accident to some degree. The fault in these cases is also determined in percentages.
Your attorney will spend most of their time collecting evidence that your injuries were in fact caused by another’s negligent actions, or in other words, they will work hard to prove the liability.
However, to determine the liability they must go through quite a bit of paperwork like accident reports, witness statements, and medical records. They will also conduct their own investigation of your accident and consult different medical specialists about the short-term and long-term consequences of your injuries.
4. Determining Your Claim’s Worth
Determining the value of your own damages and injuries is rarely successful. Accident victims handling their claims by themselves tend to either overrate or underrate their claim’s worth. But those with the legal backup will get an honest estimate of the value of their claim from their car accident attorney.
While insurance adjusters will offer you the lowest payout possible, your attorney will know exactly what kind of compensation you can receive for your injuries simply based on their work experience.
The losses you can recover in a car accident claim in California can be economic and non-economic. In other words, your compensation may cover all your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, but also pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment.
5. Negotiating Your Settlement
Insurance adjusters may spend their working days negotiating left and right, but so do car crash attorneys. Your attorney can negotiate with both insurance companies and other attorneys at the same time and still get you fair compensation. And the best thing about them is- everything they do and say is in your best interest.
6. Filing a Lawsuit
In the best-case scenario, you will settle your claim in the negotiation phase, and you can all just part ways. But if the insurance company is persistent in offering you humiliating amounts, your attorney may advise you to file a personal injury lawsuit and take the matters to court.
An experienced car accident attorney is not just the one who settles the claim by negotiating. The one willing to both negotiate and file a lawsuit is not afraid to explore all legal options in order to recover your losses in full and get you the compensation you deserve.