If you have been injured in an accident, your first priority should be getting well. You should see a doctor right away and follow the recommendations for medication and treatment. This is easier said than done as medical bills can be exorbitant, medications can have side effects, and medical treatment can be very time-consuming. You are certain to miss hours off of work if you have to have medical treatments for injuries.
If the car accident was not your fault, you may be wondering if it is worth it to sue a negligent driver who caused the collision and how much money you would get if you should take them to court. There are a number of factors that will figure into the compensation that you can receive for an accident claim.
Insurance Laws in California
Before you file a car accident lawsuit in California, you should contact your insurance company and file a claim.
There are two different Insurance rules in the United States; fault and no-fault. In a no-fault state, the driver’s own insurance company will pay for his or her injuries and damages to their car no matter who caused the crash. In a fault state, like California, the person who is responsible for the collision will also be responsible for its associated bills.
California is a pure comparative fault state, which means that each driver is responsible for the portion of the collision they caused. If you were 20% responsible for an accident and the other driver was 80% responsible for it, you may file a claim for 80% of your accident-related bills.
When you file a claim with your insurance company, they will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company. That company will investigate your claim and either accept or deny it. If they accept your claim, they will make you a settlement offer. There is a certain amount of money that they should give you for injuries and property damage, and if they don’t, you may want to contact an attorney and take the insurer to court.
Damages to Your Car
The negligent driver’s insurance company should pay for any damages that were incurred during the crash. If the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the car, they should pay you the cash value the car had one second before the crash. The insurance company determines the value of the car and it might not always be fair.
An insurance company should pay their client’s percentage of your accident-related medical bills. This includes doctor visits, surgery, and medical treatment, as well as prescription medication. The insurer may try to claim that you had pre-existing conditions before the accident. Your previous medical records may be helpful in this case.
Time off of Work
You will want to have your employer document any time that you have missed off of work. The insurance company should compensate you for lost wages. You may also be able to get funds for any personal assistance you have needed due to your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
In cases of severe injuries, you may be compensated for pain and suffering. There is no set protocol for this kind of compensation. However, some insurance companies use a multiplier method which involves determining an injured party’s level of pain on a scale from 1 to 10 and multiplying it by the dollar amount of their medical bills. For example, if your level of pain was a 2 and your medical bills totaled $2,000, you would get $4000 for pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is very important to retain the assistance of a professional personal injury attorney. A lawyer will know how to negotiate with an insurance adjuster to get you the money you need to get back on the road. Click here for more information.