After a car accident, avoid making any statements that might indicate that you were at fault for any portion of the accident. In California, if you are found to bear fault for any portion of the accident you were involved in, any financial award you might receive may be reduced by a proportionate percentage.
For example, if you inadvertently make a statement that might be construed as claiming 30% of the fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by a corresponding 30%.
If you work with a lawyer on your case, they can help you determine what not to say to your insurance company after a car accident. A lawyer can also take over communications with the insurance companies for you. In addition, a lawyer can tell you what evidence you should retain in order to safeguard your potential right to financial compensation for your accident-related damages.
A Lawyer May Be Able to Help with Your Insurance Claim
The plethora of insurance company paperwork that follows a car accident can be frustrating and complex. Wading through their collection of forms while coping with your physical injuries might increase your frustration.
While you focus on your physical recovery, a car accident lawyer may be able to assist you by:
- Obtaining, completing, and submitting required insurance forms
- Determining the financial value of your insurance claim
- Pulling vital information from your car accident report
- Identifying the cause of the accident that led to your injuries
- Proving the fault and negligence of the other driver
- Establishing your potential right to financial recovery
- Collecting the documents and evidence that support your claim
- Negotiating for a financial settlement with the at-fault driver
- Taking your case to trial if need be
Building a Strong Evidence File After a Car Accident
In addition to their own forms, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might also require you to submit additional documents related to the accident. They may request:
- Car accident report
- Witness statements
- Complete medical records
- All medical bills
- Property repair bills
- Vehicle replacement estimates
- Photos and video footage
If your injuries prevent you from participating in building your case file, or if you have difficulty obtaining any of these forms, your lawyer might be able to obtain records, bills, and documents on your behalf.
File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit on Time
When you seek financial compensation after a car accident, the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit is limited. Taking early action in your case can enable your legal team to meet the required timeline.
You generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in California, according to California’s Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. If your lawsuit is not filed within the allocated time, you may not be permitted to file it at all. That could mean that you are unable to compel financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
Your legal team might be able to help you avoid this costly consequence by filing your lawsuit on time.
Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Claim
When assigning a value to your compensation claim, your case evaluation team may combine the economic and non-economic damages detailed in California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2.
Accordingly, your potentially recoverable damages might include:
- All valid health care expenses
- All valid loss of wages and income
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Necessary in-home assistance
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
Accurately calculating your injury-related expenses is an important part of negotiating for a financial settlement. Provide your legal team with any documents and proof of income loss you have that may help prove the cost of the accident.
Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices Can Help You
If you were involved in a car accident in Los Angeles, Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices might be able to represent you. If you hire us to defend your rights, we can take over all of the communications in your case so that you do not need to worry about what not to say to your insurance company after a car accident.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with our car accident team, call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices today at (888) 522-6291. We may be able to provide you with representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no hourly or upfront payments required. Instead, our attorney fees would come as a percentage of your settlement offer or court award, if and when you win your case.