Car Accident Claims in California
Even the world’s most careful drivers can get into car accidents. How? By other people’s carelessness and recklessness. When a car accident is not your fault, one of the most crucial things you must do is to file a car accident claim right away. Filing car accident claims is a complicated and lengthy process. The at-fault party’s insurance might not cover the costs of your damages. Sometimes, the at-fault party doesn’t even have insurance at all.
Now imagine sorting your car accident claims while in the hospital and while you are recovering from an injury? Time ticks right after your accident and it can be difficult to make things happen if your body is still hurt and recovering. The process can be troublesome and very hectic especially when you have to negotiate the amount that you need to fully cover your damages.
Though hiring the best car accident lawyer in California is easy these days, it is still important to have basic knowledge about the process of car accident injury claims. Below are the most crucial things you must know about car accident injury claims in California.
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What is a Car Accident Insurance Claim Settlement?
A car insurance claim settlement is the end result of paying for insurance. A claim is a kind of report you give to your insurance provider after a car accident. Based on this report, you can get financial compensation for the damages you received from the accident. Your insurance provider can settle your claim according to terms indicated in your policy. This means the amount can vary depending on the case.
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How to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim in California?
In most states including California, the first step to filing a car accident claim is notifying your insurance provider. They usually provide a number on your policy holder’s insurance card. Also, some providers allow other forms of contact, such as via mobile app or website. Generally, you can notify your insurer first. If you’re uninsured, you can notify the other party’s insurer to file a claim. However, you must take note that this might only be applicable if the other party is fully or partially at fault for the car accident.
At this point, you can also get a personal injury or car accident lawyer to help you with your claim. Insurers usually prioritize their company’s interest, so they might convince you to settle for a minimal amount. Having a lawyer can help you file a claim and settle for the maximum amount for your case. After reporting the incident, your insurance provider will reach out to get information about your losses. They can also ask for a written or recorded statement. Sometimes, they might also request an examination under oath. Then, they might contact other parties or witnesses of the incident as part of the investigation. During this time, they might also ask for different types of documentation related to the car accident. This can include medical payments or uninsured motorist claims.
How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim for an Injury?
Insurers have different limits when it comes to filing deadlines. Some insurers have short limits, while some have no limits at all. You might want to take note of the limitations according to your insurer’s terms. However, it’s also wise to take note of the statute of limitations regarding filing a car accident lawsuit in your area. This can vary depending on the state you’re in, ranging from one to six years. However, most states have a two to three-year limit. For car accidents in California, the limit is two years from the date of the accident based on the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. A car accident attorney can help you differentiate these deadlines and smoothly navigate through them. Your lawyer may provide good reasons to rush or delay filing your claim. So, consult a lawyer as soon as you can after a car accident.
What Happens When Car Accident Injury Claim Exceeds Insurance Limits?
Car accident lawyers can help you determine the correct amount you claim based on damages. However, your accident can go beyond policy limits. If that happens, your lawyer can help proceed with your best interest in mind. Your lawyer can generally use the minimum state-mandated insurance coverage as a benchmark for your claim.
Minimum insurance coverage can vary from one state to another. For instance, here are the minimum liability insurance coverage required for car accidents in California:
- $15,000 per accident, per person, for bodily injury;
- $30,000 total per accident for bodily injury;
- $5,000 in property damage;
- $2,000 for medical payments;
- $15,000 per accident, per person, for uninsured motorists; and
- $30,000 total for uninsured motorists.
These situations can arise depending on different factors related to your accident. Nevertheless, your car accident lawyer can help you find ways to get compensation, such as by filing a lawsuit or negotiating your settlement. Either way, these can help you recover losses from the accident. However, they usually come with messy legal work and procedures. This is why having a lawyer can relieve the burdensome work needed to smoothly move forward with your case.
There are details you must take note of in case your accident exceeds policy limits. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can click here.
Who Can Help You Through the Insurance Claim Process for Car Accidents?
After an accident, consulting a lawyer can help a lot if you’re going through the insurance claim process. Aside from the burden of injuries sustained from the incident, the hassle of filing for compensation can be overwhelming. Things can get even more troublesome if the at-fault driver isn’t insured. Getting a car accident lawyer can make things easier for you to find ways to resolve unexpected circumstances.
If you need a lawyer, we can help you get access to a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer here at Jacoby and Meyers. We have a team of the best personal injury or auto accident lawyers in California, including Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento. Our lawyers can help you get justice as well as the compensation you rightfully deserve, including car accident settlements and more. Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you.