Insurance companies do settle accident claims before they go to court. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a settlement can also be negotiated after the court process has already begun. In fact, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might negotiate a settlement with your legal team at any point before a verdict is reached on your case.
If you agree to an insurance settlement, you will have to sign a waiver that releases the at-fault party from any further financial liability in your case. Signing that waiver makes accurately valuing your compensation claim or lawsuit critical because a miscalculation could prove costly. Although you, not your lawyer, will always have the final say in accepting or rejecting a settlement offer, your lawyer may help you assess each offer you receive.
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Avoid Miscalculating the Value of Your Damages
Calculating the monetary value of your damages is an involved process. Your lawyer might rely on your medical bills, car repair or replacement estimates, and other post-accident paperwork to assess the value of your claim. According to the California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2, your recoverable damages might include:
- Verifiable medical expenses
- Injury-related loss of earnings
- Temporary loss of property use
- Total property loss
- Substitute domestic assistance
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
Your lawyer may help you assess the value of each line item, then assign an overall value to your compensation claim or lawsuit. This figure might be used to steer settlement negotiations and help you arrive at a financial agreement.
Documents that Support Your Accident Claim
Negotiating a financial settlement might involve proving the at-fault party was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Your personal injury team may be able to prove fault and neglect by using the following post-accident documents:
- Car accident reports, which might provide important details about how the accident was caused, where the point of contact was, and if there were any other contributing factors
- Medical records, which might confirm the severity of the injuries you sustained in the accident
- Medical bills, which might show the medical cost of your injuries
- Photos and videos, which might reveal the extent of your injuries and damages and how the accident occurred
- Proof of income, which may be used to substantiate your income loss due to your injuries, treatment plan, and recovery
- Damage estimates and vehicle value if your car was damaged or destroyed in the accident
Your lawyer may use these documents along with witness statements to build your case. Let your lawyer know as soon as possible if you need help obtaining these documents.
Do Not Run Out of Time to Resolve Your Compensation Case
After a car accident in Los Angeles, your compensation claim might be resolved either with an insurance settlement or by going to court. If your case is resolved in court, the time you have to file a lawsuit is limited.
The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally allows you to seek financial compensation via a personal injury lawsuit as long as you do so within two years of the date the accident occurred. Your legal team may explain the importance of complying with the statute of limitations and the risks that come with noncompliance. If given appropriate notice, your team might be able to ensure your lawsuit is filed on time.
There Are Benefits to Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
While you recuperate after a car accident, the personal injury team who represents you may take many important and time-sensitive steps on your behalf. Your legal team might:
- File your lawsuit on time
- Investigate the cause of the accident
- Keep you updated on your pending claim or lawsuit
- Collect and complete insurance paperwork
- Build a compelling and supportive case file
- Identify and interview accident witnesses
These steps might help safeguard your right to seek financial recovery, prove the at-fault driver’s liability, and establish the monetary value of your case. With the guidance and direction of a personal injury law firm, you can pursue compensation and potentially recover your damages.
Our Team May Help You Fight for a Settlement
In many injury cases, insurance companies settle accident claims before they go to court. If both parties can reach a settlement agreement, you might avoid going to court altogether.
Our case assessment team can help you understand the process involved in settlement negotiations and help you reach a mutual agreement. When you are ready to resolve your car accident claim, contact the personal injury team at the Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (866) 559-7223 today.