Car accidents can result in devastating injuries and property damage. If you have been injured in a car accident, you have or will most likely be dealing with expenses related to the accident. These expenses mostly come in the form of medical expenses, but financial damage also occurs because of lost wages due to the inability to work and other resulting expenses that are out of your control.
These expenses are why you should exercise your right to seek the maximum compensation for the damages done to you. Although money doesn’t erase the fact the accident happened, it does allow you to focus more on your quality of life and less on the financial effects. It is astounding how much financial stress can impede healing.
Understand the Types of Car Insurance
One of the first steps when seeking compensation for accident-related expenses is to be aware of the types of car insurance that may be involved in the equation. Not all insurance policies are alike, so understanding what you can claim insurance-wise can have an impact on the amount you receive in your claim. The different types of car insurance are:
- Bodily injury liability coverage – Your own liability policy won’t cover you since the driver at fault is liable.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) – This is called “no-fault insurance,” which means you can make a claim on your own policy to pay for your medical expenses up to the policy’s limits. Even if you had a degree of fault, this addition to your policy will cover you. It may also cover lost income, loss of services, and funeral expenses.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – If you have this added to your policy and the other person at fault is uninsured or underinsured or you were injured in a hit and run, your policy will cover your bodily injury expenses up to the limits.
- Medical payments coverage – This is similar to PIP, but it only covers medical bills and nothing more.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence
How much compensation you receive is also determined by whether or not one or both parties were negligent. When the injured person is partly at fault for an accident, no payment is usually received in a personal injury claim. However, comparative negligence is a different story.
Under comparative negligence, the insurance compensation may be reduced if the injured is partly at fault. It is determined how much of the accident wasn’t your fault, which dictates how much compensation you receive. If you are 50% at fault, then your damages are reduced by 50%. This means that the other party is compensated at 50% as well for their damages.
Factors that Affect Compensation
One of the first things you need to do following a car accident is contact your insurance company as soon as you can. A claims adjuster will be assigned to your claim in order to get the process moving. However, there are other items that your California personal injury lawyer gathers to build a solid claim for you. Those items are:
- The police report.
- Information on how quickly you sought medical attention after the accident.
- Information on pre-existing injuries that became worse after the accident.
- Whether or not there was a DWI, citation, or other charge that resulted from the accident.
- What statements you made following the accident, if you made any.
- Photographs that you or others took at the accident scene.
- Witness statements.
- The income you have lost from the days missed at work following the accident.
- Your insurance policy.
- Information on your injuries and the current and future required treatments.
- Notes that you took following the accident.
- Physical evidence that you preserved from the accident.
It is possible that your attorney may need to return to the accident scene to take pictures. They may find something small like a dirty traffic sign that prevented a warning from being seen, thus resulting in the accident. Your attorney will thoroughly evaluate everything to build a strong case so that you can claim compensation from all sources and move forward with your life.
Recover the Compensation You Deserve
Medical expense and the other costs that result from a car accident can be financially devastating. With the representation of a California personal injury lawyer, you can recover the maximum compensation so you can pay the expenses resulting from the accident you didn’t cause. To learn more about your rights and options, call the Law Offices of J. Chrisp at 1-877-524-7477 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.