Fighting For Compensation After A Car Accident
A recent study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) found that of the United States’ approximately 36,000 deadly car accidents in one year, around 10% of them occurred in California. Montebello residents already know that their streets see a lot of car accidents and the NHTSA study confirmed that the largest number of deadly California car accidents happen in Los Angeles County. In fact, the study showed that over a four year analysis, Los Angeles County consistently had three times as many deadly accidents as the second and third place counties on the list.
Car accidents are disruptive for injured parties and their family members. They can also be extremely stressful and life changing when injuries are severe, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney advocating on your behalf.
Insurance Companies And Litigation: What You Need To Know
A large number of car accident disputes never even make it to trial. This is because trials are expensive and insurance companies have to weigh the costs and benefits of settling versus going to trial. See below for factors that play a role in helping an insurance company decide the maximum amount of money they are willing to settle for and whether or not they should take their chances at trial.
- Liability – If liability is clearly on their client, they will be more willing to settle for a fair amount.
- Severity of injuries – When injuries are severe and costly, juries tend to be very sympathetic to the injured party. Insurance companies know that when juries see injuries such as permanent disabilities or death, they want to find a way to help the victim and his or her family and that may result in a large plaintiff’s awards. Settling a case is often less risky than going to trial for insurance companies when injuries are severe.
- Trial expenses – As previously mentioned, trials are expensive. Even if insurance companies believe they have a good chance of winning at trial, if the expense of a trial is significantly more than the amount for which a plaintiff is willing to settle, they may decide to settle because it makes economic sense for the company.
- Plaintiff’s attorney – Insurance companies love to swoop in after an accident and offer a quick settlement for injured parties who are not represented by an attorney. Injured plaintiffs often feel financially strapped right after an accident, especially when they are unable to work and medical bills are piling up. If an injured party does not have an attorney, insurance companies may lowball their settlement offer and the plaintiff may not receive the compensation to which he or she is entitled. On the other hand, when a plaintiff has an attorney who is not afraid to go to trial, insurance companies will be much more generous with their offers, especially when they know that the attorney knows the true value of the plaintiff’s claim.
Whether you were hit by another vehicle or something caused your car to crash into a roadside object, your life can change for the worse in an instant when you get into a car accident. Although car crashes are so commonplace and trivialized nowadays, it does not make it any less painful and traumatic when it happens to you.
Regardless of the type of road accident that caused your injury – a DUI collision, seat belt-related accident, side-impact car accident, rear-end accident, rollover crash or any other type of accident – call The Hayes Law Firm to help you obtain compensation for the entailing damages and losses.
How To Estimate The Value Of Your Car Accident Claim In California
When filing a personal injury claim following a car collision, it is recommended to determine the amount of money that you are entitled to. We will estimate the value of your case.
But how do our car accident lawyers make that estimate? The process of evaluating damages and losses incurred by a car crash is quite complicated, but our attorneys will rely on these following three factors when evaluating your claim:
- State laws and similar personal injury cases handled by the lawyer in the past. State laws dictate how much your personal injury settlement will be worth, and so do similar cases won in the past.
- The total cost of economic damages and losses, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and others.
- Noneconomic damages and losses, if any. Pain and suffering usually represent the most substantial percentage of the compensation for noneconomic damages suffered by the injured party.
Which Factors Affect My Car Accident Claim?
There are multiple factors that could affect the success of your claim. These are the five things you should do in the aftermath of your accident to ensure your victory:
- Do not admit fault. Avoid saying “I’m sorry” or anything that makes you look guilty. It’s fine to ask the other motorist if he or she is okay, but never say that you are sorry for what happened.
- Say only the facts. When discussing your case with the police officer or insurance companies, say only the facts. Do not make assumptions. Furthermore, make sure you seek legal advice from a car accident attorney before discussing your case with anyone else.
- Do not give a recorded statement to insurance companies unless you have consulted with a lawyer.
- Do not sign anything unless it is documentation to the police officer at the scene of your car crash.
- Go through a medical checkup even if it seems that your injury is minor. Refusing to seek medical attention after the car crash is the number one mistake victims make that can negatively impact their personal injury claim.
How Long Do You Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Los Angeles County?
If you are preparing a personal injury claim after a car crash in Orange or Los Angeles counties, you might be wondering about the deadlines and other requirements imposed by California state law. In our state, you can bring forth a car accident claim within two years from the date of the accident.
Call Today To Discuss Your Case
Seek legal help from our results-driven car accident lawyers from The Hayes Law Firm. We will prepare a free evaluation of your case if you call us at 323-693-1052. You can also fill out our contact form.