You may have the right to demand compensation from another person after an accident. While you can While you can pursue a claim on your own, it’s always best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Here's why:
Personal Injury Cases Take Time
An unexpected accident can turn your world upside down. Injuries can take months to heal and may require extensive medical care. You might even be forced to miss time at work while you get better. The last thing you need to do is divert your time and energy to a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney will give you the opportunity to focus on getting back on your feet. The more you can focus on your recovery, the less time it will take.
Insurance Companies Want to Limit Your Award
Most personal injury cases will involve an insurance company. While insurers have the money you need, they’ll be very reluctant to hand it over. Instead, they’ll do whatever they can to minimize your payout after an accident. Some will try to take advantage of the trauma of your accident and trick you into accepting a lowball offer. Others will act tough and pressure you into accepting an offer that’s much less than you deserve. Hiring an attorney to handle your negotiations will prevent these tactics from working. Your attorney will protect your rights and demand that you get the money you deserve.
You May Not Know Who To Blame
You may think that one person, and one person alone, is responsible for your accident. In reality, multiple parties may be to blame for your injuries. In California, anyone who contributes to your accident or injury can be held financially responsible. It’s important to identify anyone who may have played a part in your Orange County accident.
When you hire an attorney, we will make sure that these questions are answered with your best interests in mind. A thorough investigation will allow us to determine the cause(s) of your accident. Knowing the cause(s) can allow us to determine fault. We’ll aggressively pursue compensation from anyone who may have caused you harm.
Valuing Your Case Can Be Difficult
How much is your worth? What kind of compensation will you be able to receive? These are all important questions in a personal injury case. If you try to navigate a claim on your own, insurance companies will probably get to provide the answers. This is the last thing you want. Remember, these companies aren’t on your side. They want to limit the amount of money you get after your accident.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Injured In an Accident?
Believe it or not, the steps you take immediately after an accident will affect your personal injury claim. Keeping a few simple suggestions in mind can help to protect and support your case.
Seek Medical Attention: You’ll want to establish a link between your accident and your injuries. Don’t waste any time in seeking medical attention after you’ve been injured. Getting help right away will (a) ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated immediately and (b) create a medical report that can be used in your case.
Report the Accident: Always report an accident to the local police. An officer will arrive on the scene, question everyone involved, and complete a police report. While these reports aren’t generally admissible in court, they can preserve details that are often lost or forgotten over time. When it’s time to investigate your case, the information contained in the police report can be incredibly helpful to your attorney.
Refuse Early Settlement Offers: You may be contacted by an insurance company shortly after your accident. They may try to pressure you into accepting a lowball offer. While having money in your hands right away is appealing, do your best to resist the urge to accept. Accepting an offer for less than your case is worth can do more harm than good in the long run. When you accept, you’ll probably be asked to waive your right to collect additional compensation in the future. If you suffer additional injuries or find that your costs exceed what you expected, you’ll be out of luck. Contact an attorney if you’re approached by an insurance company after your accident.
Call An Attorney for Help: The best thing you can do after an accident is call an experienced personal injury lawyer for help. Your attorney will pursue compensation on your behalf and handle all negotiations with defendants and insurance companies. This not only protects your interests, but also gives you the time you need to focus on your physical and emotional recoveries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
You’ll only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim after an accident. The statute of limitations, which is set by state law, will depend on the type of personal injury case you have.
Negligence: Negligence occurs when another person fails to use care and causes an injury. When your case is based on negligence, you’ll have to prove (a) the defendant owed you a duty of care, (b) this duty of care was breached, (c) you suffered an injury because of this breach, and (d) you were harmed in some way. Negligence is often the basis of liability in cases involving traffic accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.
Strict Liability: A person can be liable for your injuries even if they were not negligent. This is known as strict liability. Strict liability, which is typically imposed by law or statute, is often the basis of liability in cases involving dog bites and defective products.
Intentional Acts: A person can also be liable for harm that is a result of their own wrongful intentional acts. A harmful intentional act is often the basis for liability in personal injury cases involving domestic violence, assault, and arson.
Establishing liability is fundamental in any personal injury lawsuit. You’ll want to make sure that your case is experienced legal hands. Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo to find out how we can help you get the money you deserve.
What Compensation Can I Recover From a Lawsuit?
The costs of an unexpected accident can be overwhelming. Medical bills can add up quickly. Those costs can become unmanageable if you’re disabled or are unable to work. Fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation if someone else is at fault. In California, you’re generally entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic help to cover the financial costs of your accident, while non-economic damages compensate for hard-to-value injuries.
When you file a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Nursing Care
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Pain and Suffering, and
- Emotional Distress.
It’s important to make sure that your personal injury case is valued properly. Contact our legal team today to find out how we can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Should I Negotiate an Insurance Claim or File a Lawsuit?
There are two ways to recover compensation after an accident. The first involves filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company. The second involves filing a civil lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries. Each process has its own distinct benefits and drawbacks.
Insurance benefits are typically the first source of compensation after an accident. If you’re injured, you can file a formal claim to receive benefits from an insurance company. An insurance company will review your request and determine the value of your case using a complicated algorithm.
The company will typically either deny your claim or extend a settlement offer. Offers tend to be low and a fraction of what you deserve. You can accept an offer or counter with a new demand. This process can go back and forth a few times. However, at some point the insurer will extend its final offer. You’ll have to decide if you want to accept that offer or consider alternative action.
- Insurance claims often take less time to resolve than lawsuits,
- You can get money in your hands shortly after your accident.
- Insurance companies will do whatever they can to drive down the value of your claim
- Claims are often denied or undervalued without justification
- Insurance payouts are capped at the insured’s policy limits
- Accepting an insurance payout can prevent you from recovering additional compensation in the future.
You don’t have to rely on an insurance claim to get the money you deserve after an accident. You always have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Lawsuits are generally reserved for the most serious types of cases. You may want to file a lawsuit if your damages exceed what an insurer can pay or if an insurance company has simply refused to consider your claim in good faith. Since a lawsuit is a formal civil action, it can help to motivate defendants and insurance companies to cooperate.
The lawsuit process begins when your attorney files your formal complaint. This provides details about your accident, explains why you believe the defendant is at fault, and outlines your damages. The defendant will have the opportunity to review and respond to this complaint. In many cases, the defendant will attempt to negotiate a settlement before the lawsuit progresses any further. In fact, most personal injury cases settlement privately. Your attorney will work to maximize the value of your case and secure a fair and meaningful settlement offer. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll be willing to accept an offer you receive. If you’re not satisfied with the offers, you have the right to take your case to court.
- Insurance companies don’t control the process, so you’re more likely to get a fair settlement offer
- There are no limits to the amount of money you can recover
- Juries are likely to empathize with a victim and suggest a high award.
- Lawsuits can take significantly more time than an insurance claim.
The process that’s best for you will ultimately depend on the type of case you have and the extent of your injuries. In either case, it’s always best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Hiring an attorney will put you in the best position to get the money you need. Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo to learn more. We’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.