Car accidents happen all the time – and knowing when you need legal assistance and when you don’t can be confusing. If you’ve been in an accident in San Diego and you’re wondering if you need to call a personal injury attorney or not, keep reading!
What Does a Car Accident Attorney Do?
A car accident attorney helps you get you achieve the compensation that you deserve by
- Helping you understand your rights
- Defending you against insurance companies and the other driver’s attorneys
- Helping you avoid settling for a compensation amount that is too low
- Preventing you from being considered at-fault for an accident that you didn’t cause
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Investigating your case completely
- Interviewing witnesses, experts, and relevant professionals
- Gathering all possible evidence in your favor
- Successfully building your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Analyzing all of your damages, both past and future.
- Making sure that your compensation claim covers all the expenses that the accident has or will cost you.
- Estimating your non-monetary damages, such as the emotional impact of the accident, and what your corresponding compensation should be.
- Preparing a settlement demand letter
- Filing a lawsuit if needed
- Representing you in court if needed.
- Making a difficult situation easier and less stressful.
If you’re concerned about your case being “too much trouble,” remember that a car accident attorney can do the heavy lifting for you! When experienced attorneys are involved, many car accident cases are settled before ever going to court. In fact, with an attorney’s negotiating help, settlements can often be reached even before needing to file a lawsuit! Don’t let the perception of your case being a “hassle” keep you from getting the justice you deserve!
An attorney can help you win the compensation you’re entitled to and ensure that you’re not cheated – without the extra headache of trying to figure out everything on your own.
Situations Where You Need a Car Accident Attorney
- You’ve suffered a serious injury in a car crash. Remember that the more your injuries might cost you, the more insurance companies are going to try to “lowball” you to get out of paying what’s fair. And also know that “serious” injury can be something as seemingly mundane as a broken bone or joint fracture. Even injuries that are far from life-threatening and that will heal relatively quickly and easily can still be exorbitantly expensive and can prevent you from making an income and otherwise impact your life in significant ways!
- You’re not sure how serious your injury is or you’re not improving. This could be a sign that there are many more expenses down the road!
- You are struggling to receive the recovery you feel you deserve from insurance adjusters
- You’ve received a settlement offer from your insurance, but it isn’t enough to cover your injury expenses.
- Your insurance company is not taking your injuries seriously.
- You are being blamed for an accident when you were not at fault
- The other driver was drunk, distracted, or drove recklessly, resulting in injuries
- You’ve missed work because of the accident
- Someone in your car was killed in the accident
Important Tips to Keep In Mind
- Just because you think you aren’t injured doesn’t mean that you’ve avoided serious injuries or the high costs that come with them. Your injuries just might not have started showing symptoms yet. Don’t rule out serious injuries after a car accident. That other driver might have cost you more than you think!
- Even if you think it’s obvious who caused the accident, don’t put it past the other party to make up an argument that tries to shift the fault to you! You should always protect your best interests by being prepared to defend your side of the story!
- Don’t waste time wondering if you need legal help. In California, you only have a short window to file a personal injury case – which means you only have a short window to defend your case, whether you’re trying to recover compensation for your damages or you’re trying to keep from having to unfairly pay damages to the other driver for an accident that wasn’t your fault. If you’re at all in doubt, call a San Diego car accident attorney right away! Your future could depend on it.
- The California statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of the accident (or the date of the death) to file a personal injury or wrongful death case. If you were injured by a government employee, you only have six months from the date of the accident, according to Nolo.
When you’re in doubt about your car accident case or are concerned about getting the compensation you need, call a car accident attorney!
An estimated 5.3% of adult Californians use public transportation to commute to work. Based on California’s population of over 39.5 million, that means about 2 million adults in California use public transportation. Of that 5.3%, about 65.2% use buses during their commute, says Enjuris. In addition, about 1 in 8 California schoolchildren take the bus, which adds up to about 700,000 students per year, according to Enjuris.
Bus travel is a normal part of life for many Californians. But what happens if you’re injured in a bus accident? Keep reading to understand how to successfully navigate your case.
Taking the Bus is Safe…Until It Isn’t
Buses are generally considered to be a much safer form of transportation than cars or motorcycles. However, when accidents do happen, buses can pose specific perils for anyone aboard. Buses are more likely to roll over than a car, due to their high center of gravity. Passengers on a bus are less likely to use or have access to safety restraints, which can lead to serious injuries in an accident or even just an abrupt stop. People on buses also have the risk of being injured by someone else’s possessions that become loose or airborne during travel. According to HG.org, common bus accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accident injuries can occur when the bus driver accelerates or brakes suddenly, causing falls or impacts. Injuries also commonly happen because a door closes on a passenger, or a driver pulls away too soon from a curb or platform. And of course, bus accidents happen through a driver losing control while driving or the bus colliding with another vehicle or object. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate driver training
- Driver negligence
- Driver fatigue
- Travel through densely populated areas with limited space for maneuvering
- Lack of passenger safety restraints
- Vehicle structure
- Road conditions or construction
- Vehicle defects or handling issues
- Improper weight distribution within the vehicle
- Blind spots
- Driver error, including driver speeding
Potential Legal Issues After a Bus Accident
Under personal injury law, whoever was negligent is at fault. All personal injury cases will involve the question: who was negligent and therefore at fault for the accident?
If you’re injured on public transportation, there may be several possible answers to that question. For example, the bus could have been hit by a negligent driver of another vehicle. Or the bus driver could have been negligent. Or the bus company could have been negligent in their maintenance procedures. Sometimes, two or more parties share fault, and the question becomes: who was more at fault.
To win your case, you must prove who was at fault and you must prove the extent to which you were injured because of another party’s negligence. This can be a daunting and complex task after any type of accident, but bus accidents can be some of the most complicated cases to navigate.
Bus accident cases can become more complicated than car accident cases for reasons such as passengers not having bus accident injury coverage, bus companies having immunities from liability, and the involvement of a government entity.
One of the most difficult factors of bus accident cases occurs if the case involves a government entity. Many buses that the average person uses on a regular basis are operated by government entities such as transportation authorities or school districts.
In a car accident case, it’s normally relatively easy to file a claim against the other driver. But filing against a government entity is far more complicated. And when a government denies a claim, accident victims must file a personal injury claim against the government entity. Not only are the rules for filing complicated, but small mistakes can put your compensation at risk. For example, California state law only gives you a six month period from the date of the accident to file a case against the government. If you miss this deadline, you’ll almost surely forfeit your case.
This is not a battle you want to fight alone. Whether you were injured as a passenger on a bus, or a passenger in another vehicle that collided with a bus, or even as a pedestrian who was hit by a bus, you deserve justice! It’s in your best interest to work with a personal injury attorney who specializes in bus accidents.
A personal injury attorney is your best bet for winning the compensation you need to cover medical treatment, ongoing therapy for both physical and emotional repercussions from the accident, lost wages from missing work, and all other damages that the accident caused you to suffer.
Being injured because of someone else’s negligence is terrible. While any money might seem like a relief when you’re juggling hospital bills, car replacement costs, and more, things could get worse if you accept an unfair settlement. However, if you don’t fully understand what the aftermath of your accident will truly cost you, you might not know a fair settlement when you see one.
Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you get justice. That’s why we’re passionate about sharing tips to help San Diego personal injury victims. One important tip that can drastically benefit your case is: wait for MMI. What is MMI? Why does it matter? Keep reading to find out!
What Is MMI?
MMI stands for Maximum Medical Improvement, and it is the point in your injury recovery where doctors can best understand what your medical future will look like and what permanent disabilities you might have. It doesn’t mean you have fully recovered, but it does mean that doctors can tell you what the rest of your recovery journey will look like – including what treatments or therapies you will need and what they will cost.
The California DIR defines MMI as when “your condition is well stabilized and unlikely to change substantially in the next year, with or without medical treatment.”
Why Can Waiting For MMI Help Your Case?
Unfair personal injury settlements often happen because the accident victims don’t know how much they can rightfully claim. Waiting until you reach MMI helps you not only understand how much you can reasonably claim but also provides a way for you to get evidence for this amount. At your point of Maximum Medical Improvement, your doctors or other medical professionals can sign documentation that explains the full scope of your injuries, how long you will need treatments and therapy, and the continuing cost of your injuries in the future. Waiting for MMI helps you put a dollar amount on your future injury recoveries and necessary medical care. This dollar amount gives you something tangible to use as evidence in your case.
More than just your direct medical expenses, waiting for MMI can help you understand and document other required expenses resulting from your injuries. For example, if a doctor determines that for a period in the future you won’t be able to perform household cleaning because of your injuries, you have evidence to claim compensation for house cleaning services.
Waiting for MMI can provide evidence for more than just your economic expenses. In San Diego personal injury cases, you have the opportunity to claim compensation for both economic expenses and non-economic expenses. Economic expenses are those losses caused by the accident that you would have to pay money for. Non-economic expenses are losses that don’t have an objective price. For example, if you are permanently scarred or disfigured because of the accident, you are entitled to claim compensation accordingly. Waiting until MMI can give you the evidence you need in the form of documentation from a doctor saying that your disfigurements will not heal.
How To Leverage MMI In Your San Diego Case
MMI can help you prove to a judge that you deserve a certain level of compensation. Before your MMI, it can be very difficult to calculate how much your claim is worth – in both economic and non-economic damages. Without assessing the extent of your injuries and expenses, you might be convinced to settle for far less than what you’ll need to cover your damages. And without signed statements from a doctor about what your future will look like, it can be hard to convince a court to give your adequate compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and more.
The only risk of waiting until your MMI is that sometimes it can put you up against your statute of limitations. In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a case. Talk to your attorney about waiting for MMI before filing your claim and whether or not that would put you in danger of missing your statute of limitations deadline.
Let’s Get Started
If you’ve been injured in San Diego because of someone’s negligence – whether it was a car accident, a construction site accident, a slip and fall, trucking accident, or any other kind of personal injury accident – the lawyers at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates are here to help. We can help you work with your doctors to better understand what your case is worth and how to claim the most compensation possible. Serving the San Diego area, our team is here for your peace of mind during a stressful time.
Even if you deserve compensation, making a mistake in your personal injury case could prevent you from getting justice. Below are 10 costly mistakes you should avoid when filing a personal injury claim in San Diego, California.
Mistake 1: Neglecting to ask questions. There are no stupid questions! Many areas of the law are so confusing or nuanced that attorneys often disagree. Questions can help your attorney uncover important details about your case and can help you better understand relevant laws so that you can know what’s essential to your claim.
Mistake 2: Assuming your claim will be easy. It’s true, some claims are relatively straightforward. However, many personal injury claims tend to be complicated – and not just because they require careful navigation of California’s laws on insurance, negligence, and compensation awards. Understanding and proving degrees of fault and the value of both your economic and non-economic damages is highly complex. Don’t assume you can get the compensation you deserve without legal help.
Mistake 3: Losing or disposing of important evidence. Key evidence for a car accident claim can look like photos from the scene of the accident, notes about weather and road conditions at the time of the accident, and contact info and statements from witnesses.
Mistake 4: Making a claim or attempting to evaluate your claim’s worth without medical evidence. You cannot accurately understand or even estimate your claim’s worth without a medical professional (or several) explaining the severity and scope of your injuries. Imagine trying to guess how much money you should claim without knowing how many months or years your recovery will take, or what the full cost of related procedures will be.
Mistake 5: Making your claim based only on a General Practitioner’s report. Unfortunately, many car accident injuries are misdiagnosed by a GP. Ask to be referred to a consultant or specialist so that you can better understand your injuries and have more extensive proof of your damages.
Mistake 6: Settling before you know what your claim is worth. Be wary of insurance companies wanting you to do exactly this! Insurance companies know the anxiety that car accident expenses cause. They often want to take advantage of that anxiety and offer you a quick sum to cover your immediate expenses. However, if you settle too soon you could very easily overlook additional and more significant expenses that your settlement should cover. Always talk to an attorney about when it’s a safe time to settle and what kind of settlement is fair.
Mistake 7: Assuming that insurance companies will be fair. In keeping with the above point, don’t assume that your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will be honest. Insurance companies look out for their best interests and only want to pay you the bare minimum. Get legal advice before accepting an offer.
Mistake 8: Losing track of expenses. Many car accident victims lose potential compensation because they don’t know all the expenses they can claim. Or because they fail to keep records of claimable expenses. In a personal injury case, your economic damages don’t just include that major surgery you had, but could also include smaller expenses such as visits to a physiotherapist, the rental car you got while waiting to buy a new car after the accident, or the house cleaning services you paid for because your injuries prevented you from doing household chores. To play it safe, keep track of all your expenses after the accident (including saving receipts, credit card statements, and paperwork from any appointments) and discuss them with your attorney.
Mistake 9: Concealing symptoms from your doctor. Your doctor can’t accurately diagnose you if they don’t know exactly how you’re feeling – physically and emotionally. And without an official diagnosis, you can’t claim compensation for injuries.
Mistake 10: Not disclosing psychological symptoms. Did you know that car accidents are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the general population in the United States? Verywell Mind reports that 39.2% of motor vehicle accident survivors develop PTSD. If you have PTSD or another psychological or emotional issue as a result of the accident, you can claim compensation for this as part of your “non-economic damages.” But you can’t claim this significant part of your compensation if you don’t discuss it with your attorney or get a medical diagnosis. Talking with both your attorney and your doctors about all your symptoms – even if they might not be related to PTSD – is the best guarantee for successfully claiming the compensation you’re due.
Your personal injury claim is your chance to get justice for the suffering someone caused you. Don’t risk your wellbeing and your future. Get the San Diego legal assistance you can trust.
If you’ve done the responsible thing and purchased auto insurance then you’re fully covered for an accident, right?
The answer is often no.
Unfortunately, many drivers find out the hard way that they are not adequately covered for car accident expenses. Keep reading to understand how this happens and what you can do about it.
California Car Insurance Laws
According to the California DMV, the required liability insurance minimums for private passenger vehicles are as follows:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
What Insurance Companies Often Don’t Tell You
Many drivers think that because they have purchased insurance plans that meet the minimum requirements for California, they are good to go in the event of an accident. But often, insurance companies neglect to explain that even if you have minimum coverage, you’ll most likely still face significant expenses after an accident.
- Liability insurance (the only required car insurance in California) covers damage that you caused to another person or vehicle. It does not cover injuries or property damage for yourself or your family. To cover personal injuries, you must buy additional coverage. You can buy medical coverage separately as “MedPay” or buy it included in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) along with coverage for property damage and other accident expenses.
- Insurance limits are often too low.
How Can You Better Prepare For An Accident?
Although accidents can come out of nowhere, you can be better prepared by understanding the details of your insurance policy.
- Discuss and study your plan carefully before signing anything.
- Pay attention to your policy’s limits for each kind of coverage. The limit is the maximum amount that your insurance will pay. Any costs above those limits will come out of your pocket.
- Consider how far your limits will go. For example, a property damage limit of $5,000 won’t suffice if the other car is totaled.
- Consider buying “Med Pay” or PIP. These are additional policies that are not required in California.
Understanding MedPay and PIP
MedPay only covers medical expenses for you and your passengers.
PIP can cover a range of accident-related costs, regardless of who was at fault. Most PIP policies cover:
- The cost of personal medical treatment.
- Compensation for lost earnings.
- In the event of a death, funeral expenses to those covered by the insurance policy.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
When you’re in a serious accident, wishing you had more insurance coverage is the last thing you need! California’s comparative negligence law says that you can claim compensation from the other driver even if you share fault in the accident. However, don’t count on this compensation to cover all your accident-related costs. California law requires that your compensation is reduced based on the percentage of fault that you contributed. Consider a PIP policy that will give you the confidence you need!
Lost wages are one of the many types of compensation you can claim as a victim of a personal injury accident in San Diego.
Even minor injuries can prevent you from returning to work or performing all of your job requirements. As a result, you might lose all or part of your income. But you can get it back! Keep reading to understand how!
Types of Lost Wages You Can Claim:
There are two types of lost wages you can claim in your personal injury case:
- Past Lost Income – income lost because of your injuries up until the point of your case being finalized
- Future Lost Earnings – income that you may lose in the future as a result of your injuries.
According to HG.org, past lost income is relatively easy to prove. You will typically need your employer to confirm your absences from work due to the accident and the earnings that you would have received if you had been able to come to work.
HG.org goes on to say that future lost earnings are the most complicated to claim because your future ability to earn wages is usually quite ambiguous. Most personal injury accident victims will experience some form of recovery over time and will be able to return to work either full-time or part-time. But in many cases, there is a “loss of earning capacity.” Because this aspect of the law is very nuanced, an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential.
Reasons You Might Lose Wages After An Accident
There are many possible scenarios for which you can claim compensation for lost wages.
- You might not be able to work at all (or in the same capacity) for a time during your recovery. While you might eventually be able to return to your previous job, you can still claim the wages lost during your recovery time.
- Your physical injuries might not prevent you from going to work, but your emotional injuries do. It’s quite common for accidents to leave victims with psychological damage or PTSD. Emotional damage can prevent you from performing your normal work tasks, which is also ground for claiming lost wages.
- Your injuries might impact your future so that you can’t go back to your previous job, but you can perform some kind of work. You might be able to claim lost wages if the only work you can perform after the accident doesn’t pay as much as your previous job.
Have you been the victim of an accident that has caused or will cause you to lose income in San Diego, California? It’s time to claim the wages that are rightfully yours. Getting trusted legal representation is essential to successfully claiming all of the lost wages you are entitled to. A lawyer will help you calculate the past and future wages that you can claim and help provide the necessary evidence. Get started by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer today!
One of the types of compensation available in personal injury claims is called “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering can be a significant chunk of your personal injury compensation, but it can also be complicated to claim. Below is your guide to successfully calculating and claiming pain and suffering.
According to Nolo, there are two types of pain and suffering: physical and mental.
Physical pain and suffering is the pain from actual physical injuries. It includes not just the pain and discomfort that the accident victim has endured, but also the negative physical effects that he or she is likely to suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
Mental pain and suffering results from the accident victim’s physical injuries, but it is more of a by-product of those bodily injuries. Mental pain and suffering can include mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, anger, depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and more. Severe mental pain and suffering can even cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental pain and suffering can be summed up as any kind of negative emotion that an accident victim suffers as a result of enduring the physical pain and trauma of the accident.
Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering can also cover the negative mental conditions that the victim will likely suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
How Do Judges Award Pain and Suffering in California?
According to FindLaw, because there is no dollar amount immediately associated with pain and suffering, awards are considered non-economic (or “general”) damages.
Some of the factors that may be considered when attempting to place a dollar value on pain and suffering include:
- How much will the injured party’s daily routine be limited or altered?
- Will the injury impact relationships at home or work?
- How does the pain or injury affect sleep or other lifestyle factors?
- Will the injury impact the victim in the long term?
However, pain and suffering is never simple. There are many more factors that a judge could use to determine pain and suffering compensation, some of them having to do with your personal character traits or history. It’s important to have an attorney’s help if you want the outcome of your case to be in your favor.
Because pain and suffering is so complex, victims often walk away with less than they deserve. But this doesn’t have to happen to you!
How to Successfully Claim Compensation
The best way to ensure maximum compensation is to start working with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Were you involved in a car accident or other injury in San Diego? If you’ve been injured in any type of accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s time to claim the full compensation you deserve. We’re here to help you avoid settling for anything less!
Death of a loved one is a tragedy no one wants to think about. The last thing you need is a complicated legal process to worry about. That’s why we’re here to help! Wrongful death compensation can never make up for the fact that your loved one is gone. But if your loved one died because of someone else’s purposeful actions or negligence, you have the legal right to pursue compensation.
In California, a “wrongful death” is defined as when one person dies as the result of the wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity.
Wrongful death cases can be stressful, but that’s why we’re here. We help take the load of pursuing justice off your shoulder so that you can focus on taking care of yourself and honoring your loved one’s legacy.
Here’s a step-by-step guide of what to expect when you file a wrongful death claim in San Diego, California. And of course, we’re available to support you each step of the way!
- Understand the statute of limitations. In most California cases, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death. However, if a death results from medical malpractice, the surviving family members have 3 years from the date of injury, or 3 years from when the injury should have been discovered through due diligence, whichever date is sooner. When a death occurs through the negligence of any governmental body – for example, a car accident resulting from negligent road maintenance – then survivors have six months to file a claim.
- Determine if you are eligible to file. In California, the following parties may bring a wrongful death claim to court:
- the deceased person’s surviving spouse
- the deceased person’s domestic partner
- the deceased person’ s surviving children
- If there is no surviving person in the deceased person’s line of descent, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession,” which can include parents or siblings.
According to Nolo, if they can show they were financially dependent on the deceased person, the following people can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in California:
- the deceased person’s “putative spouse” and children of the putative spouse
- the deceased person’s stepchildren
- the deceased person’s parents
- Call an experienced wrongful death attorney. Too often, victims walk away from their case with a settlement far lower than the law entitles them to. An attorney can help you understand what amount of compensation is fair and how to claim it.
- Assemble evidence and begin investigations. As the plaintiff in a wrongful death case, you’ll need to prove the following:
- Duty of Care – You must prove to the court that the defendant owed a duty of care to your loved one. For example, in the case of a car accident, you must prove that the defendant had an obligation to drive carefully while operating any vehicle.
- Breach of Duty of Care – You must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to your loved one. Again, if the situation involves a car accident, you must show that the defendant failed to obey the applicable traffic laws, such as by speeding or by running a red light.
- Causation – You must show that the defendant’s particular action directly caused the wrongful death. So, even if the defendant ran a red light while driving a car, the defendant is not responsible if the death was caused by something else, such as a mechanical failure on the deceased’s vehicle, according to Nolo.
- Determine the value of your case. In California, damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case include:
- funeral and burial expenses
- medical and hospital bills for the deceased person’s final illness or injury,
- lost income, including potential income the deceased person would reasonably have been expected to earn in the future had he or she lived.
- the value of household services
- loss of anticipated financial support
- loss of love, community, attention, affection, moral support, and guidance.
Your case is drafted and filed.Discovery and deposition stage.
Both sides of the case will exchange facts and other details about your claim, “discovering” the other party’s evidence. During discovery, attorneys will conduct a process called the deposition. Depositions are the statements from witnesses prior to a trial.
Trial. Sometimes a case is settled before going to trial. But if both sides can’t agree, then a trial is scheduled before a judge or jury to decide the outcome.
Do you need to file a wrongful death case in San Diego, CA? Don’t go through this alone. Get help from an attorney who has a strong understanding of California law and who cares about your case.
Car accidents are never convenient, especially when there is injury and damaged property involved. If you’re in a car accident, it might feel like a natural next step to call the insurance company. But if anyone involved is injured, or if there’s any kind of significant damage done to vehicles or property, you need to think before talking to the insurance company.
If the accident caused you injuries or property damages, it makes sense to start thinking about a claim. However, filing an insurance claim or giving a statement to insurance adjusters without getting legal advice could actually hurt your chances of getting compensation.
Why? Because when you contact an insurance company to make a claim or give a statement, they can use the information provided and the words you use to try to convince you to take a lower settlement than you deserve.
When you’re suffering from injuries and dealing with damages caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be facing long-term medical bills and other expenses that aren’t fair. You need the maximum compensation you can get, which isn’t what the insurance companies want to give. Instead of trying to make your case with the insurance company, tell your story to a personal injury attorney who truly cares about your wellbeing.
An insurance company will try to give you the minimum payment possible. A personal injury attorney will fight to get you the maximum payment possible!
What If I Already Talked to My Insurance Company?
Maybe you are reading this and feeling stressed because you’ve already talked to your insurance company. Maybe you’ve already made a claim or already given a statement. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to get the compensation you deserve. The legal team at Jeffrey E. Estes and Associates is highly experienced in dealing with the unfair practices of insurance companies. If you’ve tried to get the compensation you need, and your insurance company has denied it or tried to get you to settle for less, we’re here to help! If you’re wondering if the settlement offered by insurance adjusters is fair, we can give you the clarity you need.
How Much Compensation is Fair?
This question seems more simple than it is. You might come up with an estimate based on doctor’s bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and hours missed at work. But it’s more complicated than that. Many accident victims aren’t aware that they can also claim compensation for future medical costs, future rehabilitation fees, future lost wages, and even pain and suffering damages.
Pain and suffering is perhaps the most difficult area of compensation to calculate, and according to Law.com, it can include aches, pain, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression, embarrassment from scarring, and more.
A personal injury attorney can help you understand exactly how much compensation you’re entitled to and help you navigate the process of claiming it in San Diego, CA.
What Should I Do After An Accident?
The most important first step is, of course, to stop at the scene of the accident. It’s illegal to drive away from the scene of a car accident, and doing so will certainly not help your claim for compensation.
- Check if you are injured. If you or someone else is injured, call 911 or ask someone to call 911 immediately. If you are injured, try not to move. Wait for help.
- Check on other people involved in the accident.
- If you are not seriously injured, move to safety. If you can’t move your vehicle, just move yourself!
- Call 911. In California, it’s required by law to report to the police any accident that causes injury (however minor), death, or property damage over $1000, according to FindLaw.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). You only need to exchange:
- Full name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Make, model, and color of the other vehicle(s)
- Location of accident
Do NOT admit fault or discuss details of the accident with anyone.
Document the accident. This will be very important in your compensation claim later.
- Get the badge numbers and names of responding police officers, recommends USAttorneys.
- Get a copy of the accident report.
- Take pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damage done to both cars. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the other car’s license plate.
- Get names and addresses of all parties involved, including any passengers in the other vehicle.
- Talk to witnesses, and take down their contact info.
Call a personal injury attorney.
After being injured in a car accident in San Diego, CA, contact a personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve!