When a person is injured in an accident, the main focus is typically on that person’s physical injuries. California’s personal injury laws provide a legal remedy for an injured victim to obtain compensation for financial losses and physical injuries caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. However, many individuals who are injured in an accident also experience a loss of quality of life. Even though it may be difficult to place a value on the loss of quality of life, state laws do allow injured victims to recover compensation for this type of damage.
What is Loss of Quality of Life?
After an accident, a person may experience physical pain and suffering because of the injuries sustained in the accident. However, those injuries may also significantly impact the person’s ability to perform daily activities or enjoy the same activities the person enjoyed before the accident. In addition, a person may experience significant emotional and mental distress caused by the accident and the injuries.
Quality of life compensation is designed to compensate an accident victim for the negative consequences he or she experiences because of the accident. Compensation for loss of quality of life is more than simply compensating an accident victim for personal physical discomfort or emotional worry. The types of damages that might be incorporated into a quality of life claim include:
- Loss of the ability to perform certain tasks
- Inability to care for one’s personal needs
- Loss of companionship and affection with other individuals
- Fear, concern, and emotional worry
- Physical pain and suffering
- Deformity, scarring, and disfigurement
- Humiliation and embarrassment
- Damaged reputation
- Permanent impairment and disability
- Loss of an organ, limb, or sensory function
- Inability to participate in activities enjoyed by the person before the accident
The above list is not a complete list of all factors that might be considered when determining a person’s loss of quality of life. Because each person is different, each claim for loss of quality of life will be unique. A person’s life before the accident must be carefully examined to determine how that person’s life has changed after the accident.
Placing a Value on Loss of Quality of Life in a Personal Injury Claim
There is not a standard formula for calculating the value of a person’s loss of quality of life. The damages in this category are intangible. There is not a price tag or an invoice that a jury can use to determine the value of these things. However, a personal injury attorney can use circumstances and facts related to the case, in combination with descriptions of the person’s life before the accident and after the accident, to demonstrate how the accident has profoundly impacted the person’s life.
There are also many factors related to the victim that can impact a quality of life claim, such as the victim’s:
- Educational background
- Work history
- Socio-economic status
- Type and severity of injuries
- Involvement in recreational activities or hobbies
- Appearance after the accident
- Presence or absence of permanent disabilities and impairments
Again, this is not a complete list of all factors that might apply in every case. Your Sacramento personal injury attorney reviews your case and your unique circumstances to determine the best way to maximize the value of a claim for loss of quality of life.
Hire an Experienced Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Claim
You only have one opportunity to demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence and wrongdoing have negatively impacted your quality of life. Insurance companies and defense attorneys aggressively fight claims for loss of quality of life. They will do whatever is within their power to limit the compensation you receive related to quality of life claims.
Our legal team of highly skilled and trained personal injury attorneys has many years of experience handling these types of injury cases. We believe that accident victims deserve full compensation for all damages, including Los of quality of life. Therefore, we aggressively pursue these claims In addition to all other injury claims arising from an accident caused by another party.
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free case review with a personal injury attorney near you.
There can be several factors involved in the cause of a car crash. One of those factors may be the condition of the roads at the time of the collision. If the state of California or other government agency is negligent in failing to maintain road conditions, there is a chance that the government agency responsible for poor road conditions could be held liable if a car accident occurs because of the poor road conditions.
Steps Involved in Determining if a Government Agency is Responsible for Your Car Accident:
- Determine which federal, state, or local government agency is responsible for maintaining the section of road where the accident occurred.
- Obtain evidence to prove that the government agency was negligent in maintaining the road.
- Identify the cause of the car accident and obtain evidence linking it to poor road conditions.
- Determine if the government agency may be sued in a personal injury case.
- File a notice of claim with the government agency, according to federal or state laws before the deadline expires for filing your claim.
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Suing a Government Agency is a Complicated Undertaking
Most government agencies enjoy immunity from most lawsuits. However, if a government agency’s negligence results in a person’s injuries, the government agency may be held liable for financial losses and other damages directly arising from the negligent acts.
Therefore, one of the first steps involved in filing a lawsuit against a government agency for poor road conditions is to determine if the government agency can be sued. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys research various federal and state laws to determine if a personal injury claim can be filed against the government agency.
However, even if you can sue the government for poor road conditions, you must prove that those conditions led to or contributed to the cause of your car accident. In most cases, expert witnesses are required to examine the cause of the car wreck to determine if poor road conditions played a factor in the cause of the collision.
If we can prove that poor road conditions led to your car accident, we must then prove the government agency was somehow negligent in maintaining the road. That process is not always an easy task. There are some instances in which the government agency may not be held responsible even though poor road conditions could have played a factor in causing your car crash.
Time to File Claims Against the Government is Restricted
To further complicate the case, the time to file claims against a government agency is severely restricted by law. In most cases, you may only have a few months to file your initial claim with the government agency. Failing to file a notice of a claim could result in a personal injury lawsuit being dismissed in the future.
Therefore, it is crucial that you speak with a Sacramento car accident attorney as quickly as possible if you suspect that poor road conditions played a factor in the cause of your car accident. An experienced car accident attorney can act quickly to preserve your legal options for holding a government agency responsible for its negligent acts that led to your car accident injuries.
Call a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer for More Information
The process of filing a car accident claim can be complicated and too much for an individual to handle when he or she is dealing with injuries and other matters after a car accident. The personal injury attorneys of The Tiemann Law Firm can help.
Contact our office by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers near you.
When you are injured in a car accident, you expect the insurance company for the other driver to treat you with respect and settle your injury claim fairly and timely. That is the main purpose of the state requiring insurance coverage for drivers, so that injured victims have a means of seeking and receiving compensation when they are injured in a crash. Problems arise when insurance companies act in bad faith.
However, some insurance providers do not act in good faith when they handle an injury claim. They attempt to deny or undervalue the claim to save money, even though they know that their insured driver was responsible for causing your injuries, financial losses, pain, and suffering. If you are having trouble with an insurance claim, contact our Sacramento personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your claim and how we can help.
What is Bad Faith?
It is common and legal for an insurance company to investigate an injury claim fully to ensure that it is not paying more than a claim is worth. The insurance company also has the right to ensure that it is not paying for a claim that is not its liability to pay. However, the law obligates insurance providers to handle all claims with good faith.
By law, insurance companies must take certain steps to process an injury claim when the insurance company receives a claim. For example, the insurance company must adequately investigate your claim, provide certain information to you regarding your claim, and provide an explanation for a denial of a claim within a reasonable time. If the claim is approved, the company has an obligation to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim.
If the insurance company fails to take reasonable, necessary steps to investigate, process, and settle a valid claim, it could be found to have been acting in bad faith.
Five Top Signs of Bad Faith Insurance
There are many signs that an insurance provider is acting in bad faith. The top five signs to watch for when filing an insurance claim for a car accident include:
- There are unreasonable delays in accepting your claim and confirming that your claim has been filed. You should receive a claim number immediately or within a day after filing your claim.
- The insurance company refuses to communicate with you by failing to respond to telephone messages or other forms of communication.
- The insurance company denies your claim without providing an explanation. A denial of claim should be in writing with detailed reasons for denying the claim.
- Requests for unreasonable documentation are another sign of bad faith. Remember, insurance companies like to ask for written and recorded statements as well as signed medical authorization forms. See an attorney before agreeing to provide statements or sign a medical authorization form.
- Very low offers to settle the case quickly. If a company suspects that your claim may be worth a lot of money, it may try to get rid of the claim by “lowballing” a quick offer to entice you to sign a full release of all claims.
Other signs of bad faith by an insurance company also include:
- Denying a claim without any investigation of your insurance claim.
- Failing to make timely payment after settlement.
- Unreasonably blaming you for the cause of the accident.
- Bullying, pressuring, or threatening you to accept a low settlement offer.
- Repeatedly telling you that hiring a personal injury lawyer will hurt your chances of receiving top dollars for your claim.
- Using improper investigation techniques.
- Canceling or changing an insurance policy without justification.
- Dragging out a claim to exceed the statutes of limitations.
There could be other instances of bad faith. If you suspect bad faith by an insurance provider, contact an attorney immediately. You may be entitled to additional compensation for the acts of bad faith on top of the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim.
Contact Our Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
Discuss your car accident and issues of bad faith insurance tactics with a personal injury lawyer at The Tiemann Law Firm. Call (916) 999-9000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our California car accident settlement attorneys.
Being involved in an automobile accident can be stressful, especially if you suffer injuries because of the accident. In addition to dealing with the pain and suffering caused by a physical injury, you also must deal with the cost of medical care. Depending on the severity of automobile accident injuries, the cost of medical treatment can be expensive. Who pays for medical care after an auto accident?
What Types of Medical Treatment are Common After an Automobile Accident?
An accident victim should seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident to protect their health. It is also important to document injuries as soon as possible to protect the right to recover compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages caused by an automobile accident. Delays in seeking a doctor could be viewed negatively by the insurance provider. The insurance adjuster might argue that your lack of medical care immediately after the accident means that you were not injured in the accident or your injuries were not severe enough to require medical care.
Common types of medical treatment after an automobile accident include:
- Emergency room visit
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Pain Maintenance
You could have additional medical treatment based on your specific injuries. Victims with severe injuries or life-threatening injuries often require extensive medical treatment for an extended period.
Who Pays for My Medical Care?
After your accident, you are responsible for the payment of medical treatment for your injuries. In many cases, health insurance pays the cost of medical treatment after an auto accident. However, if you do not have health insurance, Medicaid or other government assistance may pay for medical care.
In some cases, individuals may need to work out an agreement with their medical providers regarding payment for services. If a medical provider knows that the injuries were the result of an automobile accident, the health care provider may agree to continue treatment for a promise of payment when the personal injury claim is settled. Some providers require patients to sign a medical lien ensuring payment from the personal injury proceeds. A Sacramento personal injury lawyer can often assist you in working out an agreement with your doctors regarding payment.
If another driver or party is responsible for causing the automobile accident, that party should be responsible for the payment of your medical expenses. However, the insurance company does not pay your medical providers directly. The cost of medical care is included in your personal injury claim. Therefore, you will not receive this money until your claim is settled.
Why Do I Have to Wait to Receive My Money for Medical Expenses?
The insurance company for the other driver is only liable for your medical care if its insured driver caused the accident. You cannot receive compensation for your medical care and other damages until you prove that the other driver caused the crash.
Also, you do not want to settle your claim before your medical treatment is completed and you know the full extent of your injuries. Settling your claim too early could result in the loss of thousands of dollars in compensation that you should receive based on your injuries and damages.
Seek Help from a Sacramento Automobile Accident Lawyer
Our experienced lawyers work with accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries, financial losses, and other damages. We can help you know when it is the right time to settle your claim and how much your car accident claim is worth.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our California personal injury attorneys.
It is difficult to lose a loved one under any circumstances. When the death is caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, California’s wrongful death laws provide a way for family members to seek justice for their loved one. A California wrongful death attorney can review your case to determine if you have a claim under the state’s wrongful death statutes. If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim, it is important to know these three things about wrongful death claims in California.
Three Things You Should Know About Wrongful Death Cases in California
1. You Have a Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Case
To protect your right to hold the person or party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable, you need to talk to an attorney now. Your time to file a wrongful death claim is restricted by law. In many cases, family members have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. However, that time may be shorter or longer, depending on the circumstances surrounding your family member’s death.
For example, if a government entity was involved, you may have just six months from the date of death to file a claim. On the other hand, cases involving medical malpractice often have a three-year statute of limitations for filing wrongful death claims.
It is always best to speak to a California wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to avoid an issue with the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.
2. A Criminal Conviction is Not Required for a Wrongful Death Claim
Even though some cases may also involve a criminal charge against the person responsible for causing your family member’s death, a criminal charge is not necessary to file a wrongful death action. A wrongful death claim is a civil action that is separate and apart from any criminal charges that might or might not be filed related to the death. Therefore, you may have a valid civil action even though the state declines to pursue any criminal charges related to the death.
3. A Survival Action May Also Be Filed
In addition to the wrongful death claim filed by family members, a separate action might be filed by your loved one’s estate seeking compensation for additional damages. A survival action is filed by a person’s estate seeking compensation for damages that the person would have been entitled to receive had the person lived. For example, a survival action may be filed to recover compensation for the medical expenses incurred in treating your loved one from the date of the injury through your loved one’s date of death.
The estate may also recover compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one endured because of the injury. In some cases, punitive damages might be awarded for certain acts that led to the person’s death.
Contact a California Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free Case Review
A monetary award is not going to ease your family’s suffering after losing a loved one. However, compensation from a wrongful death claim can provide the resources your family needs as you continue to deal with the consequences of losing a family member. A claim also forces the negligent party to take responsibility for actions that led to your family member’s death.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our California wrongful death lawyers.