If you are involved in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages if the other driver was at fault. Under California’s personal injury laws, a person who causes an accident can be held liable for damages caused by the accident. However, you must file a claim to recover compensation for your damages.
Filing an Insurance Claim for an Accident
In most cases, accident victims file a claim with the driver’s insurance provider. Liability insurance covers the damages sustained by victims in an accident caused by the insured. However, insurance companies are not required by law to automatically pay all claims filed against an insured. The victim must prove that the driver caused the crash to recover compensation.
An insurance company may deny an accident claim for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons may be legally valid; however, an insurance company may deny a claim because it does not want to pay a large settlement. In other cases, the insurance company may undervalue a claim to avoid paying a higher amount to the accident victim.
You have the right to consult with a Sacramento personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement from the insurance company. It is usually in your best interest to talk with an attorney to ensure that you receive a fair and just amount for your claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a California Traffic Accident
In some cases, the insurance company may not negotiate a fair and just amount for your accident claim. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit is filed against the driver, even though his insurance company will likely hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit.
Pursuant to California’s Statute of Limitations, you have just two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within two years, you may lose your right to recover compensation for your claim. A statute of limitation is a deadline for filing lawsuits for specific causes of action. The deadlines vary based on the causes of action. Traffic accidents fall within the two-year deadline for filing lawsuits.
There are situations in which the statute of limitations may change. In some cases, the deadline may be extended, as in the case of a minor who is injured in an accident. However, there are cases in which the deadline to file a claim is very short, as in a case involving a government entity.
Because the factors in your case may affect the calculation of the deadline to file a lawsuit, it is best to contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney as soon after an accident as possible. Even though you may have two years to file a lawsuit, an attorney can help you throughout the case by handling the insurance company and helping you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your claim.
Call a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney Now
Do not wait to talk to a Sacramento personal injury attorney about your case. You can talk to one of our lawyers free of charge about your claim. Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our injury lawyers in Sacramento.
The severity of the injuries sustained in an accident typically determines whether a person misses time from work. Some accident victims may miss a few days or no time from work after an accident. However, other accident victims may be out of work for weeks or months after a crash, especially if they require surgery to treat their injuries.
If an accident victim does not cause the collision, he or she is entitled to compensation for their injuries, losses, and damages. Lost wages is common damage included in accident claims. However, accident victims do not receive immediate reimbursement for financial losses, including loss of income.
When Does the Insurance Company Reimburse Me for Lost Wages?
Unfortunately, you will not receive compensation for your lost wages until your claim is settled. An accident claim should not be settled until you complete medical treatment for your injuries. Settling the claim before your doctor releases you could result in a much lower settlement amount.
It is impossible to know the exact total of your out-of-pocket losses until you are released to go back to work or your doctor tells you that you have a permanent disability that prevents you from working. If you are unable to return to work because of an impairment, your damages will be much higher. When you settle your claim without this information, you could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Therefore, even though you may need the money, it is not in your best interest to settle your accident claim too soon. However, you also need to be aware of the deadline to file lawsuits in California. If you have not settled your claim before the deadline expires and you do not file a lawsuit, you can lose your right to recover compensation for your claim.
Calculating Loss of Income After an Accident
Calculating the loss of income sustained because of an accident and injury can be complex. An accident victim could have several types of lost income to include in the claim. Examples of damages in this category include:
Past Lost Wages
Past lost wages equals the total of all lost income from the date of the accident through the date of settlement. When calculating past lost wages, you can include bonuses, overtime, commissions, and other forms of income that you would have earned had it not been for the accident.
Future Lost Wages
If you are unable to work because of a permanent disability caused by the accident, you can also receive compensation for future lost wages. Future lost wages are more difficult to calculate. In many cases, we consult a financial expert to calculate future lost wages based on several factors such as your age, occupation, anticipated age of retirement, and life expectancy.
Loss of Earning Capacity
A loss of earning capacity may result when you suffer a disability that impairs your ability to earn the same income as you did before the accident. We also may consult a financial expert to calculate the loss of earning capacity.
Contact a Sacramento Accident Attorney for More Information
In some cases, loss of income may equal a substantial portion of an accident claim. You need to ensure that you calculate the value of your lost income correctly to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your accident claim.
When another party’s negligence or recklessness injures you, you may receive compensation. California’s personal injury laws allow accident victims to file a Sacramento injury claim for a variety of losses and damages. Damages that are compensable in a Sacramento injury claim include:
- Cost of medical care
- Loss of income
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional and mental suffering
- Other financial losses and expenses
Calculating the Value of a Sacramento Injury Claim
The value of your Sacramento injury claim depends on several factors. Four of the top factors that impact the value of your personal injury claim are:
Whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident.
Under California’s pure comparative fault laws, your compensation decreases by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault for the accident, the maximum compensation for your claim is 70 percent of your damages.
The available insurance coverage.
If the other driver carries minimum insurance coverage, the insurance provider is only obligated to pay compensation up to the policy limits. You can try to collect compensation from the driver. However, if the driver carries minimum insurance coverage, he may not have assets that could be seized to satisfy a judgment.
Therefore, it is wise to carry maximum uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect against drivers who carry the minimum insurance coverage or drive without insurance coverage.
Type and Severity of Injuries
In most cases, the value of a Sacramento injury claim increases when the victim suffers a permanent disability. Ongoing medical costs, future lost wages, and a loss of earning capacity can substantially increase the value of an accident claim. In addition, the value of pain and suffering damages increases for traumatic injuries and permanent impairments.
Accident victims are typically entitled to receive compensation for financial losses related to the accident, their injuries, and their recovery. Other out-of-pocket expenses that are generally compensable in a Sacramento injury claim include travel expenses, help with household chores, personal care, medications, medical equipment, and personal care services. In many cases, the length of your recovery impacts the value of your accident claim. You continue to incur expenses during your recovery.
Do You Need a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney?
If another driver injured you, it is important to understand your legal options for recovering compensation. However, it can be difficult to calculate the value of a Sacramento injury claim if you have never filed an accident claim. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney who understands the various factors that impact the value of a claim can increase your chance of recovering a fair and just amount for your accident claim.
For a free legal consultation, you can contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website. In most cases, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you do not need to worry about paying our attorney fees unless we recover money for your claim.
Many people file injury claims each day for accidents involving motor vehicles, falls, defective products, wrongful deaths, bicycle accidents, or dog attacks. However, should accident victims hire a Sacramento personal injury attorney to handle their injury claims? If you ask an insurance adjuster, the adjuster will likely tell you that you do not need an attorney and hiring an attorney will only mean less money for you. However, if you ask a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer is likely to tell you that you should always hire an attorney to file an injury claim.
The Sacramento personal injury attorneys of The Tiemann Law Firm have a different answer for you. We believe you should always seek the advice of a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney and then decide if you need to hire a lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers offer free consultations so that you can discuss your case with an attorney before hiring the attorney. There is nothing to lose by taking advantage of a free case review because you are under no obligation to hire our firm.
Advantages of Hiring a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
We encourage you to contact our office to discuss your injury. It is our goal to help you recover the compensation you deserve after a negligent individual or company caused your injury. As you consider contacting our office for your free consultation, also consider some of the advantages of hiring a personal injury attorney to file injury claims.
Most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.
Therefore, you do not pay any attorney fees if we do not recover compensation for your injury claims.
An attorney understands the law involved in your case.
Some injury claims involve a set of complex laws. Your attorney understands these laws and the elements required by personal injury laws to prove fault and liability.
Your attorney handles the accident investigation.
If the other party denies liability, the accident investigation becomes a crucial step in the process of filing an accident claim. The attorney investigates to identify the parties responsible for the accident and to uncover evidence required to prove fault.
Hiring an attorney early in your case helps you avoid making costly mistakes and errors.
For example, your attorney will advise you not to provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company for the other party. These statements can be used against you during your case to deny liability or undervalue your claim. Dealing directly with an insurance adjuster can be risky because the adjuster will use tactics such as obtaining a statement to protect the insurance company.
Discover the correct value of your accident claim.
The insurance adjuster is not going to tell you if you are not asking for enough money to settle your claim. He will also not tell you if his offer of settlement is fair or far below the actual value of your claim. A Sacramento personal injury attorney knows how to value a claim to maximize the amount of compensation you may receive for your injuries and damages.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Now for a Free Case Review
When you are injured through no fault of your own, California’s personal injury laws provide a way for you to recover compensation from the at-fault party. Examples of incidents that often give rise to a personal injury claim in California include:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Bus and Truck Accidents
- Slips and Falls
- Accidents Involving Defective Products
- DUI Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Dog Attacks
- Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse
The Sacramento personal injury lawyers of The Tiemann Law Firm handle a variety of cases involving personal injuries. We help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses in the fastest and least costly manner possible.
Should I Accept A Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
If the insurance company for the at-fault party offers to settle your claim, you need to consider all your options carefully before accepting a settlement offer. Once you accept an offer to settle your claim, you cannot seek further compensation even if you discover additional injuries or damages after the settlement is finalized.
Some insurance companies recognize that they can save money by offering a quick, low settlement to an accident victim before that victim consults with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento or understands the full extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer before you accept a settlement offer to ensure you are receiving all compensation you are entitled to receive by law.
Hiring an Attorney Does Not Mean Going to Court
Many people assume that they only need to hire a California personal injury lawyer if they need to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, hiring an attorney to negotiate a settlement can increase your chance of receiving more money for your claim. When you consider it is free to talk with one of our attorneys, there is no reason why you should not obtain legal advice before settling a claim.
Our attorneys attempt to settle claims without the necessity of a lawsuit for several reasons. Some of the reasons we seek to settle your claim without a trial include:
- Filing a lawsuit increases the attorney fees and costs of a personal injury claim. In most cases, the costs and fees are less when a claim is settled without filing a lawsuit.
- Going to trial is more time-consuming than settling a claim out of court. Settling a claim without a trial usually results in faster
- When you go to trial, a jury decides your fate. You have no guarantee that the jury will rule in your favor. Settling outside of court gives you a say in the result.
- Trials can be incredibly stressful, especially if the victim is required to testify at the trial.
There are many benefits of settling your claim without filing a lawsuit. However, even if you file a lawsuit, you can still settle the claim before a trial is held. Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are skilled and talented negotiators, but they are also seasoned trial litigators. Therefore, whether your claim is settled outside of court or you must file a lawsuit, our office is prepared and equipped to handle your claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento
If another person or party has injured you, do not let your right to recover compensation be taken away from you. For a free consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or visit our website.