Traffic is something that every motorist in Sacramento County must contend with during their daily commutes. At times, traffic can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, auto accidents are bound to happen with that many people on the road at one time. Sadly, many of the crashes that occur are preventable. A driver who is distracted, speeding, driving recklessly, intoxicated, or drowsy can make mistakes that lead to collisions and significant damages.
If a driver causes an accident, that driver can be held liable for damages and losses that victims sustain because of the crash. Filing an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider is the first step in recovering compensation for your claim. If the driver’s insurance provider accepts liability for the claim, you can receive compensation for a variety of damages.
Examples of damages that may be related to a car accident include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Travel expenses to doctor’s appointments
- Personal care
- Assistance with household services (i.e. lawn maintenance, washing clothing, cleaning, etc.)
- Medications and medical equipment
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairment and disability
- Physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering
The value of your accident claim includes out-of-pocket financial losses and expenses as well as noneconomic damages or pain & suffering damages. It can be difficult to calculate the value of an accident claim, especially claims that involve traumatic injuries and permanent impairments. In addition to the damages to date, you may also be entitled to future damages for ongoing medical treatment and loss of income.
What Happens When the Value of My Claim Exceeds the Driver’s Liability Coverage?
The insurance company for the other driver is only liable for damages up to the policy limits of the driver’s liability insurance policy. However, that does not mean that the driver is not personally liable for the damages. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver seeking a personal judgment. If you obtain a personal judgment, you can try to collect on the judgment, but if the person does not have assets that can be levied to pay the judgment, you have a worthless piece of paper.
There may be another option. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may receive compensation for your car accident claim from your insurance provider.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if another driver causes an accident and does not have enough insurance or funds to pay your claim in full. Once you settle your claim with the insurance company for the other driver, you can file a claim against your underinsured motorist coverage for any damages that were not paid by the other company. Depending on the policy limits of your underinsured motorist coverage, you could receive full compensation for all damages.
Contact a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney for Help
There could be other sources of compensation for your accident claim. Our legal team thoroughly investigates every aspect of your accident to identify all parties who might have some liability. We also research all potential sources of compensation to maximize the chance that you receive the highest amount possible for your personal injury claim.
If you need help with an accident claim or you have questions, schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento auto accident attorney by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000.
Seeking compensation for damages and losses after a car accident can be complicated. You may have more than one source of compensation available to you for your car accident injuries, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. While no amount of money erases the pain, stress, anxiety, frustration, and inconvenience caused by a negligent driver, it can help alleviate some of the financial burdens caused by the auto accident.
Five Types of Compensation You May Receive for Your Car Accident Claim
Each of the following sources of compensation after a car accident claim has different requirements. You may or may not meet the requirements for each, but it is worth investigating so that you exhaust all potential sources of financial assistance after a car accident.
Liability Insurance Claim
A liability insurance claim is filed against the driver who caused the accident. The insurance provider for the at-fault driver should pay your financial and non-financial damages up to the policy limits. However, most insurance companies work diligently to limit their liability for an accident, even when it is clear that their insured caused the crash. Therefore, it could take months or even years to settle a liability insurance claim.
Health Insurance Benefits
If you have health insurance, your insurance company may pay for medical care related to the accident. Health insurance payments help victims receive the medical treatment they need as they prepare to file a liability insurance claim. Beware, your health insurance company has a claim against any money you receive from your car accident claim. In other words, you may have to pay back the health insurance provider for any payments it made related to the accident from the money you receive for your car accident claim.
Personal Injury Protection or Med Pay
If you carry personal injury protection (PIP) or Med Pay insurance, you may receive compensation from your insurance provider for medical bills, lost wages, and other financial damages. PIP and Med Pay are no-fault insurance policies. Therefore, you can receive compensation if you have this coverage even though fault for the car accident may still be in dispute.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You may not receive full compensation for all damages from a liability insurance claim. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits may not cover all your costs. If so, you may receive additional compensation from your insurance provider if you have underinsured motorist coverage. Your insurance company pays you the difference between the value of your claim and the amount paid by the liability insurance carrier.
Property Damage Claims
A claim for property damages is separate from all claims related to bodily injury. In most cases, the property damage claim is settled very soon after the accident, unless liability is disputed. The insurance company should pay to repair your vehicle. If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company should pay an amount equal to the fair market value for your vehicle. You are responsible for the payment of any liens on the vehicle. In most cases, the insurance company writes the check to you and the loan company.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for Help
An experienced California car accident attorney can help you sort out the various injury and damage claims after an auto accident. Contact our Sacramento personal injury attorneys for a free consultation by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
One of the most important steps to take after any type of personal injury accident is to seek prompt medical attention. Documenting your injuries after an accident is a key element required to prove damages in a personal injury case. Your doctor needs to evaluate your injuries, develop a treatment plan, and keep detailed medical records. The defense will require medical proof before agreeing to accept liability for a claim. However, do not be surprised if the defense also requests an independent medical exam before it makes a final determination of payment, even if it accepts liability for the accident.
Liability vs. Payment of Damages After an Accident
Accepting liability for the cause of an injury is only one half of a personal injury claim. Even though an insurance provider may acknowledge that its insured caused the accident that resulted in your injury, that does not necessarily mean that the insurance provider is willing to pay the amount of compensation you demand to settle the claim.
The insurance provider wants to minimize the amount of money it must pay to settle your claim. Therefore, it may carefully analyze each medical record and other evidence you submit to search for weaknesses and defenses that can lower the value of your personal injury claim. One way to accomplish this goal is to argue that your injuries are not as substantial as you claim. One way to refute the severity of your injuries is to request an independent medical exam.
What is an Independent Medical Exam?
An independent medical examination (IME) is commonly used in workers’ compensation cases, but IMEs may also be requested in other personal injury cases. An IME is conducted by a physician who is alleged to be neutral in the matter to ensure that the physician’s findings are not influenced by any loyalty to either party or the party who is paying the doctor’s fees. In other words, the IME should result in an unbiased medical opinion of the person’s injuries, treatment, medical condition, impairment rating, and prognosis.
The insurance company hopes to receive a report that refutes some of the medical evidence provided by your doctors. If the IME supports a different finding, the insurance company may use the finding to attempt to lower the value of the claim.
If an insurance provider requests an IME, you should contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney immediately. The process for requesting and obtaining an IME must be followed. Furthermore, if an IME is requested, there is a dispute related to your injuries. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to evaluate your claim and advise you of the steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
Our attorneys offer free consultations so that you can get answers to your questions about personal injury claims and personal injury laws in California. You do not need to rely on the information given to you by insurance adjusters or parties representing the person who caused your injury. You can obtain a no-obligation, case review from an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
Schedule your free case review by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in life-altering conditions. However, some TBIs are mild and may go unnoticed until the person begins experiencing symptoms of a brain injury. Even at that time, the person may not immediately equate the symptoms of a TBI with a head injury. One of the reasons some individuals may not realize a TBI is causing their symptoms is because some TBI patients have not sustained a blow to the head or display any other outward sign of head trauma.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a TBI may temporarily impact the brain cells, or it can cause severe damage to the brain from bruising, bleeding, tearing, and other physical damage. A TBI can occur from a violent blow to the head or from the head striking another object. However, brain damage may also occur from a strong jolt to the head or the body. Therefore, you could experience a TBI even though your head does not strike an object.
For instance, a closed head injury may occur in a car crash when your head is whipped around because of the sudden jolt to the body at the time of the impact. When your head is thrown backward and forward or side-to-side, your brain can move violently within the skull striking the bony structure in one or more places. Each time the fragile brain tissue strikes a part of the skull, the tissue can sustain damage.
In some cases, a closed head injury caused by a strong jolt can cause more damage than a penetrating head injury. A penetrating head injury occurs when an object enters the brain through the skull. Damage is typically localized to the area where the object enters the brain. However, with a closed brain injury from a jolt, numerous parts of the brain may be injured as it “bounces” around within the skull.
TBI Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms and signs of a brain injury vary depending on the severity of the brain injury. Children can also display different signs of brain trauma because of their age.
It is helpful to know the symptoms of TBI, so that you can seek immediate medical attention for a brain injury. The Mayo Clinic provides an exhaustive list of symptoms divided into categories, including physical symptoms, sensory symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. It also provides symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries and moderate to severe TBIs. You can also review a list of children’s symptoms of TBI on the website.
It is important to remember that you do not need to lose consciousness after sustaining a TBI. Also, symptoms may not be present for several hours or days after a brain injury. You should also seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of a brain injury after an accident. However, it never hurts to be evaluated by a medical professional after any accident to rule out a TBI or other head injury.
Contact a Sacramento Brain Injury Attorney for More Information
Several situations can result in a TBI including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Sports and recreational activities
- Work-related accidents
- Accidents involving defective products
If you are injured in an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our Sacramento brain injury attorneys for a free consultation by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
Being involved in a car accident can be a shocking experience, even though you may have been involved in a traffic accident in the past. Unfortunately, the shock and the shot of adrenaline can make you forget the steps that you should take after a car crash to protect your legal rights. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys review three of the most common mistakes made after a auto accident and why those mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars.
Car Accident Mistake Number 1 — Saying You Are Sorry
Saying you are sorry after a traffic accident could result in a much lower settlement for your injury claim. California’s comparative fault laws state that your compensation for a car accident can be reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you for the crash. Insurance companies understand this law and often try to use the law to reduce the amount of money they must pay to accident victims. If the insurance company can prove you were partially at fault, you do not receive as much money.
Therefore, never admit fault at the accident scene or when speaking to an insurance adjuster. Even saying you are sorry could be interpreted as admitting partial fault.
Car Accident Mistake Number 2 — Treating Your Injuries at Home
If you want to recover compensation for your injuries after a car accident, you must document those injuries. The best way to document your injuries is to see a physician after the accident. The insurance company will not accept your opinion of your injuries. It will want to see reports and medical records from a health care provider that proves you were injured in the car crash.
Therefore, it is a good idea to see a doctor after any car accident. It ensures that you receive the care you need for your injuries, but it also documents your injuries for a auto accident claim.
Car Accident Mistake Number 3 — Thinking That You Do Not Need a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney
Some car accident claims can be settled without an attorney. If the accident did not involve traumatic injuries and the insurance company admits that its driver was 100 percent at fault for the crash, you might be able to settle the claim without the assistance of an attorney.
However, insurance adjusters are always searching for ways to lower the value of a traffic accident claim. The adjuster’s job is to protect the insurance company, not the accident victim. It is not in the best interest of the insurance company to pay large settlement claims regularly. Therefore, adjusters are very careful to look for ways they can lower the value of your claim.
A Sacramento car accident attorney understands how insurance companies and adjusters operate. They also understand personal injury laws and other laws that govern car crash claims in California. The other driver and the insurance company have professionals protecting their interests; you deserve to have someone protecting you.
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
It does not cost you anything to talk to a Sacramento car accident attorney. You are not under any obligation to hire our law firm after your consultation. You have nothing to lose by contacting our office, but you could lose thousands of dollars by trying to handle your car accident claim on your own.
To find out how our legal team can help you with your accident claim, call The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.