You were injured in a personal injury accident, and you are ready to discuss filing an injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento personal injury attorney if you have not already done so. Below is a checklist that you can use as you prepare for your first meeting with our attorney.
However, we want to be very clear. We care more about you, your recovery, and your story. While it is very helpful to have the information and documentation below, it is not necessary. We want to talk to you about your accident and your current situation. Our focus is on helping you understand your legal rights and your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
Therefore, if you have the information or documentation below, please bring it with you to the first appointment, but do not let a lack of anything on the checklist keep you from speaking to an attorney.
Checklist for Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney
- Copy of police report and accident report
- Copies of insurance policies related to the accident (i.e. homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, medical pay, etc.)
- The name and contact information of each insurance adjuster or other party who you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
- Copies of any medical records and statements from physicians or medical providers
- Copies of any correspondence from attorneys or insurance providers
- Information obtained from the accident scene, such as photographs and names of eyewitnesses
- Medical bills and other evidence of expenses and costs related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery
- Proof of income and the dates you have missed work because of the accident
- A list of all medical providers who treated you after the accident
It can also be very helpful to make notes about what you remember about the accident. Small details could be very important. Your notes do not need to be full sentences or paragraphs. The information is to help you relate to your personal injury attorney what happened before and after the accident.
You may also want to include a list of questions you want to ask the personal injury attorney. We want to learn about you during the appointment, but we also want you to leave with answers to the questions you have about accident claims.
Get Peace of Mind and Learn About Your Legal Rights by Calling a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
Being injured in an accident can turn your life upside down. If you are unsure about what you need to do to protect your rights, contact our office for a free case review. You do not need to handle an insurance claim alone.
For a free consultation with one of our Sacramento accident lawyers, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000. We are here for you to listen to what happened to you and provide you with the legal advice, guidance, and support you need as you continue to recover from a tragic accident.
A common myth associated with accident cases in California is the existence of a personal injury settlement calculator. The calculator is used to determine the value of your claim. Some websites offer “free settlement calculators” for accident victims who want to know the value of the case. The myth may be common because many people believe there is a formula for calculating damages in a personal injury case. However, there is not a set formula for calculating the value of a claim.
Using a Personal Injury Settlement Calculator
Some websites try to lure you into hiring a firm by offering you use of their free calculator. You insert the total of your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses to calculate the value of your claim. Some websites go even further and tell you that by multiplying your financial losses by a certain number, you can calculate the value of your pain and suffering damages. However, these so-called “calculators” do not consider all factors used in valuing a personal injury claim.
There is not a magic number or formula prescribed by law that attorneys, insurance companies, or the courts use to calculate the value of a personal injury claim. In other words, there is no such thing as a personal injury settlement calculator.
Factors Used to Calculate the Value of a Personal Injury Claim?
Each case is unique. Therefore, the factors used to calculate the value of your claim may be slightly different from the factors used in another case. However, some of the common factors that impact the value of a personal injury claim include:
- The type and severity of your injuries;
- The total financial losses associated with the accident, your injuries, and your recovery;
- The location of your accident;
- The available insurance coverage;
- The length of your recovery; and,
- Whether or not you suffered permanent impairment or disabilities.
Liability is an Important Factor
To recover compensation for a personal injury claim, you must prove that the other party was responsible for causing the accident that resulted in your injury. However, if you are partially responsible, you may not receive full compensation for your injuries.
California uses a pure comparative negligence standard for personal injury claims. If you have any fault for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident.
For example, if you were speeding at the time of a crash and the jury finds you were 30 percent at fault for causing the accident, your compensation is reduced by 30 percent. If your total damages equal $100,000, the most you can receive for your claim is $70,000.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Review
Calculating the value of a personal injury claim is a complex process. Don’t fall for a firm or website that offers a personal injury settlement calculator. Our legal team works closely with you throughout your case to ensure that we account for each expense and damage that we can include in the value of your claim. We use a variety of strategies to maximize the compensation you may receive for your claim.
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free legal consultation.
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.
If a person injures you through negligence, recklessness, or other wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. A personal injury claim may arise from a variety of incidents including auto accidents, dog bites, falls, bicycle accidents, defective products, and pedestrian accidents. It is important to consult with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your claim. State laws restrict the time to file personal injury lawsuits in California.
When Should I File a Personal Injury Claim in California?
California’s Statute of Limitations has a two-year deadline for most personal injury lawsuits. If the victim was unaware of the injury, the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit might be one year from the date the injury was discovered. However, you cannot always rely on the two-year rule in all cases. In some cases, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit may be shorter or longer than the deadline in a typical case.
For example, if a government agency or employee is a defendant in the case, you usually must file a claim with the agency within six months to protect your right to file a personal injury lawsuit. When the injured victim is under 18 years of age at the time of injury, the statute of limitations is tolled until the person’s eighteenth birthday. The statute of limitations begins to run after the person reaches 18 years of age.
It is best to contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Calculating the statute of limitations for your case can be complex. There could be a factor in your case that shortens or lengthens the statute of limitations. In addition to ensuring you file your claim before the deadline expires, it usually takes time to obtain the information, documentation, and evidence necessary to prepare a personal injury lawsuit for filing.
How Can An Attorney Help Me With a Personal Injury Claim?
It is common to be overwhelmed after you or a loved one is injured in an accident. You have many things to deal with, including medical treatment and financial matters. A personal injury attorney can help you by explaining your legal options and the steps you need to take to protect your right to receive compensation from the party who caused your injury.
An attorney conducts a thorough accident investigation to determine the cause of the accident and gather evidence proving fault. In addition, the attorney identifies the party or parties liable for damages. It is important to have evidence to prove fault and identify the liable parties. Fault and liability are two of the necessary elements in a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving damages is another key element in a personal injury claim. Your attorney works closely with you to document your damages to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive for your claim.
In many cases, a claim may be settled outside of court. However, if the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement, you need an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney on your side to protect your rights.
Call Now for a Free Case Review with a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
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.