Car Accident Insurance Claims in Los Angeles
Lluis Law is one of the most important car accident law firms in Los Angeles, with accumulated experience of more than 40 years, which has won hundreds of cases for several million dollars in agreements and verdicts. If you were injured in a car accident, you deserve to receive fair compensation and we will do everything possible to make it so.
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The first thing to know about car accident insurance claims in Los Angeles is that California is a failed state. This means that for a claim to prosper, the responsibility of the other driver in the accident must be proven.
The other premise that should be clear is that for the purposes of automobile accidents, the state of California is governed by the rule of pure comparative negligence. So that even when there is a third party guilty of the accident (person or company), during the claim process it will be investigated if the victim had some percentage of fault in the accident.
If so, the payment of compensation for physical and material damages will be made according to the percentage of fault attributed to it. For example, if it is established that the victim contributed 15% to the accident, the sum of money she will receive as compensation will be 85% of the total amount claimed.
The determination of the failure in a car accident is complicated, so both parties (the victim and the insurance company responsible) will conduct a separate investigation to try to impose their criteria regarding the accident. This is where the help of a skilled and capable car accident lawyer makes the difference to get the most compensation possible.
When the law firm of Lluis Law takes a case it is because it considers that might win it. Our lawyers exhaustively investigate even the simplest details of the car accident, using expert investigators. We gathered all the necessary evidence to support the case and show that the other driver acted negligently and caused injuries to our client.
How to file a car insurance claim in Los Angeles?
To file a claim for auto insurance in Los Angeles, the insured / victim must notify the accident and claim to their own insurance company. With a simple telephone call you can make this notification although you can also do it through the website that the company has.
In California, regardless of whether someone else was at fault for the accident, people who are holders of an auto insurance policy must first notify the accident to their own insurer and then to the insurance company of the other party.
If you do not have an insurance policy, you must then notify and immediately submit a claim to the insurance company of the person responsible, whether you have been wholly or partially guilty.
In cases of accidents with serious injuries and high material damage, surely the victims will want the help of a lawyer. Since the other party will have on its side the lawyers and adjusters of your insurance company, who will try at all times to pay as little as possible for the injuries or even reject the claim.
The steps to follow to file a claim after a traffic accident are the following:
1. Notify the claim and ask for help
Emergency medical help should be sought as soon as possible by calling 911 and making sure that the police arrive at the accident site so that the respective police report can be made. Then notify the claim to the insurance company itself and then to the insurer of the other party.
Thus, in case the responsible driver refuses to acknowledge their responsibility the company will be sure the victim’s personal will be responsible for covering the initial medical care expenses. The most important thing at that moment is to receive hospital care.
2. Notify the California DMV
In addition to notifying the insurer, you must notify the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) of California within 10 days of the auto accident only if:
– Someone was injured or killed; or
– The damage to the property caused by the accident is greater than $ 1,000.
Presentation of Lawsuit
If after filing the claim with the insurance company or the person responsible for the accident refuses to pay the damages, you have the right to file a claim to recover damages. To obtain compensation in California, both the claim and the claim must prove the fault / liability of the other party.
California’s statute of limitations establishes a two-year time limit for suing the insurer or person liable for personal injury. After that time it is likely that any claim or demand will be denied. In addition, it will be more difficult to prove the responsibility of a third party.
The advisable thing is to immediately notify of the accident and the injuries to the company of insurances and in case that it rejects the reclamation, then with the help of a lawyer of accidents of Los Angeles can prepare and present / display a solid demand.
After the police prepare the police report and your lawyer also carry out the necessary inspections of the vehicles involved in the accident, you can take your damaged vehicle to a body shop of your choice to have it repaired. The costs of repair of the car will be included in the recoverable damages.
However, if the insurer offers to repair the vehicle in one of its own contracted workshops, it is preferable to take it there so that the process of repair and payment of damages is more expeditious. The costs of repairing the vehicle are usually paid separately from the injuries.
Dealing with adjusters
Although you can file a claim or lawsuit on your own, without the help of a lawyer, in cases of serious accidents with injuries or deaths, it is most reasonable to hire one with experience and ability to deal with the company’s adjusters and lawyers insurance.
After the claim is filed, the insurer must contact you within 15 days of the notification. The insurance company assigns an adjuster to take care of the case. Remember that the adjuster works for the insurer, therefore, will defend their interests not yours.
At the request of the adjuster, you must present a statement and all the evidence you have to determine who was at fault for the accident and the severity of the injuries caused. The identification of the culprit can be complicated in some cases and need, in addition to the police report, the opinion of experts and witnesses.
Test the damage
As for the damages caused (injuries, property damage), the victim must also try them. To verify the severity of the injuries, a complete medical report must be presented, including the recovery treatment that the patient should follow.
To recover damages for loss of wages and income, pain and suffering, etc. you must also present sufficient and irrefutable evidence. The adjuster, for its part, will conduct its own investigation on you, the accident and the injuries.
Regarding property damage caused during the accident, it is sometimes necessary to consult the opinion of an independent expert to negotiate with the insurance company the settlement amount for this type of damage.
The personal injury and car accident lawyer is necessary to identify the person responsible and prove their fault. This is only possible, after conducting an independent investigation of the accident. The lawyer also represents the victim or their family in the process of negotiating the claim that follows.
Liquidation offer of the insurer
Just as the expert car accident lawyer demands an approximate liquidation amount from the insurer in the filing of your claim, the adjuster also, after conducting its own investigation into the claim, submits a settlement offer.
The most common damages that are paid are for medical treatment and medicines and the repair of the car. In cases of serious injury or death, compensation may include pain and suffering, lost wages and income and loss of consortium, among others.
The offer will depend on certain variables such as the type of injuries, the insurance company, the strength of the arguments and evidence presented in the claim, etc. A good personal injury and car accident lawyer will be very helpful if you are willing to get fair compensation.
After a car accident, you can recover damages by filing a claim with the insurance company of the person, company or entity responsible for the accident and injuries, or before a civil court by means of a personal injury claim.