If you have been involved in a car accident in California, you may be feeling stressed and anxious, and perhaps confused about what should be your next steps. These feelings and emotions might be particularly overwhelming if you’ve been injured and need medical treatment, and if you’re facing mounting medical bills and other expenses and you have to miss work because of your injury. However, because car accident compensation rules in California can be complicated, getting the money you need to cover these expenses is not always an easy task. Thus, if you have been in a car crash and have sustained injuries and other damages, it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases and dealing with auto insurance companies so that you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
In the aftermath of a car accident, there are some important steps you should consider taking as soon after the accident as possible. First, if you were injured in the accident, it is extremely important that you seek medical treatment right away. Even if your injuries are not immediately apparent, you should still be evaluated by a medical professional because failing to do so can ultimately work against you in the long run. The next thing you should do is file an insurance claim with your insurance company, and you might also want to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if you have any questions regarding this process, you can always seek the help of an experienced orange county car accident lawyer. If you wait too long to file a claim, you risk having your claim denied by the insurance company.
When you file a first party claim with your own insurance company, you will likely be entitled to two types of coverage. Coverage for medical payments can take care of medical expenses up to your policy’s limits, including costs associated with doctor’s appointments, emergency room visits, and any medications you might be prescribed. Collision coverage takes care of the cost of your vehicle’s damage. Other optional coverages that you may purchase include physical damage coverage which can help pay for your vehicle’s repairs, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is important in cases where your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage, or if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance. This coverage will provide you with additional compensation.
Because the laws and rules governing car accident compensation in California can be confusing and somewhat complex, there are some things that are helpful to understand. For instance, California observes or follows what is called pure comparative negligence, meaning that the responsibility for a car crash is divided amongst those involved and the amount of damages that are recovered depends on each driver’s percentage of fault. So, if a driver runs a red light or blows through a stop sign and they crash into you, they might be found to be one hundred percent at fault. But there may be other instances where your actions cause or contribute to an accident and your recovery would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a car accident in Orange County California, it is crucial that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.