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How to Handle Car Accident Claims

February 10, 2024 
by LA Injury Group

How to Handle Car Accident Claims? The process of navigating through a car accident in California is full of chaos and would often time be extremely depressing to car accident victims and their loved ones. Most car accidents result in serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and damage to the limbs and the other essential parts of the body. In certain instances, victims of car accidents may succumb to their injuries.

So much activity would therefore follow the happening of a car accident. The common activities following a car accident are seeking treatment, filing insurance claims and moving to court to recover compensation for the injuries sustained. It follows therefore that one must understand the legal landscape in California so that they can easily navigate the aftermath of a car accident in California.

This article will provide comprehensive coverage of how to go through car accident claims in California with the assistance of a car accident lawyer. It will look into the measures that should be taken as soon as one is in a car accident, the vital laws and regulations that govern car accident claims, and the best steps to ensure that one receives the highest possible amount of compensation.

Immediate Steps After a Car Accident

Ensure Safety

You must ensure that you are safe after an accident has happened. Ensuring that you are safe shall include moving away from the accident scene to avoid being a victim of possible explosions or collisions that may happen at the accident scene. Fundamentally, the car accident victims turn on their hazards to indicate to other road users that an accident has happened. Doing this would ensure that you are safe.

Seek Medical Attention

It is of great importance that you seek urgent medical attention. Seeking urgent medical attention would ensure that your condition is examined and that you are put under medication as soon as possible to ensure that you do not succumb to your injuries. Urgent medical attention would also ensure that your minor injuries are treated before they turn into major injuries. Furthermore, urgent medical attention would ensure that you are examined for possible internal bleeding as you may not notice the same.

During the medical treatment, you must document the extent of your injuries, the costs and any other condition that would accompany your road to recovery. Documenting such information would be extremely necessary when seeking compensation.

Contact Law Enforcement

You should notify law enforcement about your involvement in an accident as soon as it happens. Notifying law enforcement would enable them to visit the scene, process the accident scene and come up with an accident report. If possible, car accident victims must stick around and wait for the police to arrive at the scene so that they can give their version of events. You must retain a copy of the police report as you shall rely on the same when you shall be seeking compensation.

It is also vital to note that California's laws make it mandatory for one to report accidents that involve death, injury or property damage that exceeds $1,000. It follows therefore that you must contact law enforcement as soon as you are involved in a car accident.

Gather Information

You must take your time at the accident scene and collect the names, insurance details, contact information and car registration details of the cars and the people involved in a car accident. You must take pictures of the damage to your car, the injuries that you can see and the damage to your vehicle. Having such information shall be crucial when pursuing compensation.

How to Handle Car Accident Claims in California

How to Handle Car Accident Claims - Understanding California Car Accident Laws

Determining fault

In California, parties who are at fault for an accident are made to compensate their victims. While determining fault, California follows a comparative negligence doctrine which provides that each party's contribution to the accident is considered when determining the amount of money one should receive as compensation. It follows therefore that if a victim of a car accident was 40% at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation that they should receive shall be reduced by 40%.

Statute of Limitations

In California, car accident victims have to file a personal injury claim within two years from when the accident happened. It follows therefore that one must ensure that they file the claim so that they do not lose the possibility of getting compensation. Filing a claim outside the two years must therefore be avoided as it would result in no compensation.

Fundamentally, you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer when you believe that the accident that you would want to claim for happened more than two years ago. The car accident attorney will look into your case and determine whether your claim could be excused for any reason that is excused by law. The common reasons would be if you have just discovered that you were injured, you were in jail, you were a minor but you have since gotten to the age of majority or that you were insane at the time when you should have made the claim but you are now sane. It follows from this that it is extremely fundamental that you consult a car accident attorney.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

California's Vehicle Collisions laws stipulate that car drivers must at all material times ensure that they carry a minimum liability coverage of $15,000 to cover bodily injury or death per person. The car drivers must also have liability insurance coverage of $30,000 which shall be recoverable for injury or death per accident. The law also stipulates that car drivers must have an insurance liability coverage of $5,000 so that the same can apply to property damage claims.

Filing Insurance Claims

Notify Your Insurance Company

Fundamentally, you notify your insurance provider about the accident as soon as it happens. You must share details such as the date and time of the accident, the vehicles involved, the injuries sustained and a narration of how the accident occurred. You must cooperate with the investigators from the insurance company but you must always ensure that you do not record statements when your car accident lawyer is absent. You must also ensure that you do not admit liability.

Medical Coverage

Fundamentally, you understand the full extent of your medical coverage. Understanding the limits of your cover and any other pertinent issue on your cover is extremely useful when you are involved in a car accident.

Property Damage Claims

Ensure that you properly capture the full extent of the damages that have happened to your car or any other property as a result of the car accident. Documenting the same shall involve taking down notes, taking pictures and taking videos of the property damage. The evidence collected shall be fundamental when pursuing compensation in your property damage claim.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It is fundamental that you add underinsured or uninsured coverage into your insurance coverage so that the same can come in handy if you are involved in an accident with drivers who lack or do not have insurance coverage.

Pursuing Legal Action

Consultation with an Attorney

You should consult a car accident attorney as soon as you are involved in an accident. You should take a great amount of time narrowing down on the attorney that you shall consult. One must ensure that the attorney understands personal injury law, has experience in car accident claims and is ready and willing to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. The attorney that you shall choose shall offer you legal assistance, shall negotiate with the insurance company involved, shall prepare the car accident claims and shall appear on your behalf when you decide to file a car accident lawsuit.

Documentation and Evidence

You must ensure that you put together as much as possible so that you can rely on them when seeking compensation. The evidence that you should put together includes the car accident report, the police report, pictures and videos of the accident scene and any property damage, the witness statements and any other information that would ordinarily boost your chances of getting compensation. As your chances of success depend on the evidence you have, you must ensure that you are thorough when putting them together.

Negotiating Settlements

In certain instances, and as part of the claims process, the insurance company of the party who is at fault may want to negotiate with you. The insurance company would ordinarily begin the process by offering you an amount of money that may not be commensurate with the amount of compensation that you deserve. Therefore, you must get a good car accident attorney to help you with the negotiation.

You must always ensure that you do not accept an amount that is less than the amount of money that you deserve. Your lawyer should help you calculate the amount of money that you should claim. It follows therefore that you must not sign any settlement agreement unless it has been reviewed by your lawyer.


In instances where the parties involved cannot agree on the amount of money that you should be paid as compensation. When such instances happen, it is fundamental to note that you can still recover compensation for the medical bills by filing a case in court. The car accident attorney that you shall choose shall prepare and file the car accident lawsuit and will appear on your behalf in court.

The process of going through a car accident claim is full of uncertainties. It follows from this realization that you must ensure that you fully understand the process that is ordinarily followed when seeking compensation. You must engage the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer so that they can guide you on how to navigate car accident claims effectively.

LA Injury Group is available to guide you through the process of navigating through a car accident claim. We are present throughout the week and you can contact us using the contact on our website so that we can begin the process of helping you get the compensation that you deserve.

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