If you’ve been injured in a LA car accident, you may be wondering how to get the compensation you deserve. You’re not alone; many people are unsure of where to start when it comes to seeking damages after an accident, especially if the accident wasn’t their fault or if they used car services like Uber and Lyft.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting the money you need, so let’s check these seven tips.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible
Skilled and experienced car accident attorneys can help you evaluate the merits of your case and determine the best course of action.
They can also provide advice on which documents to collect, how to submit a claim, and negotiate with insurance companies. If you need to learn more about car accident law and how it applies to you, a lawyer can provide valuable insight. Look at the lawyer’s experience and success rate before deciding to hire them and make sure you feel comfortable working with them.
Additionally, if you decide to take legal action, an attorney can represent you in court and make sure your rights are protected.
Photographs, testimonies from witnesses, and the police report can be valuable pieces of evidence for your case. Make sure to document the extent of your injuries, and keep all medical bills and receipts related to the accident. If you believe someone else was at fault for the car accident, try to get contact information from witnesses who may have seen it happen.
Additionally, keep a record of communication with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer. This evidence can help strengthen your case when filing for compensation.
Stay off social media
Insurance companies may use your posts on social media to disprove liability or deny claims so it’s best to avoid any public comments about the car accident and your injuries until you have received a settlement. This includes refraining from posting any images or videos of your injuries, emotional state, and activities until after the case has been settled.
Many people don’t know that insurance companies monitor social media, so if you do post something, it could be used against you.
Understand the statute of limitations
The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit after an accident in California and it varies depending on the type of claim and can range from as little as six months to two years. If you wait too long, you may not be able to pursue legal action or get the compensation you deserve.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the clock starts ticking from the date of the accident, not when you discover your injury or realize you have a claim.
Know your coverage
California law requires drivers to carry minimum liability insurance coverage and this is usually enough to cover minor car accidents. However, if the amount of damages exceeds the policy limit, you may need to look at other forms of coverage such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UMI).
Also, if you’re using car services like Uber or Lyft, make sure you understand the policies and coverage that they provide in the event of an accident.
Be prepared to negotiate
When filing a claim, it’s important to know your rights and the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies might try to offer you less than what you ask for, so prepare yourself for negotiations and make sure you are aware of how much money should be expected from the settlement.
If you are not sure how to calculate a fair settlement amount, an experienced lawyer can help you understand the process and make sure you get what you deserve, and in many cases can negotiate a better deal for you.
Know what damages you can claim
Damages for car accident cases typically include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages due to time off work, property damage costs, or punitive damages. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may also be able to claim emotional distress and loss of consortium.
It’s important, to be honest, and accurate when talking to medical professionals about your injuries because if you exaggerate or lie, it could backfire in court. The more information you provide the better equipped the doctor will be to accurately assess your injuries.
No one wants to be in a car accident, but if you are, it’s important to know how to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. By understanding the statute of limitations, filing a police report, collecting evidence, and staying off social media, you can put yourself in the best position possible for a successful case.
If you have any questions or need help negotiating with insurance companies, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer.