How to file a formal compensation claim in a car accident with injuries?
If you have suffered a car accident in Los Angeles and need to file a claim to obtain medical treatment and recover damages, do not hesitate to contact our expert traffic accident attorneys at Lluís Law. We have been dealing with this type of events for more than 50 years and helping victims obtain justice.
California is not a no-fault insurance state, so the victim of personal injury after an accident must file an insurance claim with the party’s insurer for compensation. In other states called “no fault”, because they are governed by a different insurance system, the way to obtain compensation is different.
Each driver involved in the accident can claim compensation from their respective insurance company, regardless of who was the culprit of the accident. This is very important to keep in mind so you do not make mistakes and know what to do after a car accident in Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the state of California.
Drivers, therefore, are required to identify the responsible parties in order to recover damages for personal injuries and property damage. Those responsible for the automobile accident, in turn, have a legal obligation to pay for the damages caused.
After the car accident and after having followed all the advice the victim must: call the police, document the accident, get contact information of the drivers involved and their respective vehicles, treat the injuries and seek legal help to have a negotiation successful, you’re ready to file a claim for damages.
How is the insurance claims process?
To claim compensation after a car accident, you must identify the person responsible for the accident to find out which insurance company will take the claim or legal action to pay for your injuries. In a state like California, you or your lawyer must prove the negligence of the responsible party. For this reason, it is particularly important to document the claim by gathering all possible evidence of the accident that serves to support the claim.
The usual thing is that both the responsible driver and his insurance company, are previously informed about the legal action or the claim that the injured person intends to execute, in order to comply with the legal procedure. This could help achieve a faster settlement to resolve the case.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, you must send a claim or demand letter to the insurance provider. The letter is a document of great importance in the claim process, so it must be very well written and supported with sufficient evidence to support the arguments presented and the demands for compensation.
In the letter of demand that you or your car accident lawyer draws up, the case should be carefully set out with the fundamental arguments. Among others:
– The type of injuries caused by the guilty driver and its severity
– On what bases your assessment on the legal responsibility of the guilty driver.
– The type of medical treatment you have followed and its cost.
– The amount of the loss of present and future income.
– Damage to property (including repair or total loss of the vehicle and other property).
After the motivation of the letter and the detailed statement of the claim itself from the letter, finally, you must clearly indicate what is the compensation request that is made to the insurance company. That is, the lump sum compensation that is being requested to resolve the claim.
How do insurance companies determine the compensation to be paid in an accident with injuries?
The final settlement amount in a negotiation process to resolve a claim after a car accident with injuries will be determined by both parties: the claimant and the responsible driver or their insurance company. The insurance providers already have more or less standardized formulas to calculate the damages, this does not mean that the sum that the insurance wants to pay unilaterally must be accepted in advance.
As for the damages that can be recovered or reimbursed by the victim are:
– Medical expenses in general
– Lost wages and other present and future income
– Temporary and permanent physical disability, pain and suffering.
– Loss of family and social company and other recreational or other recreational losses or limitations that are reasonable and demonstrable.
The calculation of the compensation range is done by the claims adjuster, following a standard damage formula used by the insurance company.
Can I obtain compensation from the responsible party, even if I have used my health insurance policy for the payment of medical care?
The short answer is yes. The way you paid for health care expenses and other costs after the car accident is not an issue for the responsible party’s insurance. The insurance adjuster does not even want to ask this kind of thing. The insurance of the guilty driver must compensate all expenses paid out of pocket or through his own insurance provider.
However, after recovery of damages from the responsible driver’s insurance, your insurance provider may require partial or full reimbursement of the amount paid during the treatment of the injuries.
Some insurance claims are very simple to make to obtain compensation but there are cases in which due to the nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries, disputes may arise. It is in those cases where the help of a car accident lawyer experienced in personal injury cases will be decisive.
Insurance companies are not always willing to pay or resort to delaying tactics to tire the victim and force her to accept any offer. When it is not possible to reach a payment agreement, then it is time to take the case to court and start a civil action for damages against the responsible driver and his insurance company.
If you or a family member were injured in a car accident, you can count on Lluís Law’s law firm. Our experienced auto accident and personal injury attorneys can help you with your claim or claim for damages. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our telephone number is (213) 320-0777.
Address: 205 South Broadway, Suite 1000 Los Angeles, CA 90012. Tel: (213) 687-4412 Fax: (213) 687-3441.