Personal Injury Claim:- When you’ve suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent or intentional acts, you have the right to file a personal injury claim.
Car accidents are among the most common, though personal injury claims can be filed for many other instances such as slip and fall accidents, dog bites, product liability, and medical malpractice.
In California, it can be confusing to figure out how to file your claim. This guide will help you get started.
Determine If You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim
The first thing you need to do is figure out if you have a valid personal injury claim. No matter if it was a car crash or another type of accident, the key factor is negligence.
If someone did not enact the same level of care that a reasonable person would in the same situation, it is deemed as negligence.
The law determines this by examining the duty of care. While driving, all drivers must obey traffic laws.
If one of them ran a red light and crashed into you, they breached their duty of care.
Additionally, you must be able to show that this breach of duty directly caused your injuries and that you suffered damages as a result.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Since most people unfamiliar with the law may not be sure if their personal injury claim is valid, it’s ideal to speak with an attorney. Personal injury attorneys can examine the facts at hand and assess your case on its strengths and weaknesses.
Make sure you speak with a personal injury attorney who has experience representing cases like yours to have the best chance at success.
Your personal injury attorney will help with gathering evidence to support your claim. As the plaintiff in this case, you will need to prove the other party was negligent.
You may have medical bills, pay stubs, receipts, photos, and videos that can be helpful in proving negligence.
Personal injury attorneys will also go the extra mile to track down witnesses for testimony, find surveillance video footage, and speak with expert witnesses to help support your claim.
Filing the Claim
With proper evidence gathered, you can file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party.
The insurance company will review it and decide whether to accept liability or not. If they accept, they’ll offer a settlement.
Sometimes though, this offer is too low or the insurance company rejects the claim altogether.
This is where having an attorney is instrumental as they will negotiate on your behalf to get you what is fair.
Moving on to a Lawsuit
Most personal injury cases will settle, even if they have to go through several rounds of negotiations first. However, if no agreement can be reached, your attorney will proceed with filing a lawsuit.
It will then be up to a judge or jury to determine the outcome, which will hopefully be in your favor.