Sacramento Accident Attorneys Common Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we have provided you with the answers to many of the questions asked by those involved in car accidents and other personal injury cases:
I was injured in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance. What can I do?
Even though the other driver did not have insurance, you may still be able to obtain compensation for your injuries if you carry Uninsured Motorist coverage yourself. If you do not have Uninsured Motorist coverage or if your medical bills exceed the limits of your own policy, then you can file a claim against the other driver. However, if the other driver does not have any assets to pursue, then, unfortunately, the judgment you may be awarded will be useless.
I was in an automobile accident. Who pays my medical bills?
In most cases your own automobile insurance (Personal Injury Protection) will pay your medical bills initially. If you are found not at fault for the accident, the other party will ultimately be responsible for reimbursing your insurance company. If you have health insurance coverage, usually your medical bills will be paid by your health insurance carrier.
Should I seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident?
Yes. All too often, those who are involved in a car accident fail to seek medical treatment right away. Initially, you may feel all right and the bumps and bruises you sustained may not seem too serious. The injury or the severity of the injury or injuries you may have suffered may not be apparent initially and you could be putting yourself at risk. Often, the pain from back and neck injuries (such as herniated disks and carpel tunnel syndrome) is not immediately felt. It is a good idea to go to your local emergency room for an evaluation. Of course, not every car accident results in injury; however, the failure to have a record of potential injuries may affect the chances for monetary compensation recovery. Furthermore, some insurance adjusters will refuse to pay on claims when there was a delay in receiving medical treatment or when the treatment occurs sporadically.
How is the amount of my claim determined?
In order to be able to file a claim, it must first be established that a negligent action or failure to act in a normal manner caused the injury (or injuries) and/or damage to property. Some of the more common things that are looked at when determining compensation are medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
I didn't have insurance at the time of the car accident. Can I still be compensated for my injuries?
Under California Law, you are limited in the amount you will be compensated. Generally, injured parties are able to recover both economic (medical bills, lost wages, and damages to vehicle) and non-economic (pain, suffering, and disruption of life) damages. If you are a driver or owner of an uninsured automobile and you are injured in a car accident in that automobile, you may only recover economic damages so long as the other party who is at fault has insurance coverage.
It is important to note that you may lose your driver's license if you are involved in an accident and did not have car insurance. Under California law, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must be notified when an accident occurs and a person is injured or when damages to property exceed $500.
What do I do during the pendency of my personal injury case?
You have two basic responsibilities during this time. First, get the medical treatment you need for your injuries. Secondly, be sure to provide your Sacramento personal injury attorney with all relevant documentation that supports your claim. All medical records, doctor bills, prescription bills, etc., that are a result of the incident should be given to your Sacramento personal injury attorney.
Who can be held liable in a truck accident case?
Anybody or any entity that is found at fault for causing the truck accident can be held liable. This includes the driver of the truck, the trucking company, the owner of the trailer that was being hauled, and the shipper. Additionally, any other individual or entity who in anyway may have contributed to the accident may be held liable, including the manufacturers of any of the vehicles involved in the accident whose negligence contributed to the accident.
Will I have to go to court?
It depends on whether or not your personal injury case is settled before trial. Most often, personal injury cases are settled before even going to trial; however, if it is necessary to go to trial, then your Sacramento personal injury attorney will advise you when you will have to appear in court.
How long does it take before a settlement can be reached?
Depending on all of the complexities that may be involved with your case, it can take anywhere from a few months up to a few years. Generally, personal injury cases are not settled until either (1) all of the injured parties have fully healed medically and have been released by their doctors or (2) a final diagnosis of permanent injury by a qualified physician has been made.
Do I really need a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney?
Because most Sacramento personal injury attorneys are compensated after you win your case, it will not cost you anything upfront to obtain legal counsel. Furthermore, a skilled Sacramento personal injury attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive all that you are entitled to. Most insurance companies will try to settle claims for far less than what they are worth, especially when the claimant is not represented by a Sacramento personal injury attorney. In the end, you avoid a lot of headaches and often will be able to obtain much more with an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney by your side.
Contact a Sacramento injury lawyer at our firm regarding your legal matter!