The Winter Law Group
Common Misconceptions About California Car Accident Claims
When you are hurt in a car accident caused by another party's negligence, you can hold the responsible party accountable and pursue fair financial compensation by filing insurance claims. However, there are several popular notions about the car accident claims process in California. Such misleading information often makes it relatively easy for plaintiffs seeking their injury claims to commit irrevocable mistakes or hurt their case inadvertently without experienced guidance.
Our skilled team at The Winter Law Group is poised and ready to support, guide, and represent you in your car accident claims. As your legal counsel, we can review all of the facts of your case thoroughly and enlighten you about your available options to seek damages.
The Winter Law Group proudly represents clients across Fresno, California, and the surrounding areas of Merced, Clovis, Madera, Visalia, Merced County, and Madera County.
Common Car Accident Misconceptions
When involved in a negligent accident, filing your injury claims and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company can make the entire process stressful and overwhelming. However, being able to differentiate between fiction and facts and having an idea of what to expect can make it easier to manage the claims process and navigate key decisions. Here are some common misconceptions about auto accident claims in California and a brief explanation regarding why they are false:
Myth #1: My Own Insurance Will be Responsible for Covering Medical Costs and Damages to My Car.
California is an at-fault car insurance state. Under the state's at-fault system, the driver who caused the car accident (the at-fault party) will be held financially liable for your medical bills, vehicle damages, and other accident-related expenses. To seek damages, you must prove fault by showing the following elements:
- Duty – The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care.
- Breach – The at-fault driver breached this legal duty of care.
- Causation – The at-fault driver's careless or negligent actions caused the accident.
- Damages/Harm – You suffered actual harm, bodily injuries, or monetary losses from the accident.
Myth #2: I Feel Fine, so I Don't Need to Seek Medical Attention.
Even if you do not feel injured following the accident or you only sustained minor injuries, getting immediate medical help is crucial for your own sake. In addition, it is essential for proper documentation and to prevent potential issues when filing your injury claims.
For your own safety: After a car accident, your overall health and well-being should be your priority. Occasionally, injuries sustained during the incident may take several days or weeks before injuries fully manifest. Unfortunately, reversing the damages may be quite late when you start to feel any symptoms.
For proper documentation: Also, seeking medical attention is crucial for proper documentation. Medical reports, doctor's appointments, and other documents constitute a vital part of your documentation when seeking injury claims. Your insurance claims may be denied or devalued if you fail to provide the required documentation.
To prevent possible issues with the insurer: Insurance carriers expect policyholders to report accident injuries immediately. The insurer may use your decision to delay seeking medical attention as proof that you weren't really injured, your injuries were exaggerated, or you sustained those injuries from a different incident.
Myth #3: If the Accident is Minor, It's Not Necessary to Report It.
Under California law, you must report any car accident that causes a personal injury, death of a person, or property damage of over $750 to local law enforcement. Also, some insurance carriers require the policyholder involved in an accident to file their injury claims within two days to seek damages.
Myth #4: I was Partially at Fault for the Accident, but That Won't Affect the Damages I'm Able to Recover.
California follows the pure comparative negligence principle. Under the rule, an accident victim may pursue damages for their injuries even if they were up to 99% at fault for the accident. However, the amount of compensation that may be recovered will be reduced by your degree of fault.
Myth #5: I Don't Need to Hire a Lawyer to File a Personal Injury Claim.
When filing a personal injury claim, hiring an experienced attorney is crucial. Your lawyer will handle every legal step involved in the injury claims process on your behalf and help negotiate with the insurance provider to recover the maximum possible pay-out. Also, ensure that you retain a lawyer that has extensive knowledge about the laws, rules, and statutes addressing your personal situation.
Work With a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
A car accident that results in minor or serious injuries can be devastating and can affect you financially, physically, and mentally. Regardless, you should never have to suffer the financial liability and challenges alone. Therefore, when involved in a negligent car accident, you need to retain a highly-skilled personal injury attorney to protect your best interests and help you pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries.
At The Winter Law Group, our team handles personal injury cases and represents car accident victims in their injury claims. Our trusted team can seek to fight vigorously for your best interests and help you recover the financial justice that you deserve.
Contact The Winter Law Group today to schedule a simple case assessment with an experienced car accident attorney. We are proud to represent clients across Fresno, California, and the surrounding areas of Merced, Clovis, Madera, Visalia, Merced County, and Madera County.