There are few injuries more debilitating and damaging than those caused by auto accidents. In California alone, the Department of Transportation reports that there were 452,595 auto accidents in 2008, based on information provided by the California Highway Patrol. From this number, 170,496 injuries were the direct result of auto accidents. It should also be noted that collisions in the California occur every 1 minute and 10 seconds, while auto accident-related injuries are reported every 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
Given these statistics, it’s no wonder that there are significant financial losses to individuals and families who are involved in these accidents. Fortunately, the law provides injured individuals with the right to recover personal damages from the party or parties liable for these accidents. Medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and cost of living expenses are just some of the damages which may be claimed from auto accident-related injury cases.
At the onset of an auto accident, the insurance company of the individual responsible for the accident will immediately begin an investigation. During this period, the insurance company will perform calculated and elaborate procedures on the auto accident claims so that they can limit the injured individual’s recovery to the minimum amount. They will gather statements from witnesses to the auto accident, examine and photograph the vehicles involved, round up police reports, and do whatever they can to in the first 24 to 48 hours to establish the extent of the injuries sustained by an individual making an accident claim.
The reason insurance companies scramble to reach a quick settlement with an injured person is so that they can avoid responsibility for damages. To most injured plaintiffs, this is an unbeknownst trap to trick them into settling for the least recovery, even before their injuries have been evaluated properly by medical experts. Since injuries cannot be fully assessed within 24 to 48 hours, they can potentially leave a person permanently disabled. This means that the true value of an injury claim can only be confirmed after a detailed prognosis has been made. This being the case, it is never advisable to rush to a settlement with an insurance company.
There is also the issue of health insurance companies and reimbursements for auto accident injury claims. If you are insured by health insurance, the health insurance company will most likely seek reimbursements from your settlement with the insurance company of the driver who was responsible for your accident. Similarly, if you were injured on the job, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company will seek to reimburse their payments for your medical expenses and lost wages. Both types of reimbursements have certain limitations on the rights of insurance companies, which you must fully understand before agreeing to any settlements.
In California, drivers are required to carry $15,000 in auto insurance coverage for bodily injury, and $30,000 for accidents wherein all persons were injured. By any standard, these amounts will not sufficiently cover medical costs, loss of income and pain and suffering. To make matters worse, a report by the state Insurance Research Council states that one in six drivers in California have no auto liability insurance.
If you are injured in an auto accident in San Francisco or Silicon Valley, you need a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the unique claims procedures of the state. The legal team at Fuller Law can help you in this respect. We can pinpoint the value of an auto accident claim after thoroughly evaluating the extent of the injury, its nature, all recoverable economic losses, as well as liability issue pertinent to the auto accident. We will work at obtaining the largest possible settlements so that you get the justice and restoration you deserve. Our San Francisco and Silicon Valley personal injury attorney is fully prepared to represent you in litigation, should the responsible party’s insurance company attempt to pressure you into settling for the lowest possible recovery.
To speak with a San Francisco and Silicon Valley personal injury attorney, call 408 297 2300 for a free consultation today on how you can make a successful and winnable auto accident claim.