Common Questions After A Car Accident
A car accident can change everything in an instant, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. It is normal to have questions about medical treatment, insurance coverage, property damage and other issues. Here, we’ve addressed some common questions we hear from auto accident survivors. For detailed answers about your specific accident case, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation.
How will I cover my medical expenses?
In California, the person or entity that caused the injury is responsible for the injured party’s medical bills. Often, these expenses will be paid by the responsible party’s insurance company. Often, however, insurance companies fail to cover these costs in a timely manner. If payment of your claim is delayed, there are several options that may help you cover expenses, including:
- Private health insurance
- Government health insurance, such as Medicare or Medi-Cal
- California workers’ compensation (f the accident was work-related)
- California “Med Pay” auto insurance
- California “medical liens” accepted by some providers
We understand that medical bills can add up quickly and cause significant financial stress at a time when you already have a lot to worry about. Our experienced auto accident lawyers will help you identify every possible source of compensation to get your medical bills paid and put you in the best position to move forward.
Should I give a statement to the insurance company?
Under law, you are required to cooperate with your insurance company’s accident investigation. However, that does not mean you should assume your insurer is on your side. Often, these companies maximize their profits by paying out less than claims are worth. To avoid potentially costly mistakes, you may retain an attorney to communicate with all insurance companies on your behalf.
Do not speak to anyone else’s insurance company. You are not required to do so by law, and it could compromise the value of your claim. If you are contacted by someone else’s insurance company, consider speaking with an attorney before you proceed.
Should I accept a settlement offer from an at-fault driver’s insurance company?
Many insurance companies will offer a quick settlement to resolve a claim, knowing that auto accident survivors often need the money and want to resolve the claim as quickly and painlessly as possible. Accepting a quick settlement may be tempting, but it is important to remember that you only get one shot at resolving your claim after an injury.
It is wise to discuss any settlement offer with your own attorney before accepting it. This can help you ensure that the offer is fair and that it takes into account all of the past, present and future expenses you will incur in connection with the accident.
What if I think I may have contributed to the accident?
Even if you think you may be partially at fault for an accident, it is wise to avoid taking any blame or accepting liability without speaking to an attorney. Often, many factors go into an accident and you may not have a complete picture of what occurred. Allow professionals like the police, your attorney and the courts determine who was legally responsible.
Even if you are found to be partially at fault, you still may be able to collect compensation. Under California’s “pure comparative negligence” standard, every party who contributed to an accident is liable for their own portion of the fault. For example, if you are eligible for a $100,000 settlement but found to be 25 percent at fault for the accident, your settlement would be reduced to $75,000.
Can I afford to work with a personal injury attorney?
It costs nothing up-front to hire a personal injury attorney. Your initial consultation is free, and we do not collect any fees or costs while we work on your case. Any attorney fees will be paid from a fixed percentage of any settlement or verdict we secure for you.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can make a tremendous difference in the resolution of your case. Many insurance companies will take a claim more seriously if you are represented by your own lawyer. In addition, working with an attorney who understands the process can help you avoid mistakes that may compromise your claim.
More Questions? Get Answers In A Free Consultation
This page provides general information, but there is no substitute for a one-on-one consultation with one of our knowledgeable auto accident attorneys. During your free initial consultation at one of our convenient office locations, over the phone or via video conference, a member of our team will answer your questions, listen to your story and begin developing a plan to pursue the compensation you need.