If you have been injured in a car crash, you are undoubtedly experiencing physical pain and the inconvenience of having to go to multiple doctors’ appointments. You have missed hours from work and important life events. You have probably wondered if you should sue the driver who hit you. The circumstances of the accident and the cost of your medical bills should determine if a lawsuit is necessary,
What Insurance Will Cover
There are two different kinds of insurance rules in the United States, fault and no-fault. In a no-fault state, a driver’s own insurance company will pay their bills no matter who is at fault. In a fault state, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying the related bills. California is a pure comparative fault state. This means that a driver is responsible for the percentage of the collision they caused. For example, if the driver who hit you was 40 percent responsible for a crash, their insurance company would have to pay 40 percent of your bills.
When you file a claim with an insurance company they will accept or deny the claim. If they approve of the claim, they will offer you a certain dollar amount, If the settlement amount that the driver’s insurance company offers is too low, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company and get you a better deal. If they are unable to reach an acceptable deal, you may want to sue them.
Drivers in the state of California are required to carry $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident for personal injury and $5000 for damages to property. If the bills for your injuries exceed the amount for which the at-fault driver is covered, you may want to discuss suing them with an attorney. You will have two years to file a lawsuit for injury in the state of California and three years to file a suit for damage to property. If you were struck by a vehicle that was owned and operated by a government entity, you will only have six months to sue.
Figuring Out the Cost of Your Accident
It is very easy to underestimate the amount of money that injuries in an accident will actually cost a person. Obviously, you want to save all of the medical bills that are related to the incident. You also want to save the receipts from any medications you have to buy, both prescription and non-prescription. You should also get your employer to document any hours from work that you have missed.
One thing many people don’t take into consideration is the amount of money they may have to spend on their injuries in the future. For instance, if you knocked out a tooth and had to get a crown, that crown may need to be replaced every five years or so.
Many collisions result in the need for ongoing physical therapy. You may also need psychiatric treatment for anxiety related to the crash. Some injuries do not become apparent for weeks or even months after a crash.
If a crash has left you permanently disfigured or caused a bone fracture, the costs are likely to exceed what an insurance company is willing to pay. You may also be able to recover money for pain and suffering. In this case, you would want to talk to an attorney about a lawsuit.
If you have lost a family member to an accident, you will be able to sue the driver for wrongful death. You have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the Golden State.
It is always worth it to talk to a lawyer if you have been injured. They can give you a professional opinion of what your case is worth. You can find more information here.
Michael Davis is the Content Director of Miami’s On the Map Marketing, Inc. As the chief content editor of one of the fastest-growing internet marketing firms in the country, Michael has made it his mission to provide high-level, factual, and error-free content that emphasizes the best SEO practices and helps his company’s clients convert sales.