According to car accident statistics, over 2.5 million Americans suffer car accident injuries every year. These injuries range from minor ones like bruises and scrapes to more severe injuries, which cause permanent disability and sometimes death.
Most times, these accidents occur due to negligence on the part of the person at fault. If you become a victim of an auto accident, you have the right to demand compensation. This compensation will cover the damages you suffer because of the crash. The reckless driver who caused the accident will be the one to compensate you for all the losses.
What Does Auto Accident Compensation Cover?
Putting a figure on your auto accident compensation in Los Angeles is not an easy task. There can never be an exact amount of money to compensate you for all the damages you suffer because of an accident. It may also seem cruel to equate the amount of pain and trauma you experience to a certain amount of money. Nevertheless, you have to put a figure on the compensation claim you are making. Without the compensation amount, reimbursing the losses and extra expenses you incurred from the accident will be a difficult task. Below is a detailed look at some of the areas that auto accident compensation covers.
The auto accident compensation should cover the medical bills as well as other medical expenses you incur when you go for treatment of the physical injuries caused. The medical services covered include nursing services, ambulance fees, emergency room treatment, doctors, and hospital fees. Keep in mind that you have to prove that all the medical expenses are related to the injuries caused by the auto accident. The medical costs also serve an essential function of determining whether the amount awarded is reasonable enough.
There are some physical injuries, which may prevent you from carrying out your usual household chores. In such cases, you may need to hire someone to help you with your tasks as you recover from your injuries. However, this is only covered in situations where you would not have required help were it not for the accident.
Loss of Consortium
If the accident caused your spouse or you as the victim of the crash not to enjoy companionship, affection, intimacy or any other benefits of the marriage, then your spouse or you have the right to claim compensation for the loss of the consortium. Nevertheless, the amount you are going to receive will depend on the stability of your marriage as well as how much the accident has affected your marital benefits.
Loss of Companionship
There are cases when a reckless driver can cause the death of the victim. In this case, the spouse of the deceased has the right to claim compensation for the loss of companionship resulting from the demise of their spouse. This is similar to the redress for the loss of consortium because the jury will have to determine whether you had a harmonious relationship and whether there was a time when you were separated.
There are some cases when an auto accident can leave you with permanent injuries, which cause you to be disabled. In such circumstances, you have the right to claim compensation for permanent disability. To make the proper claim, you may need the service of a doctor who will provide the required medical testimony on your behalf. Your Los Angeles Personal Injuries Attorney will help you get the doctor and hence be able to get all the necessary details necessary for you to win the case.
Pain and Suffering
California personal injury law defines pain and suffering as any mental or physical distress whose damages can be sought in a court of law. The damages are based on the intensity of the pain, the prognosis for any future pain linked to the injury, and the type of injury. Mental distress includes anxiety and stress.
Punitive Damages in Your Car Crash Case
Punitive damages ensure that the driver who caused the accident is punished. Punitive compensation helps the victim get back to where they were mentally, physically, and emotionally before the crash. Punitive payment includes medical expenses and bills, lost income, non-economic damages, and property damages. Non-economic losses include humiliation, pain, anxiety, and suffering that the victim goes through because of the accident.
The above are some of the most common damages that a compensation claim in Los Angeles may include. The great thing about the state of California is that there are laws that differentiate between economic and non-economic damages. There are cases where punitive damages are awarded. However, punitive damages are rare in the state of California. Whether you receive both economic and non-economic damages, depend entirely on your case. An excellent personal injury attorney in Los Angeles will guide you through all the necessary details so that you are well informed when it comes to making your claim.
Compensation for Different Types of Auto Accidents
If you are running, walking or jogging, you are more likely to be hit by a vehicle than a person who is driving. Recent statistics have shown that pedestrian accidents happen every four minutes with the highest number of pedestrian accidents taking place in urban areas. This number indicates that pedestrian accidents are prevalent. In case you find yourself or your loved one in such a situation, it would help knowing how to seek compensation. Even if you have a car, there will come a time when you or your loved one will be moving minus a car.
When hit by a car, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. It is easy to forgo medical care due to the shock and excitement, which may make you feel fine. Unfortunately, there are some serious injuries like internal bleeding, which requires a medical examination for them to be noticed.
Also, failure to seek or receive medical attention can significantly impair your claim to compensation. Insurance companies look for any excuse, however minor to avoid giving compensations and failure to seek medical attention can be used against you.
In this case, you, as the victim, will file a claim for compensation with the insurance company of the driver at fault. Just like in the other types of auto accidents, it is essential to gather evidence at the scene of the accident. The evidence may include videos, photographs, or voice recordings.
If you can, ask potential witnesses to note down what they saw. Do not leave the scene of the accident without any evidence if you are in a position to gather the evidence.
This evidence is crucial because before the driver who caused the accident pays, you, you have the task of proving that he/she is the one at fault. Some of the crucial documentation that you need to be in possession of to have a strong compensation case include the police report, witness statements, medical reports, bills, and the drivers’ statements at the scene of the accident which show that your injuries were entirely caused by the accident. These statements include phrases like, ‘I’m sorry, I will cover your medical bills.’
Seeking compensation on your own is possible. However, when you are severely injured or when you lose a loved one in a road accident, you will require the services of a qualified attorney to get fair compensation.
Hit and Run Accident
The following are the steps to take when you are involved in the above accidents. To make a strong case, follow the steps accordingly.
Most hit and run accidents happen so fast, and most times, the drivers get away very fast before the victims can identify them. If you find yourself in such a scenario, secure your injury claim by doing the following.
- Stay put. Do not attempt to go after the driver. Besides being risky, you are going after the driver will end up creating doubt about you being a victim of the hit and run. It also creates uncertainty about where the location of the accident and the details of the crash.
- Report the hit and run. Instead of going after the driver, call 911, and let the dispatcher know of the incident and your injuries. Describe the vehicle to the dispatcher while being as detailed as possible.
- Record everything. If you can, make sure you write every single detail of the vehicle, including the vehicle’s license plate number, type of the car, and its color. Also, record your experience. Instead of writing, you can record all this information by speaking to your cell-phone and recording. Alternatively, you can take pictures and video of the accident scene using your mobile phone.
- Find witnesses. For an insurance company to compensate you, they will require a witness to attest to the accident. The witness has to be someone who is not connected to you and cannot be another driver who saw the accident while driving away.
- Seek medical attention. You may not be in pain after leaving the scene of the accident, but it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There are some injuries, which you may not know of immediately, such as internal bleeding and brain trauma.
Despite doing all the above, there are times when the diver is not found. When that happens, you are left with the option of getting compensation from your insurance company. Insurance firms always try to avoid paying substantial injury claims, but hit and run claims are the worst claims for them. This means that as a victim of a hit and run, you are going to have a tough time trying to get compensation from your insurance company.
This is when you will need the services of a competent Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help you get your injury claims. Nevertheless, you can negotiate your injury claim all by yourself if you have PIP and Collision coverage but if you are severely injured and without PIP coverage, you will need a personal injury attorney for you to get fair compensation.
Head on Collision
If you get involved in this type of accident, you will need to take as much information about the crash as possible, especially if the other driver is the one at fault. Recording the information and getting witnesses will go a long way in ensuring you get a fair compensation out of your injury claim. The steps to be taken are similar to the ones you do in the hit and run accident. For instance, calling 911, staying where you are and recording the accident details as you wait to get medical attention. In addition to recording the details of the accident, you will need to have strong evidence for the insurance company to compensate you for the damages.
Some of the evidence required for you to make a strong case include the following.
- Police report- The police report is an essential and trusted piece of evidence because police officers are trained to assess an accident scene. The police will investigate factors like the weather at the time of the accident, the site of the accident and will question witnesses. The most important aspect of a police report is that it includes the police view on who they believe caused the accident.
- Medical reports- Your medical reports must have a clear indication of your injuries being caused by the head-on collision accident for your injury claim to be valid. The medical report has to exclude any injuries you had before the accident; otherwise, the insurance company may end up giving you less compensation.
Since head-on collisions usually involve more than one car, they end up resulting in a tangle of claims that involve several insurance companies. Therefore, litigation becomes necessary in resolving the disputes and making the insurance companies pay fair compensation.
How to File a Claim Compensation
When you or your loved one is involved in a car accident, you request an insurance company that was covering them for compensation of the damages caused by the crash. This request is known as an auto insurance claim. The auto insurance claim is also made when the victim requests the insurance company to represent them or act on their behalf; hence, they are at fault and thus liable for the damages. The first thing to do after calling 911 is to call the police and inform them of the accident. As indicated earlier, the police report is an important document in processing your claim for compensation.
Once you have called the police and they are on their way, the next call you need to make is to your insurance company. The insurance company will guide you in terms of what steps you need to take and what information to send them. This information includes the time and location of the accident and the estimate of the damages. Remember to be very specific when providing this information.
Also, send other documentation to the insurance company to support your claim. These documents include medical bills.
Remember to be practical and reasonable enough when estimating the damages you have suffered. This is another crucial information that insurance companies require. If you are not sure about the estimate of the damages, you can always contact a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to help you come up with the right estimates.
The insurance company will open the claims file after you call them.
A Summary of Filing a Claim for Compensation
In brief, the following are the steps you take when filing for compensation after being a victim of a car accident.
- Once you call the insurance company, either the driver’s (in pedestrian accident case) or your own insurance company, the company will assign a professional to work on your claim for compensation.
- You will then meet with the professional to discuss the accident and your coverage.
- The professional inspects your car as they examine the evidence you provided for your injury claim. Also, the examination helps the professional to come up with a favorable figure for the initial payment.
- Case resolution and payment as appropriate.
- Closure of the case.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
After taking the above steps in making your claim, the next course of action and most crucial step of contacting a competent personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. Securing a qualified Los Angeles attorney will go a long way in ensuring you get fair compensation for the damages you incurred because of the accident. Get in touch with The Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer at 424-231-2013 for further inquiries regarding your case. Most insurance companies take their time to validate the information presented, in turn prolonging the settlement of the claims. Nevertheless, if you are equipped with a great attorney and a great deal of patience and persistence, you stand a better chance of getting fair compensation. Don’t wait, call us Today!