On-road accidents are not rare in Los Angeles. In fact, over 40,000 motor vehicle crashes were reported in 2021 alone. People often have many questions on their minds after a car accident. Because California is a fault state for auto accidents, you can file a personal injury claim after being injured in Los Angeles. The party responsible for causing the accident is liable for the losses, and this could be a civil matter, which means that if the defendant is found to be accountable for their negligence, they must pay monetary damages. Does this mean you can go ahead and sue the at-fault party right away? The short answer is no, and here’s more on what you need to know.
Understanding The Personal Injury Claims Process
Firstly, you need to have evidence that the other party was negligent and responsible for the accident. For this, any evidence that you collected from the scene, along with witnesses, may come in handy. Once you know that your claim is legit, the next step is to file a claim for damages with the insurance company of the party at fault. An investigation will be initiated, and both parties will have the scope to negotiate the settlement. You can file a lawsuit only when the claim process doesn’t result in an agreeable outcome.
Types Of Damages
If the insurance company denies your claim or the settlement offer is too low, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. You can claim both economic, as well as, non-economic damages. Economic damages include direct financial losses incurred because of the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage costs. You can also recover future damages depending on the circumstances. Noneconomic damages, on the contrary, include intangible harm, like pain and suffering, and are more complicated to determine.
Deadline For Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
In case you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should do so within two years from the date of the crash. This deadline is set by California’s statute of limitations, which cannot be altered. Note that the cap is only for personal injury lawsuits and not claims. When it comes to filing a claim with the insurance company, you should act at the earliest.
Insurance companies are not here to help you get a settlement; therefore, you have to hire a personal injury lawyer to simplify things. Most lawyers charge a contingency fee, which is a great advantage.