Should I Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Accident Even If I Feel Fine?
After a car accident, it is recommended to seek medical treatment immediately, even if you are feeling fine. Oftentimes, there is a delay in the pain you can experience following an accident. Therefore, we recommend that see a doctor or medical professional to evaluate you within a day or so. If there are no injuries, then you can go back to your life. If there are injuries, then it is important to continue receiving treatment until you ultimately recover for the injuries that you have suffered.
Should I Release My Medical Records To The Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
If you are claiming an injury as result of an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will ask for your medical records. That’s how they evaluate a claim. They tend to look at medical records from the date of the accident moving forward, as well as any past medical records to see if there are preexisting injuries or injuries that were exacerbated by the accident. Accordingly, we advise enlisting the assistance of an attorney when handling any type of complaint against another driver. Your attorney can make sure that the medical records are produced properly. They can also evaluate your claim and determine how to maximize its value.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was Not Wearing My Seatbelt At The Time Of The Accident?
If you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, it may still be possible to recover damages. In California, we have what is called comparative fault. The comparative fault standard for injuries suffered is evaluated based on who caused the injuries. If you were not wearing a seatbelt, that is a factor that is taken into account in determining damages. Even if the other side is 100% at fault for the accident, you would incur a percentage of the fault if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt. For example, if you have $100,000 worth of medical bills due to a car accident, the other side’s insurance company or lawyer can say that the medical bills would have only been $50,000 if you had been wearing your seatbelt. If the case would go all the way to trial, a jury could find that to be correct. Consequently, you would only be entitled to $50,000, not the full $100,000.
What If The At-Fault Driver Has Inadequate Insurance Or No Insurance At All?
We strongly recommend that all drivers get an uninsured motorist policy or an addendum to their insurance. An uninsured motorist policy is generally not very expensive. It’s an add-on to the insurance that you purchase. Typically, it’s about $25 to $30 extra a month, and gives you coverage in the event that you are struck by someone who does not have insurance or has a very small policy. If somebody has inadequate insurance or no insurance at all, it doesn’t take away their liability for causing damages. However, it becomes a question of whether they have enough money to cover the damages since they don’t have the insurance to cover it.
Even though they would still be liable, they may not be wealthy on their own to cover your injuries. Therefore, if you have an uninsured motorist policy, that policy would take over to cover your damages. Your insurance company has an obligation and a duty to cover those damages if you have that policy. It’s very important and beneficial to pay a little extra a month to have that policy.
Can I File My Own Personal Injury Claim If Fault Is Clear? Do I Really Need An Attorney?
It is not advised to forgo having an attorney even if the fault is clear. Insurance companies are prepared to lowball you until the end of time. They don’t expect you to know how to handle a claim. They take the stance that you are not going to push them to the point where they would actually need to pony up the right amount of money. Therefore, we recommend that you retain an attorney to handle your claim. Otherwise, you will be leaving money on the table. While there is always the question of paying the attorney, personal injury attorneys are usually paid on a percentage basis. As such, you will not pay money out of pocket. You will be paying money out of the settlement amount. In my experience, when people try to handle their own claims and get low offers, the percentage paid to the attorney pales in comparison to the lowball numbers they get from the insurance companies. Technically, you don’t have to have an attorney, but we strongly recommend hiring one if you want to maximize the value of your claim.
For more information on Medical Treatment After An Accident In CA, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (626) 385-6303 today.
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