Being involved in a car crash can be a frightening and confusing experience. Many people do not know what to expect following an automobile accident and turn to their family members and friends for advice. However, the things your loved ones tell you about what you should do following a car accident may not be correct from a legal perspective.
If you want accurate information about the car accident claims process, seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable attorney. As a skilled car accident attorney at Fitzgerald Law, I provide professional legal advice and high-quality legal representation to accident victims in Glendale, Los Angeles, Burbank, California, and throughout the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley.
5 Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims in California
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding car accident claims and injuries. However, some of those misconceptions may hurt a victim’s claim and prevent them from seeking fair and full compensation for their injuries and losses. Some of the most common misconceptions about California car accident claims include:
“Your insurance will cover all of your losses and damages.” That is not true in most states. Like many other states, California follows an at-fault insurance law. At-fault means that the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering your losses and damages if that driver was to blame for causing the crash. However, to prove that the other driver was at fault, the injured party needs to show four elements of negligence (duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages).
“You do not need to receive medical care if you feel fine after the crash.” This is a common misconception among car accident victims. Even if you feel absolutely fine after the car wreck, it still makes sense to seek medical attention as soon as possible. First of all, not all injuries following a car crash may be apparent in the minutes or hours following the collision. In some cases, injuries may take days or even weeks to show up. If you fail to receive medical care within a reasonable time, the insurance company will deny or devalue your claim, saying that your injury is not as severe.
“You do not need to report your car crash if the accident is minor.” According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), people involved in motor vehicle accidents are legally required to report their accidents to the DMV within ten days if the crash involves injuries, deaths, or property damage of over $1,000. Failure to report the accident in time can result in the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.
“You cannot recover damages if you were partially at fault for the crash.” Like many other states, California is a pure comparative negligence state. Under state law, an injured party’s damages award is diminished in proportion to their degree of fault. You can still recover damages even if you were mostly at fault.
“You do not need an attorney to file a car accident claim.” While you have no legal obligation to hire an attorney to pursue compensation after an automobile accident, a skilled attorney can facilitate the claims process and help you fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. You cannot trust an insurance company to protect your best interests. Insurance companies protect their bottom line, and you need an experienced attorney on your side to help you get fair compensation.
Having misconceptions about car accident claims could prevent you from getting the compensation you need to seek maximum compensation and move forward with your life.
Work with a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney
At Fitzgerald Law, I have a deep understanding of laws and legal processes that may affect your car accident claim. I have the necessary expertise and resources to help accident victims in Glendale, California, pursue the compensation they deserve. I handle negotiations with insurance companies, gather evidence to build a strong claim, and administer other legal aspects of the claims process. You can work with a trusted and reliable personal injury attorney by contacting me.