Let's start with figuring out what a personal injury claim actually is.
When an individual is injured after an accident and is claiming victim (not at fault).
The victim would be going after an insurance company to pay for medical bills, vehicle damages and compensation for loss of wages due to the victims injuries.
Millions of dollars are left unclaimed a year from policy holders that just simply did not bother to file a personal injury claim.
Filing a personal injury claim can be quite simple with the right guidance.
In this guide we will do a complete breakdown of the ins and outs of your personal injury claim.
While we ALWAYS recommend allowing an accident attorney to fight for your rights after a crash, by following these steps you should be able to maintain a great case.
1. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY
It is vital for your claim that you seek medical attention as possible.
When dealing with insurance companies, if they can prove that you did not see a doctor in a timely manner, your injuries must not be as bad as you made them seem.
Resulting in rejection of your claim in court.
How do i find a local specialist for my injuries?
Don't just simply google a local chiropractor and consider that sufficient treatment for your injuries.
Do your research and look up reviews on reputable websites such as Yelp to help you find a specialist that matches your needs
Locals in the Inland Empire can contact our friends at Chiropractic Health Club
What should my doctor be looking for after an accident?
After an accident you should always have a doctor run a complete evaluation of your body. Injuries can develop with time.
The most common pain that surfaces years after a crash are back related injuries. With that being said, always run CT scans and x-rays throughout your entire body that might feel the slightest pain. Remember, injuries surface with time.
"I can't afford the medical bills."
If you are not the at fault driver and there is an insurance company involved whether it is your own or the other drivers, do not worry.
An attorney can usually send you to the right doctors for your injuries, but if you choose your own, make sure that your insurance company is aware of your much needed treatment.
Documentation is key when filing a personal injury claim
Average cost for for a chiropractor can vary. Consultations are usually free and treatment averages at about $45 - $65 a session.
X-rays can vary anywhere from $450 - $650 and the average cost for a CT scan according to New Choice Health is $1,200.
2. REQUEST FOR YOUR ACCIDENT REPORT
Before filing a claim with your insurance company, you'll need to have your accident report available.
Your first step would be to identify which agency wrote the report.
Was it California Highway Patrol or a local Police officer?
Here's a great resource for you if CHP took your accident report down. https://www.chp.ca.gov/traffic#request
CHP usually takes 2-3 weeks before your report is ready and your local PD can have your report available within a week or 2.
3. UNDERSTANDING YOUR SPECIFIC INSURANCE POLICY
Listed below are the most common types of insurance coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you're hit by another driver that does not have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can help cover your medical bills and sometimes even your vehicle repairs.
If you have been involved in an accident with another vehicle or you hit an object while driving due to an accident, collision coverage may help.
Collision coverage could help you pay for a complete replacement of your vehicle up to market value (once your deductible is covered) or it can help pay for repairs.
Personal Injury Protection
Also known as PIP, is only available in some states. Personal Injury Protection can help you with your medical bills and expenses after any type of accident.
It can also cover expenses that have incurred due to the crash such as lost wages.
4. DO NOT SPEAK TO ANY INSURANCE ADJUSTERS BEFORE SPEAKING TO AN ATTORNEY
After you have been involved in an accident you may be contacted a few days later by the other parties insurance adjusters.
If this happens, make sure you handle the conversation with extremely caution. What you say can determine how your personal injury claim is handled.
It makes sense why these adjusters are calling you if you really think about it for a second.
They know that you have a case against them. So if they can get you to admit to anything that would benefit their side, they will do whatever it takes.
Here are some useful tips to follow if an insurance adjuster contacts you.
Never admit fault.
Never admit to not being injured.
Don't get into deep conversation, keep is short and simple.
Remember that you have time. Your case does not have to settle out instantly if you have been injured.
5. CALIFORNIA LAW ON ATTORNEY FEES
In California, your average personal injury attorney will charge you 33.33% or 1/3 of any settlement.
Remember, there are no attorney fees involved UNLESS YOU WIN your case.