As prominent Los Angeles car accident lawyers, we regularly receive phone calls from the public. Many of our callers have been involved in a car accident and want to know whether it makes sense to file a lawsuit. Below, we provide answers to some of the more common questions we have received.
Can I receive compensation for a car accident?
Yes. In California, you can receive compensation for many economic and non-economic losses, such as:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Lost wages, if you couldn’t work after the crash
- Property damage, for the damage to your car or other property
- Pain and suffering
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the circumstances, primarily the seriousness of your injuries. Generally, the more serious your injuries, the more compensation you can receive.
Can’t I make a claim with the other driver’s insurance company?
Yes. This is often a good first step. You can submit your medical bills and proof of other economic loss to the insurer, who should pay if their insured was at fault.
Unfortunately, what we have seen as Los Angeles car accident lawyers is that many insurers will dispute fault. They will claim you really caused the accident, not their insured. As a result, they might deny your claim, or they will offer too little in compensation.
Can I negotiate with the insurance company?
Possibly. Of course, you would benefit from the help of a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, who can make a compelling argument for why you deserve compensation. But some insurance companies will still refuse to meet your demands. In that case, you will need to file a lawsuit to protect your rights.
What are the benefits of filing a lawsuit?
A lawsuit protects your ability to compensation, even if you hope to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver. Really, the ability to sue is the strongest leverage you have for getting the insurer to negotiate in the first place. If they walk away, they know you can sue.
Unfortunately, California’s statute of limitations places a limit on how long you have to bring a lawsuit. In general, you only get 2 years from the date of the accident, so you need to file a lawsuit promptly to protect your rights. A car accident lawyer in Los Angeles can talk to you about other advantages.
How do I file a lawsuit?
You start by completing a complaint, which is a legal pleading that identifies key information, such as:
- When the accident occurred
- Who was involved
- How the accident unfolded
- The amount of damages you suffered
You will have to file the complaint in the correct courthouse, otherwise, a judge will dismiss it. For help, reach out to a Los Angeles car accident attorney.
Legal Advice You Can Trust
If you were involved in a car accident, you need to move quickly to protect your rights. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our team can fight for compensation, but you need to reach out to us first. Please call to schedule a free consultation.