The injuries you sustain in a car accident can change your life forever. For victims of traumatic injuries, another driver’s negligence can result in life-altering changes that prevent the victim from working, taking care of family members, or being able to perform simple tasks such as dressing themselves or driving to the store. Even a so-called “minor” injury from a car accident can result in a hospital stay, physical therapy, and time away from work.
The emotional, physical, and financial damages from a car accident can be substantial. Money cannot undo the harm caused by a reckless driver; however, you deserve to be compensated for your damages. The road to recovery after a car accident can be difficult. It can help to have an experienced Fresno car accident attorney to guide you through the steps of filing a personal injury claim. In addition, an attorney can take much of the stress of dealing with insurance adjusters and companies off your shoulders so that you can focus on your emotional and physical recovery from the accident.
Stages in a Personal Injury Claim
It can help to understand the various steps in filing a personal injury claim for a car accident:
- Seeing a doctor and seeking medical treatment. Seeking medical treatment is a key step in pursuing an injury claim. Obviously, if you are seriously injured, you will go to a doctor immediately. However, in some cases, an accident victim might believe he or she is not injured after a car accident. It is very important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after any traffic accident. A delay in seeking medical care could be used by the insurance company to fight your claim.
- Investigating the accident. The police officer responding to the accident scene begins the investigation by completing a police report. The police report may or may not indicate whether the officer finds one or both drivers at fault for the collision. However, an accident should be thoroughly investigated by an experienced accident attorney who can identify the at-fault parties and gather evidence to prove fault. If you cannot prove that the other driver caused the crash, you cannot recover any money from that driver for your injuries.
- Continuing medical treatment. You need to follow your doctor’s orders as closely as possible during your recovery. The insurance company will review all medical r records before negotiating a settlement. You do not want any notes about your refusal to follow your doctor’s treatment plan or missed appointments to impact your ability to receive full compensation for your claim.
- Negotiating with the insurance company. Once you have completed medical treatment and reached maximum medical recovery, your attorney negotiates with the insurance company to settle your claim. In some cases, we must negotiate aggressively to arrive at a fair settlement. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible to settle a claim. Therefore, the company will try to underpay your claim. You want an experienced attorney representing your best interest. The insurance company has a team of professionals working on its behalf, and none of those individuals have your best interest at heart when offering a settlement.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. The time to file a lawsuit for a car accident is limited under California’s statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney soon after your accident to ensure that your rights are protected.
Fresno Car Accident Settlements
If you are injured in a car accident, contact Torem & Associates by calling (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or by using the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with a Fresno car accident attorney.