A California car accident changes an injury victim's life. Some accidents end the victim's life. When a car crash is caused by another person's careless driving, California law permits injured drivers and passengers to recover compensation. Injury victims (and the surviving family members of deceased victims) do that by making a car accident claim against the negligent driver's insurance company.
Unless injuries are minor, making an insurance claim with the help of a lawyer is the best way to assure that the insurance company makes a fair settlement. An insurance industry study confirmed that, on average, people who hire a lawyer to make a personal injury claim receive settlements of more than three times the amounts paid to people who negotiate their own claims. That only makes sense, since adjusters have no reason to fear that an unrepresented victim will reject a low offer and take the case to trial.
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has a long history of negotiating top dollar settlements for car accident victims. In cases that cannot be settled, Timothy J. Ryan has earned a stellar reputation for persuading juries to return substantial verdicts. Because Timothy J. Ryan & Associates charges contingent fees, you pay nothing unless you receive compensation. To have your California car accident insurance claim evaluated by an experienced professional, call Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at 800-838-6644.
Measuring Car Accident Injury Compensation
A personal injury insurance claim arising out a car accident has several components. Accident victims are entitled to recover personal injury compensation for:
- Medical expenses incurred up to the date of settlement
- Future treatment expenses that will likely be incurred, such as ongoing tests to evaluate the healing of damaged organs or future surgery to replace implants as they wear out
- Other healthcare expenses that will probably be necessary to treat the injury, including ongoing physical therapy sessions or chiropractic adjustments
- Lost wages and other lost income up to the date of settlement
- The present value of future wage loss (if, for example, a disabling injury forces the accident victim to work part-time or to pursue lower-wage employment)
- Vocational rehabilitation expenses
- Expenses that will be required to cope with a disability (such as adding a ramp or widening doors in a home to accommodate a wheelchair)
- The expense of home health workers or an assisted-living facility if injuries cause a loss of independence
- Pain, suffering, disfigurement, mental distress, loss of sexual relations, and loss of enjoyment of life
When a negligent driver causes a wrongful death, the surviving spouse and certain other family members are entitled to compensation for the financial support and services the deceased family member would have provided and for the loss of the family member's companionship, guidance, and love.
Settling Car Accident Insurance Claims
When you are involved in a car accident, you can make a property damage claim under the “collision coverage” provision of your own insurance policy, even when the accident is your fault. If you do that, the “deductible” amount on your coverage is subtracted from the settlement amount. If the other driver was at fault, you can make a property damage claim against that driver's insurance company.
It is more difficult to collect fair compensation from the other driver's insurer, but the option is worth pursuing if you have a high deductible. While your own policy might pay a limited amount to cover your medical expenses, that limit is usually small. If you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you can recover your past and future medical expenses by bringing a personal injury claim against the other driver's insurance company. That claim will also allow you to recover your wage loss, pain and suffering, and expenses you will incur to cope with a disability.
The maximum personal injury insurance claim you can realistically pursue is determined by the amount of insurance coverage the other driver purchased. If you suffered significant injuries, you should never try to negotiate with the other driver's insurance adjuster on your own. Since the adjuster has no duty to deal with you in good faith, the adjuster may try to pressure you to accept an inadequate settlement or to settle promptly, before you know the full extent of your injuries. Any settlement you make will be final, so if you later discover that your injuries are more severe or long-lasting than you anticipated, you cannot return to the insurance company to ask for more money.
Having an experienced car accident attorney negotiate your settlement gives you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. When insurance adjusters know that you are represented by Timothy J. Ryan & Associates, they understand that they will not be able to settle the case with a “low ball” offer. The firm's history of success at trial usually persuades adjusters that the insurance company will be taking an unacceptable risk if they fail to make a fair settlement.
The firm's experience assures that you that your claim will be valued accurately and that the case will be settled at the right time, after the impact the injuries will have on your life is fully understood. With decades of experience as a personal injury and wrongful death law firm, Timothy J. Ryan & Associates is able to evaluate and negotiate reasonable insurance settlements when negligent drivers cause serious car accidents.
To avoid waiting too long and losing your right to receive an insurance settlement, call 800-838-6644 and schedule a free evaluation of your case.