Four Things to Know About PI Cases in CA
If you are hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim, but there are a few things to know before you file.
An accident can happen in an instant and when it does, it can change your life. Many accidents are preventable and are caused by the negligence, or carelessness, of another person. When that is the case, you can file a claim against the at-fault party, but it is not always easy to recover the compensation you deserve. Before you file a claim, below are four things you should know about personal injury cases in California.
California is a Tort State
California follows tort insurance law, along with the majority of states in the country. This means that if you are hurt by someone else’s negligence, you must file a claim with their insurance company. If it is found that you partly contributed to the accident, you can still file a claim, as California is a pure comparative fault state. That means that even if you are found to be 99% at fault for an accident, you can still claim the 1% of damages you incurred.
Insurance Companies Must Follow Rules
After you file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company, they must respond within 15 days. An insurance adjuster will contact you to speak about the accident and they may also ask to record the conversation. You are under no obligation to provide a recorded statement, and you should never consent to a recording. The insurer then has 40 days to deny or approve your claim.
If the insurer approves your claim, they will offer a settlement that is likely not enough to fully cover the cost of your injuries. You should never accept a settlement offer without first speaking to a personal injury lawyer.
There is a Time Limit
California law only gives you a certain amount of time to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it is three years from the date of your accident. If you do not file your claim within this time, you will likely forfeit your chances of recovering compensation. In some cases, such as if you were a minor at the time of the accident or if you did not discover your injuries right away, the statute of limitations may be extended.
You Should Always Work with a Murrieta Personal Injury Lawyer
It is very difficult to deal with insurance companies and recover the full amount of compensation you deserve after an accident. At Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP, our Murrieta personal injury lawyers know the tactics insurers use to reduce or deny claims, and how to hold them accountable for paying the damages you deserve. We will negotiate a fair settlement so you can focus on your recovery and move forward in your life. Call us today at (951) 821-9875 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.