Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

What Time of Day do Most Car Accidents Happen?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Car accidents can strike at any time. However, your chances of suffering an accident increase when there are more people on the road. For that reason, drivers should expect the most accidents to occur during rush hour traffic. And statistics bear this assumption out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most dangerous time to drive on the road is during afternoon rush hour traffic. Read on for more information about when your risk of getting into an accident is elevated. A Closer Look at the Most Dangerous Time to Drive Avvo looked at Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, provided by the federal government and broke down the number of fatalities according to the time of day in 3-hour increments: 1:00 am to 3:59 am: 4,019 fatalities 4:00 am to 6:59 am: 3,520 fatalities 7:00 am to 9:59 am: 3,345 fatalities 10:00 am to 12:59 pm: 3,864 fatalities 1:00 pm to 3:59 pm: 5,273 fatalities 4:00 pm to 6:59 pm: 6,201 fatalities 7:00 pm to 9:59 pm: 6,067 fatalities 10:00 pm to 12:59 am: 4,829 fatalities One thing that jumps out is how safe the morning rush hour period is compared to driving home from work.  For example, traffic fatalities early in the morning are very low. In fact, it seems that drivers are much more careful early in the morning. Indeed, fatalities are much lower in the 7:00 am to 9:59 am window than even in the 1:00 am to 3:59 am a window when fewer people should be on the road.  This could mean driving skills decrease as the day goes on.  Being drained from work may increase the chance of a serious accident while driving home.  Finally, darkness and visibility may increase fatal vehicle collisions. The Most Dangerous Day to Drive According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the most dangerous day to drive is the Fourth of July, based on a 2016 analysis. This should not be entirely surprising. As part of the festivities, many people enjoy far too much alcohol to drink, which impairs their driving ability. Also, because the weather on the Fourth is often hot, a driver will be even more impaired. With so many vehicles on the road, even sober drivers can become frustrated and engage in dangerous driving. Based on the same 2016 analysis, the other most dangerous days to drive include: January 1 September 18 August 2 August 27 July 5 October 2 Of the seven days of the week, Saturday is the most dangerous according to NHTSA. Actually, the weekend is when the most fatal accidents occur.  Less traffic with higher speeds may be the reason for the higher numbers.  Conversely, the safest day to be on the road is Tuesday. (Interactive Map) In 2016, the number of car crash-related fatalities were as follows: Sunday: 5,809 Monday: 4,883 Tuesday: 4,444 Wednesday: 4,695 Thursday: 5,002 Friday: 5,826 Saturday: 6,802 If you need to go on a long trip, then Tuesday or Wednesday would seem to be ideal days. Protecting Yourself The reason so many accidents happen on certain days and at certain times is that roads are congested. But you probably need to be on the road at the same time, along with everyone else. What can you do? Clearly, drivers should exercise extreme caution when driving during rush hour. Remember to leave enough room between you and other vehicles, preferably four seconds of time. Also be reasonable when someone is trying to merge into traffic. If possible, you can scoot into the other lane, leaving the room. You should also avoid drinking on holidays, since alcohol will dramatically slow down your reflexes and impair your judgment, thus increasing the likelihood of a crash. If you see someone driving erratically, report them to the authorities. If you are feeling fatigued, remember to pull over to the side of the road. Speak to a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Rush hour might be the most dangerous time to drive, but motorists and pedestrians can suffer a serious injury at any time. If you have been injured in an accident, you need compensation to help you cover medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Your pain and suffering also warrant compensation. Contact the Beliz Law Firm today. Our car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve and are prepared to negotiate aggressively on your behalf. Call 562-452-3772 for a free consultation or send us an online contact form.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Who is Responsible for Uber or Lyft Accidents in California?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

For immediate help from an experienced car accident lawyer, reach out to Michael Beliz today. California is a “fault” state, meaning that drivers who cause accidents are financially responsible for them. Injured victims can make a claim for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurer for things like medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These same rules apply if you are struck by an Uber or a Lyft driver, or if you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft. Sometimes the driver responsible does not have any insurance, or they do not have enough to cover the full cost of your injuries. In these situations, you will need to check whether uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage is available. Below, let’s look at some common scenarios. You are Injured as an Uber Car Accident Passenger Here, the driver responsible for the crash is responsible for compensating you. This might be your Uber/Lyft driver or it might be another motorist who struck you. Either way, you will make a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Currently, the amount of Lyft or Uber passenger insurance is $1 million, which should certainly cover your injuries. Things can get tricky, however, if another motorist struck you but is uninsured. Helpfully, your ridesharing company should have underinsured motorist insurance for $1 million, which will kick in to cover you. You are Struck by an Uber or Lyft Driver In this situation, the Uber or Lyft driver is responsible for your injuries. It doesn’t matter whether you are another motorist or a pedestrian. In an Uber or Lyft driver car accident, you make a claim with the driver’s insurance. However, the amount of insurance available will depend on whether the driver was logged in the ridesharing app and whether they were actually transporting a ride: If the driver was not logged into the app, then the only insurance available is the personal insurance they carry on their vehicle. This is really no different than being struck by a person who doesn’t drive for Uber. Hopefully, the driver should have the minimum liability insurance required by California, which is $15,000 per person in bodily injury liability. If not, you might be able to use your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, if you have it. If the driver was logged into the ridesharing app and looking for rides when they struck you, then the Uber driver should have at least $50,000 in liability insurance up to $100,000 per accident and another $30,000 in property damage. Uber also carries $200,000 in excess liability coverage. If the driver had accepted a ride when he or she hit you, or if they actually had passengers with them, then the maximum amount of insurance applies. Uber drivers should have $1 million in liability insurance and another $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist injury coverage. You are an Uber/Lyft Driver Struck by Another Motorist In this case, you need to make a claim for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You should get this information soon after the crash and report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles, as is required by state law. Confused after an Uber or Lyft Accident? Reach Out to Us Today Injured motorists and pedestrians need compensation to help them piece together their lives after an accident. At the Beliz Law Firm, we are well-versed in the complexity of Uber and Lyft car accidents and understand who you need to file a claim with. In this difficult time, you should focus on getting well and being with your family. Let us do the heavy lifting of obtaining the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please call us as at 562-452-3772 or send us a private message. Please avoid delay. Injured victims have a limited amount of time to make a claim after an accident.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

 What’s the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Car accidents can cause devastating injuries, especially to pedestrians. Unlike motorists, pedestrians have no protective barrier between them and the car that strikes them. As a result, pedestrians often need tens of thousands of dollars in medical care, and they are at higher risk of suffering permanent injuries. Injured pedestrians also can miss months of work, which makes obtaining compensation that much more critical. After your accident, you might wonder about the average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. In reality, there is no “average” settlement amount. Because settlements are usually confidential, no one has collected this information to come up with a believable number. The better course is to focus on the factors that go into calculating your settlement amount. Calculate How Much Your Medical Care Costs The purpose of a settlement is to make you “whole.” Basically, this means the settlement should put you in the position you would be in had you never been involved in an accident. One factor we look at it is how much money your medical care has cost. With minor injuries, like sprains or strains, you might only need a couple thousand dollars in medical care, possibly less. For serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries or bad burns, you could need much more. It is very easy to calculate the cost of medical care. Find all bills and receipts and add up the amounts. Remember you can receive compensation for things like rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and supportive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs. You might also receive compensation for transportation to the hospital or doctors visits. Add Up Your Lost Wages Another economic loss associated with car accidents are lost wages. If your broken leg or concussion causes you to miss work, then you can receive the wages you would have earned had you not been injured. Look at your pay stubs and calculate the amount. You can even receive lost wages if you are self-employed—provided you can establish what you would have earned with reasonable certainty. For example, if you had to cancel some contracts while you recovered, then you can probably receive their value in compensation. Estimate Your Pain and Suffering If you are a pedestrian hit by a car, settlement negotiations should include discussion of your intangible losses, like pain or emotional distress. The simple fact is that accidents cause some losses that are hard to calculate in dollars and cents. Nevertheless, these losses are very real. Many of our clients report a serious reduction in the quality of life after getting struck by a car. The amount you can receive usually depends on the seriousness of your physical injuries. A sprain that causes a couple of weeks of discomfort probably will not earn you much in pain and suffering. But an injury that prevents you from enjoying your favorite hobbies or playing with your children may be worth much more. When clients suffer permanent, life-changing injuries like paralysis, they can receive a considerable amount for pain and suffering. Analyze the Driver’s Insurance Policy The driver’s insurance policy will usually act as a ceiling to the amount you can receive. Regardless of how much money the accident has cost you—and regardless of the severity of your injuries—the fact is it is very rare for you to get more in a settlement than the driver has in insurance. California only requires that drivers carry $15,000 in injury liability insurance per person, and many drivers only carry the minimum. If your injuries are worth $50,000, you still might need to settle for $15,000. Of course, you can file a lawsuit as a pedestrian hit by a car but, again, you will probably not get more than the policy limit in compensation. Call an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Long Beach Negotiating a settlement is complicated, and you need someone experienced to represent you. At the Beliz Law Firm, we have gone up against many of the state’s largest insurers, and we know how to get a favorable settlement for our clients. By hiring us, you will get an advocate who knows how to build these cases the right way and who is not intimidated by insurer dirty tricks. To find out more about whether we can help you, please contact us right away. We offer clients a free consultation, which they can schedule by calling 562-452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident

| Read Time: 2 minutes

California has strict laws against fleeing the scene of an accident without providing contact information. Unfortunately, too many drivers flee, breaking the law in the process and leaving you with property damage or, worse, physical injuries. If you have suffered damage in a hit and run car accident, you should follow these tips before reaching out to a hit and run lawyer. Get Medical Treatment If you were in the car when it was struck, you should check to make sure everyone is okay. If someone needs help, contact 911 and ask for an ambulance. If injuries are less serious, you might drive to the hospital yourself later, but it is important to get prompt medical treatment because not all serious injuries are apparent or visible after a car accident. Note Details about the Car that Struck You You might have been in a store when someone struck your car, in which case you might not know anything about the offending motorist. However, if you were in the car when it was hit, you should collect as much information as possible: The car’s make and model; The car color; The license plate number; What the driver looked like; and Anything else that stands out, like a bumper sticker or a burnt-out taillight. Check with nearby witnesses who might have seen more than you did. Get their names and contact information as well as what they saw. If you were struck in a parking lot, then surveillance videos might have captured the motorist before they fled. You can stop into a store and ask if they have video of the parking lot. Give them the date and time of the accident. Report the Accident California law requires that you report car accidents to the DMV within 10 days if the accident caused $1,000 or more of damage or if anyone was physically injured or killed. If you do not file this report, your license can be suspended. Check if Insurance Applies California is a “fault” state, meaning the driver at fault for an accident pays for your injuries and damage to the vehicle. Unfortunately, if a driver flees, you won’t be able to make a claim with their insurer unless you find the driver. Nevertheless, you might carry insurance that will cover you, such as: Collision insurance, which can pay to repair your car. Medical payments, which can pay for medical care. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) bodily injury coverage, which can pay for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, these forms of insurance are voluntary in California, meaning you might not have them. If not, your only chance of receiving compensation is to find out the driver who hit you so you can make a claim. Confused about What to Do in a Hit and Run? Contact Us Today At the Beliz Law Firm, our hit and run lawyers have helped countless clients get the compensation they need. If you identify the driver, we can help make a claim with his or her insurance company. If you have UM coverage, we can work with your insurer to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, please call us today, 562-452-3772.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Who’s At Fault in a Car Accident?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Nobody leaves their house or workplace and expects to get hurt in a car accident. However, traffic collisions happen very frequently in Southern California, especially since most residents rely on motor vehicles to get from one place to another. With more cars on the road, there is a greater risk of a collision. Who is at fault in a car accident? Many drivers who have been injured in motor vehicle crashes want to know how to tell who is at fault in a car accident. Fault in a California car accident depends on different factors. Determining Fault Initially in a Car Crash in California California is what is known as a “fault” state when it comes to auto accidents and claims. Some states are “no-fault” states, while other states are “fault” states. In a “fault” state, the police will typically assign fault to one (or more) of the drivers in a motor vehicle collision, and an injury victim can be eligible to file a claim against the responsible driver. When the police are called to the scene of an accident and write out a police report that identifies one of the drivers as the driver at fault, the police report becomes an important document in proving fault. When a driver files an auto insurance claim in a fault-based car insurance state, the driver typically has two options for property damages: File a 1st-party claim: this is a claim through the driver’s own auto insurance company; or File a 3rd-party claim: this is a claim through the auto insurance company of the driver who is at fault. There are benefits and limitations to each type of claim. When a driver files a 1st-party claim, she or he is responsible for paying the deductible even if she is not at fault. Then, that driver’s own insurance company attempts to recoup the deductible from the liable driver’s insurance company. A 1st-party claim can sometimes be quicker than a 3rd-party claim. When a driver files a 3rd-party claim, she does not have to pay a deductible, but the process can take longer. In addition, if the driver at fault has limits on the policy, the injury victim may be unable to obtain full compensation for her losses. In such a scenario, the injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit to seek damages for additional losses. For bodily injuries, the driver has to go through a 3rd-party claim first before doing a 1st-party claim. How to Prove Fault Based On Evidence at the Scene of the Crash After a crash, you probably want to know how to determine fault in a car accident. In addition to a police report, injury victims should gather the following evidence at the scene of a crash: Witness statements; Witness contact information; Photographs of the scene taken from multiple vantage points; and Photographs of injuries. In addition, the injury victim should seek medical attention. Medical records can also be used as evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. Even if you believe you may have been partially to blame, never admit fault after a car accident. Comparative Fault and California Auto Crash Claims What happens if both drivers—the plaintiff and the defendant—are responsible in some capacity for the car accident? This is known as comparative fault, or contributory negligence. Under California law, a plaintiff’s comparative fault reduces her damages award by the portion of her fault, but it does not prevent her from recovering damages. For example, if a plaintiff (the personal injury victim who filed a claim) is found to be 10 percent at fault, her damages award will be reduced by 10 percent. Even if a plaintiff is found to be 90 percent at fault, she can still recover, but her damages award will be reduced by 90 percent. If the payout in a given case is $100,000, a plaintiff who is 10 percent at fault will have her award reduced by $10,000 and she will receive $90,000. If the plaintiff is 90 percent at fault, her award will be reduced by $90,000 and she will receive $10,000. Some states bar a plaintiff from recovery if they are 50 percent or more at fault, while others bar plaintiffs who are 51 percent or more at fault. There is no bar to recovery like this under California law. Contact a California Car Accident Attorney About Filing a Claim Were you injured in a serious car crash in California? You should speak with a Long Beach car accident attorney about filing a claim for compensation. Even if you think you may bear some responsibility for the collision, you may still be able to recover damages. Contact The Beliz Law Firm to learn more about how we assist clients in California with auto accident claims.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

How to Determine Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Case

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Car accidents can leave victims with mounting medical bills and other financial losses, like lost wages. But not all injuries are easy to value in monetary terms. For example, if a car accident leaves you paralyzed in your legs, you might still be able to work. Nevertheless, you have suffered a terrible loss to your ordinary way of life. In California, “pain and suffering” is the catchall term to describe certain non-economic losses you can be compensated for. However, it is not always easy to calculate how much these losses are worth. If you have been in an auto accident, pain and suffering damages might be substantial. What Does Pain and Suffering Cover in California? Each state defines pain and suffering differently. According to California Civil Jury Instruction 3905A, pain and suffering includes: Physical pain; Mental suffering; Physical impairment; Disfigurement; Loss of enjoyment of life; Inconvenience; and Emotional distress, including embarrassment or anxiety. After a minor accident, this pain and suffering might be temporary, clearing up after a couple of months. With particularly serious accidents, however, our clients can be permanently disfigured or disabled. How Do We Calculate Pain and Suffering? In one sense, no amount of money can ever make up for certain injuries. For example, if your brain injury permanently impairs your memory and ability to speak, then no money can ever make you whole. Nevertheless, you can’t get your old body back in a car accident settlement, so money is the best substitute. At the Beliz Law Firm, we use two different methods to estimate pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method. Multiplier Method This method is easy to understand. You take your actual economic losses—the cost of medical care, lost wages, and property damage. Then you multiply these amounts by a number usually between 1 and 5, with 1 being used for less serious injuries and 5 used for the most serious, like paralysis. To take an example, Karen might have suffered the following economic losses when she suffered an arm fracture in a T-bone collision: Medical care: $5,000 Lost wages: $3,000 Car damage: $2,000 Total economic losses: $10,000 Since her injury is moderate, you would probably multiply this amount by 2 and arrive at $20,000, which is a rough estimate of her pain and suffering damages. Add the $20,000 to her $10,000 in economic losses, and Karen could get around $30,000 in her settlement. Per Diem Method Per diem means “by the day.” This method assigns a daily value for pain and suffering, such as $200. If Karen’s broken arm caused her pain for three months, during which she was regularly seeing the doctor, then you might multiply $200 by 90 days to reach $18,000 for total pain and suffering. How do you arrive at the per diem amount? Actually, it might seem rather arbitrary. An insurance company might look at how much you earn a day and use that as the number. Your attorney could use some other number so long as there is a legitimate reason for doing so. Speak with Us Now After an auto accident, you need steady legal guidance to help you get the money you deserve. At the Beliz Law Firm, we have extensive experience with car accident settlement pain and suffering claims, and we want to use our knowledge for you. To schedule your free consultation, please reach out to us today.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

What is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Car Accident?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

When a loved one is taken from us, especially by a senseless accident, we may be filled with feelings like rage and sadness at our sense of loss. There’s no way to replace the loved one and nothing you do will ever bring them back, but the law allows us to get justice in the only way it can. That is by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. While money can never replace your loved one, it’s one of the few ways that the law allows us to get compensation for our loss. Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits Wrongful death lawsuits are an extension of personal injury law. Different states have different rules concerning how wrongful death lawsuits are litigated. Typically, they are brought on behalf of those surviving the deceased or the deceased’s estate. In California, certain surviving members of the deceased’s family may bring a lawsuit against a negligent party. However, the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits is 2 years. Any lawsuits brought forth after two years are almost always dismissed without ever seeing a jury. Factors Involved in Calculating Losses Surviving loved ones are allowed to collect on any of the following damages: Loss of companionship and emotional distress, Loss of services to the household which includes damages for loss of income. This is calculated based on the age of the deceased minus that average life expectancy and their anticipated earning power Loss of sexual relationship with the deceased, Burial and funeral expenses, Medical bills related to the defendant’s negligence, In certain instances, individual plaintiffs can collect for individual injuries to them suffered because of the loss of the deceased, like the loss of consortium in the case of a spouse. Who is At-Fault for the Accident? When you sue an individual who responsible for the death of a loved one, especially in a situation as common as a car accident, they are typically carrying auto insurance that pays out damages to the victim. In this case, auto insurance has minimum policies in California of $15,000 for bodily injuries or the death of an individual. This is extremely low compared to the life of your loved one.  Therefore your attorney will look at all avenues for compensation.  This includes looking at the third party driver but the possibility of the driver working at the time of the accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist’s coverage may be sought from the deceased’s insurance company if the negligent driver does not have or has low insurance limits.  Finally, your attorney will investigate whether there could be a governmental claim. This could be for design defect in the road construction or lack of appropriate traffic devices.   If there is a governmental claim, the statute of limitations is 6 months to bring a claim against the proper city, county, or state agency. In other words, how much you can collect depends entirely on who caused the accident and why. Contact a California Wrongful Death Attorney If a loved one has been taken from you due to the negligence of another person, call the personal injury attorneys at Beliz Law Firm. We will fight tirelessly to ensure that you are compensated for your loss. Give us a call at (562) 452-3772 or contact us online and we can begin discussing your case immediately.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

Common Injuries Faced by Pedestrians After a Car Accident

| Read Time: 2 minutes

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they very seldom have the advantage. The car is larger and it’s moving faster. Even a car moving at the relatively slow speed of 10 mph can do serious irreversible damage to a defenseless pedestrian. While the pedestrian has a duty to obey traffic signals and traffic laws, so does the car. Furthermore, the car has a duty to attempt to avoid the pedestrian. That is the case even when the pedestrian is jaywalking or committing some other violation. In that event, the illegal actions of the pedestrian do not negate either the illegal actions of the driver nor their duty to avoid the pedestrian. Even pedestrians who are partially at fault for an accident can collect a major settlement or jury award. The reason for that is due to the fact that pedestrians suffer extensive injuries in collisions with cars. Some of those injuries can change a person’s life forever. Traumatic Brain Injury The term “traumatic brain injury” is generic enough to encompass a wide array of head injuries that vary in severity. But more often than not pedestrians will suffer from concussions at the very least. In very bad scenarios they can suffer permanent brain damage that compromises their ability to do their jobs, maintain employment, or experience a full range of emotions. Damage to certain parts of the brain can be fatal. In addition, the brain can suffer damage from swelling or bleed internally. Spine and Neck Injuries Depending on how a pedestrian is hit, the chances that they suffer serious damage to their spine or neck are not negligible. From these, permanent paralysis can result. This can force major changes to a person’s line of work. If they depended on their ability to stand in order to do their job, then they will need to find a new line of work. Not only would they be entitled to collect on their loss of income, but they could also collect on training necessary to enter a new field of employment. In the most severe cases, the paralysis is lifelong and leaves the injured party without the use of either their arms or legs. These individuals require 24-hour care. They are entitled to collect damages to pay for that care. Bone and Organ Damage Depending on the size of the vehicle that hits a pedestrian, extensive damage to various parts of the body can occur. Even smaller vehicles can cause serious damage to the arms, legs, and the “core”, like the ribs. This, in turn, can lead to potentially fatal internal bleeding or severe organ damage. In every case, the pedestrian may likely need multiple surgeries and an extensive period of rehabilitation. This can keep them out of work for an extended period of time while medical expenses and other bills pile up. Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today If you’ve suffered injuries in a pedestrian-car accident, you are entitled to collect damages. Call the personal injury attorneys at Beliz Law Firm at (562) 452-3772 or contact us online and we can begin building your case right away.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

How Long Does a Car Insurance Claim Take to Settle?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a serious car crash in Long Beach or elsewhere in Southern California, you are likely facing astronomical medical bills and significant lost wages. Not to mention the emotional and psychological stress associated with a severe auto accident. When you are dealing with the aftermath of a collision, you need to get compensation from the responsible party. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may open a claim with the negligent party’s insurer, which is a third-party claim. Or, if the other driver does not have auto insurance then you would bring a claim against your own insurance company, a first-party claim. There are many different factors that go into car insurance claim settlements. We will discuss some of the key issues with you. No matter what, it is important to have an experienced California car accident attorney on your side. To assist with the negotiation process and to ensure that you are taken care of by the insurance company. Insurance Requirements Under California Law When you file a car insurance claim—whether you file with your own insurance company or with the negligent party’s insurance company—one of the first major issues that can affect the timing of a settlement offer is the size of the policy limits that are covering the negligent driver. Under California law, drivers must carry the following types of coverage: Bodily injury liability of $15,000 per person; Bodily injury liability of $30,000 per accident; Property damage liability of $5,000; Even though it is not mandatory under: Uninsured motorist bodily injury of $15,000 per person; and Uninsured motorist bodily injury of $30,000 per accident. The size of the policy limits of the negligent driver may affect the timing of the settlement. If the policy limits are too small compared to the injuries, the insurance company may want to complete a settlement quicker. Compared to, where the policy limits are bigger than the injuries. If you file a third-party claim and the negligent driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses. The case may take longer because you may have to file an underinsured motorist claim through your insurance company for compensation. Negotiating the Insurance Claim Settlement Typically, the longest part of an insurance claims process is negotiating a settlement. After finishing medical treatment, a demand claim is filed with the negligent insurance company. From here the insurance company can take anywhere from a week to months to make a first settlement offer. Afterward is where negotiation begins. If you and the insurance company cannot agree on the compensation, the only option may be to file a lawsuit.  Litigating a lawsuit in courts may take years. From when the case is filed to when a jury decides the outcome of a case. It is extremely important to have an attorney on your side who can help to navigate your case. You should also remember that the California Code of Regulations involves fair claims settlement practices. Which means that insurers offer a fair settlement after acknowledging a claim and conducting an investigation in which it determines that the claimant is due. Discuss Your Case with a California Car Accident Attorney Depending upon the nature of your case, the settlement process can take weeks, months, and sometimes even longer. In particular, in cases where injury victims must file lawsuits to get compensation, the case can last for years. To seek help with your claim, you should get in touch with a California car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Beliz Law Firm for more information. To seek help with your claim, you should get in touch with a California car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Beliz Law Firm for more information.

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Attorney Portrait Car Accidents

What Rights Does the Victim Have After a Car Accident?

| Read Time: 2 minutes

When you sustain injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, the person that caused the accident is responsible for your injuries and damage to your vehicle. If the other driver acted negligently, you likely deserve compensation. Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are all recoverable damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies want to pay as little as possible to car accident victims. The goal of an insurance company is to resolve car accident claims quickly with the lowest possible compensation to the injured parties. However, if you are involved in a car accident, you have rights as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. An experienced personal injury attorney will work with you to protect those rights. Receiving Medical Attention The most important thing to do after involvement in a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you do not believe your injuries warrant a hospital visit, it is best to have a physician examine you to be sure. Often, the full extent of your injuries is not immediately clear and will develop in the hours, days, or weeks after the accident. If this is the case, see a doctor as soon as you are aware of the injury. Do not let concerns about cost and insurance coverage deter you from obtaining the medical care you need. Not only do you need medical attention to heal, it is important to document your injuries. You should receive full reimbursement for your medical bills and expenses when you settle your personal injury claim. Dealing with Insurance Companies No matter how friendly or helpful they may seem, insurance companies are not your friends. Unfortunately, insurance companies profit by paying you as little as possible. If you were driving at the time of the car accident, you must let your auto insurance carrier know about the accident. However, there is no requirement to speak to any representative from the other driver’s insurance company. They will want as much information as possible to diminish your claim. You should never give them a recorded statement before consulting with your attorney. Even casually talking to the other driver’s insurance adjuster or representative can be used against you to hurt your case. Seeking Compensation for Damages As a car accident victim, you have the right to seek recovery for the damages you suffered. You can seek compensation for medical bills and expenses, lost income from being out of work, and diminished earning capacity caused by permanent or long-term disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. You can seek compensation for the bills you have already accrued, as well as ongoing expenses like physical therapy. Additionally, you can sue third parties whose negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if a commercial truck hit you, you may be able to seek recovery from the company that hired the negligent truck driver. Get a Free Case Review If you sustained injuries in a car accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney right away. The Beliz Law Firm offers a free case review and initial consultation to car accident victims. Contact our office in Long Beach, California to schedule an appointment.

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