Answering Your Personal Injury Questions
There’s a lot of confusion and much less clarity in the aftermath of a serious accident. You may believe that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, but taking that first step to get the results you deserve can be intimidating.
When your path forward seems unclear and filled with obstacles, turn to me, attorney David Duncan. I understand how overwhelming California’s legal process can be, which is why I’m sharing my answers to frequently asked personal injury questions. If you have any questions after reading them, please do not hesitate to contact me about your personal injury case.
What should I do after a car crash?
- Determine whether anyone needs immediate medical care after the auto accident.
- Move your car away from the path of other vehicles to prevent another accident.
- Contact the police to have an officer document the scene. Obtaining a police report is important to building a strong claim with insurance providers.
- Document as much evidence of the car accident scene as you can. This includes damage done to your car, the other vehicle and any individuals hurt in the accident. Try to photograph road conditions, street signs and traffic lights.
- Obtain the other driver’s name and insurance information.
- When the accident scene has been documented and cleared, see a physician about your injuries. Doctors are trained to notice signs that may indicate injuries that may not surface until time has passed after the accident. Having a medical record of your visit can go a long way to further strengthening your accident claim.
How are damages evaluated?
“Damages” refers to the compensation awarded to the person injury victim to erase the financial losses caused by the accident.
An insurer or the court will take a variety of factors into account when determining damages. These factors often include:
- The severity of the accident
- The medical costs to treat injuries now and in the future
- Wages lost during recovery and projected lost wages as a result of reduced earning potential
- The cost to repair damaged property
- Out-of-pocket expenses for health care and insurance deductibles
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
If your lawyer can establish that the at-fault party’s actions were intentional or especially reckless, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages.
Each case is different, which is why it is important to work with an attorney who is able to make a strong argument for your specific circumstances.
What are my options for addressing my medical bills?
Although it does not seem fair that personal injury victims should pay for their own medical care after an accident, it is critical that you get the medical care you need as soon as possible. The compensation that you receive for the accident can be used to defray these costs in the future.
In California, the insured and uninsured have many options available for securing medical care.
- If you have private health insurance, you should use it.
- If you do not have private health insurance, you could qualify for coverage under one of these California health insurance programs: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, Medi-Cal. You may also qualify to receive medical care at a reduced rate. In California, hospitals are required to offer discounted medical care and payment plans to patients who qualify for assistance.
- If you have been injured at work, you may be eligible to receive care under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
- If your car insurance policy includes Med Pay, both your medical bills and your passengers’ medical bills could be covered.
Identifying the best option for you can be challenging if you are not familiar with how California’s health care systems work. An experienced attorney can help you assess your options and make a smart choice.
Do personal injury cases typically go to trial?
No. Very few go to trial. Insurance companies and corporations will go to great lengths to avoid litigation because it is stressful, expensive and inefficient. Business owners want to resolve disputes as quickly as possible so that they can focus on daily operations and maximizing their profit.
Have Other Questions? Contact Me For Answers.
I want to help you feel confident about the decisions that you are making after your accident. I offer no-cost, no-pressure consultations to all potential clients. Please email Duncan Law Firm to reach my Pleasanton office or call 925-332-1864 to set up your appointment.