Filing an Injury Claim in California
Car accidents, regardless of severity, are emotionally harmful events that can have long-standing physical and mental consequences, not to mention financial ramifications.
In a perfect world, people would have little to no difficulty receiving damages for their suffering. The unfortunate reality is that insurance companies will generally do anything to deny personal injury claims. There are ways to increase the likelihood of an insurance company to accept your claim, but in some cases you may need assistance. The amount of time you'll have to do all of this will depend on your state's statute of limitations for personal injury cases.
In California, you have a total of two years to file and settle a personal injury case. If your initial claim is denied, it would be a good idea to hire someone like this Bakersfield personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. With expert assistance, you will hopefully be able to settle your case long before time runs out. Even as a client, however, there are things you can do to increase your chances of success.
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Any time you are involved in a car accident, it's important to see a doctor immediately. This is especially true if you are injured because you'll need an immediate medical report to document the severity. If you wait to seek medical treatment, the insurance company will insist that your injuries were minor and will use this to deny your claim. Keeping a consistently updated medical record will be one of the most important points in proving the seriousness of your injury.
Even if you don't believe you were injured in the accident, it's still important to get a checkup. This is because during a car accident, or similarly stressful events, your body is producing adrenaline. Ever hear of an athlete who played through a game only to discover they had sustained an injury after the fact? Adrenaline can dull pain and disguise injuries, and the same could happen to you.
Seeing a medical professional is especially important in the case of late-appearing injuries. These are most commonly injuries to soft tissue, like muscles, whose symptoms don't show up right away. Your doctor can help prove if you sustained such injuries during the accident.
Record all evidence.
To ensure a strong case, you'll want to start collecting evidence about the accident as soon as you can. Photographic evidence is relatively simple to obtain and can prove extremely valuable. This should include things like damages to vehicles involved as well as any visible injuries. It's also worthwhile to photograph the scene of the accident for any debris or signs present.
In addition to this, you'll also want to obtain as much written evidence as you can. This will include the police report from the scene. It's also worth taking any witness testimonials if there was anyone present who saw the accident clearly. Finally, take your own notes about the accident as soon as you can. This will help preserve your memories of the event, and it should help you make your case better. This will all be instrumental in assisting your attorney, should you need to take the claim to court.
In any case, it will be important to keep diligent communication with all involved. Be persistent with the insurance company when you first file your claim. If the claim is denied, make sure to keep your attorney updated on any new information, and keep your doctor informed on your medical condition. Following these steps should help expedite a successful case.