Most importantly, remain calm. The more details you remember about the accident, the easier things will be later down the line. Take as many notes and photos as possible. Document everything – the damage done to your car, the scene, even the weather. You should also obtain the other driver’s contact and insurance information, but refrain from admitting fault. Wait until you’ve spoken with your car accident attorney before discussing anything related to liability or fault.
Compensation amounts after car accidents are based on fault – those at fault are responsible for compensating the injured parties. California follows a “fault” system, which means that you can file a claim for compensation as long as you were injured in the accident. If you share any responsibility, your ability to recover compensation may be limited.
Your compensation will depend on the injuries you suffered and the specific details of the accident. There are, however, common categories of compensation that you may be able to receive, including lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, and property damage.
California law imposes a “statute of limitations,” which controls the time period you have to file your claim. Currently, car accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file their claim.
Just because the at-fault driver is without insurance does not mean that you will go without compensation. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it essentially acts in place of the at-fault driver’s car insurance. If you don’t, however, you may be covered under your collision or medical payments coverage. A final course of action is to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver.
As tempting as it is to handle things with your insurance company on your own, our firm strongly advises against this. The insurance company is not on your side and is intent on paying the lowest amount of compensation possible. We have hands-on experience dealing with insurance adjusters, enabling us to pursue exactly what you deserve.
Gill Law Group, PC would be honored to offer the personal representation you need after a car accident. Get in touch with us today to speak with an Orange County car accident lawyer!