In the short time following a serious car accident, important decisions must be made. Your first priority is to secure medical care for you and any passengers who were in the vehicle. Beyond the physical pain you are experiencing, pursuing compensation for the accident that was not your fault is complicated and something that you shouldn’t handle on your own.
Steps you should take
Step one involves gathering information at the accident site, specifically the other driver’s name, address, and insurance information, along with securing statements and contact information from witnesses. From there, you should take pictures of the accident, specifically damage to your vehicle.
California is a “fault” state,” meaning that motor vehicle accident victims are responsible for proving the liability of the other driver. Even if the police report verifies your account of the collision, the negligent driver’s insurer could still likely side with their policyholder.
For countless reasons, pursuing a claim with the responsible party’s car insurer presents significant hurdles to overcome. Simply put, it is a frustrating, if not maddening, experience, even when the other driver was entirely responsible for the collision.
The chances of the other driver’s insurer of the responsible party approving your claim after the first filing are minimal at best. It comes down to a battle of two accounts of what happened. The insurance company will likely side with their customer and deny your claim to avoid paying out any amount of money.
The goal of insurance companies is to minimize the compensation you deserve for your vehicle and property damage combined with medical expenses. The objective of a skilled personal injury attorney is to pursue the maximum amount of the damages you deserve. It can even the odds you face.