Being injured in an accident can be more confusing and overwhelming if it happens to you when coming to California. You being a non-resident may be unfamiliar with the court procedures, the laws, and any other legal matter that governs personal injury case. The distance can also be a problem when you try pursuing the at-fault party to enforce your entitlement to compensation for your losses. The need for a skilled and experienced California accident attorney is more acute, but reviewing a summary of the things that happen when you are injured as a visitor may be helpful.
Filing a Claim for Compensation with an Insurer
As it is likely the case back in your native, you would pursue the claim for damages with the entity or person to blame for your injuries; usually, you would start this process through the company providing insurance coverage for them.
For instance, if you were injured in a car collision, you would look for compensation through the insurance company of that negligent driver.
After you file the claim with them, their people will review both the details and support papers to find out whether you:
- Gave sufficient details stating that their client was responsible in your injury-inducing accident; and,
- Supporting this claim with the right proof of your damages and injuries.
Insurance representatives prioritize their employer’s interests, so expect them to scrutinize the above-mentioned factors a lot. When trying to settle your injury claim, they may try to take advantage of the flaws in it and look for grounds to offer you an unrealistically low amount. In the event you cannot arrive at a consensus to settle your injury claim, then you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Important State-Specific Laws
Your lawyer will be the most active in navigating California’s legal system, but you have to understand these two doctrines and their possible impact on your case.
- Statute of limitations:
In layman terms, this refers to a deadline by which you must file the lawsuit. In California, this is 24 months after the day of your injury-causing accident. If you do not take legal action against the at-fault party within this time, then you cannot recover compensation for damages. That said, in the event your potential lawsuit is against a US government entity, then different rules apply. If you do not take the required action within six months, cases could just be barred. In such situations, find legal assistance without delay.
- Comparative Negligence
This one applies in the state, so your compensation amount may come down if you are at fault to some extent in the accident. Your shared liability would be based on the jury’s finding concerning the proportion of your actions that caused the accident.