4 Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Attorney After a Minor Crash
San Jose Car Accident Attorney
Victims involved in auto accidents, even minor ones, may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, they will need to file a personal injury claim, and filing a claim can be a complex and time-consuming process.
Consulting with a San Jose car accident lawyer simplifies the claims process by smoothly navigating the legal system and improving the chances of recovering fair compensation for serious injuries and minor injuries, as well.
For a detailed look into the benefits San Jose car accident lawyers provide to clients, consider the following top four reasons.
1. A Car Accident Lawyer Thoutfully Uses Evidence to Prove a Claim's Legitimacy
Sometimes, other drivers falsify how their car accidents unfolded to avoid liability. To ensure the at-fault driver is held accountable, San Jose car accident lawyers utilize available evidence to prove who was responsible for car crashes, removing fault from accident victims.
Evidence, such as photographs of the car accident scene, damage to the vehicles, police reports, and records of medical treatment will all prove to be very valuable in a car accident claim. An experienced auto accident lawyer will be able to collect such evidence, as well as obtain witness statements from individuals who observed the car accident take place.
Additionally, an established law firm has relationships with expert witnesses in the San Jose area, who can further prove why the other party is at fault and why a certain amount of compensation is owed to a victim.
Experts are considered to be respected and knowledgeable in their field of work and can include car accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, financial analysts, and mental health therapists.
Additional Nuances Involved in Filing Car Accident Claims
The concept of personal injury laws and legal liability are not typically well-known to the general public and can have a significant impact on a car accident case if not treated delicately.
Because local San Jose personal injury attorneys know how to handle car accident cases, they can provide valuable insight into the following:
- Comparative negligence - In California, the comparative negligence rule is often applied in car accident cases, as multiple drivers and parties can cause car accidents. Depending on the circumstances and if the plaintiff is also at fault for a car crash, compensation may be reduced.
- Punitive damages - In addition to monetary losses that can be recovered, the courts may also award victims exemplary losses if the at-fault party's negligence is found to be particularly egregious, like a drunk driving accident. This is different from economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Medical records - Medical bills and proof of treatment establish a timeline of when car accident injuries were sustained and showcase the extent of medical care. These records also indicate out-of-pocket medical expenses that should be reimbursed in the car accident claim.
2. Assistance Filing a Personal Injury Claim
A San Jose car accident attorney guides clients through the legal process, ensuring they meet all the deadlines and requirements for filing claims and maximizing the chances of a successful outcome.
A typical insurance claim covers the costs of repairing or replacing a vehicle, medical expenses, ongoing aftercare, and lost wages or diminished earning capacity. However, even for innocent accident victims, filing a car accident claim against the insurance company of the at-fault party can be complicated, as insurance adjusters will attempt to devalue the severity of damages.
Therefore, victims will need the right documentation to prove damages and understand how to file a claim with the courts if necessary. According to the State Bar of California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in California is generally two years from the date of the car crash or the discovery of the car accident injury. However, there are exceptions.
A San Jose car accident lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases will possess in-depth knowledge of the local state laws and county regulations, improving the odds of recovering a maximized settlement.
3. Experienced Attorney Aggressively Negotiates Against the Insurance Company
Dealing with insurance companies, even your own insurance company, is overwhelming, especially when trying to recover from personal injuries. Insurance adjusters are trained to protect the interests of their company, which may not align with an injured victim's best interests. This is why hiring a car accident lawyer who can handle negotiations with the insurance company is so vital.
Insurance companies are often reluctant in agreeing to pay out what is rightfully owed in San Jose car accident claims. To avoid full liability, insurance adjusters will likely and promptly be in contact with victims following car crashes to make settlement offers.
This is not done to amend the at-fault party's negligence; instead, it is to settle the case as quickly as possible and to reach an agreement before legal services have been retained by the victim.
Many car accident injuries require repeated doctor’s visits and physical therapy. Once an offer is accepted, additional damages cannot be pursued in the future, regardless if medical attention is still needed to treat a serious injury.
An experienced car accident lawyer understands the actual costs of damages, including the future losses that will be needed to cover follow-up or anticipated medical visits, not just initial hospital visits.
San Jose car accident lawyers know how to navigate the tactics used by insurance companies who would otherwise try to undervalue or deny claims. Working with a San Jose law firm will strengthen a car accident case and allow for the negotiation of the best possible offer. If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, a car accident lawyer can take the case to court.
4. Car Accident Lawyers Represent Clients in Court
A San Jose car accident lawyer calculates the full extent of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. They can also anticipate any potential long-term damages car accidents cause, such as ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation.
Once determined, these losses are factored into the insurance claim. If the insurance company is not willing to account for those losses, the personal injury case can be taken to court.
While data indicates that only 4% of personal injury cases go to trial, if a car accident case does go to court, legal representation is highly advisable. Going to court and convincing a jury requires extensive legal backing that an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide. In addition to a case win, working with car accident lawyers also increase the value of a case.
It has been found that hiring a car accident attorney increased the average payout to approximately $75,000, contrasted to just $17,600 for those who did not work with an attorney.
Recovering from car accidents can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining. Dealing with the legal aspects of filing personal injury claims adds stress to an injured victim, whose priority should be focused on healing. However, hiring a car accident lawyer relieves clients of the burden of dealing with legal paperwork, deadlines, and negotiations.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, a personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit on their client's behalf. Oftentimes, the threat of going to court is threatening enough for the other party’s insurance company to yield and offer a fair settlement.
Help with San Jose Car Accidents
Filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, but a San Jose car accident lawyer can help you every step of the way. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the top San Jose car accident lawyers to discuss your case.
At Valley Accident Attorneys, our legal team knows just how to recover maximum compensation for damages in a personal injury case. To discover how we can help you, schedule a free consultation today.