If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence in a car accident, you’ll likely file your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Your California personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that fairly addresses your physical, financial, and emotional losses.
While most personal injury claims are settled out of court, your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit against the insurance company if it is not forthcoming with a fair settlement.
Elements of Your Personal Injury Claim
Your personal injury attorney will carefully assess your losses to ensure that your claim includes a comprehensive outline. The losses you experience will break down into several basic categories.
Your Medical Bills
The medical bills you experience as a result of being injured by someone else’s negligence can be significant, and they may be ongoing. Some injuries develop complications, are closely associated with secondary healthcare concerns, or both, and addressing such losses head-on is imperative to your ability to fully heal.
Your Lost Wages
Because our careers are integral to our identities, losses in this arena can have serious emotional consequences. You’ve been injured, and you’re likely to experience lost wages while focusing on your recovery. This financial setback can be considerable, but if your ability to earn into the future or continue developing your career is affected, the loss will be much more challenging.
Your Pain and Suffering
The physical and emotional pain and suffering you experience in relation to injuries caused by someone else’s negligence can be tough to manage and overcome. Although such losses are more challenging to attach a value to, they should not be neglected in your personal injury claim.
The Settlement Process
The settlement process primarily consists of a negotiation stage in which your personal injury attorney and the insurance company engage in back-and-forth attempts to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Toward this end, your attorney will attend to all the following:
- Gathering all the available evidence in your claim, including any eyewitness testimony, the police report, and physical evidence at the scene
- Building your strongest claim, which may include hiring expert witnesses or having accident models created
- Ensuring that you are well informed about the process ahead and that you make the right decisions for you along the way
- Entering into skillful negotiations with the insurance company but preparing for a personal injury trial if the insurance company refuses to settle fairly
Why is My Personal Injury Case Going to Trial?
If your personal injury case is going to trial, it’s because you have not reached a settlement that you and your personal injury attorney believe covers your complete range of losses. Without just compensation that rises to this level, achieving your fullest recovery may be beyond your grasp.
Sometimes, however, insurance companies disagree with the claimant’s assessment of damages and engage in bad faith practices that make heading to court the best course of action. Such practices can include:
- Prolonging the claims practice to the point that you are considering giving up
- Complicating the claims process to the point that moving forward seems impossible
- Attempting to shift liability away from their at-fault policyholder and toward you
- Offering far less than your claim is worth in the hope that you will accept it out of desperation
- Denying the extent of your related damages
Insurance providers are required by law to engage in good faith practices, and when they fail to do so, proceeding with a lawsuit is often in order.
How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
Most people injured by someone else’s negligence resolve their claims during the negotiation process, which means they never file a lawsuit against the insurance company. In those instances in which claimants move forward with lawsuits against the insurance company, only about 5% end up in court. This means that, even if you file a lawsuit, it will likely be settled before your court date. The fact is that insurance companies are often moved to engage in more robust negotiations once a claimant files a lawsuit.
If the insurance company handling your claim refuses to see reason, however, court proceedings may be the best option.
An Experienced California Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
The formidable California personal injury attorneys at One Law Group are skilled negotiators who pride themselves on their sterling track record of settling challenging claims out of court. They are also well prepared to file a lawsuit and proceed to court when it serves our client’s best interests.
Your claim is important, and its outcome will directly affect your ability to fully recover. So please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact or call us at 310-923-9420 for more information today.
Personal Injury Case FAQs
What are the signs that a claim is headed to trial?
The best indicator you may need to file a lawsuit against the insurance company is if it refuses to engage in transparent and timely negotiations. If the insurance provider is more interested in stalling the process and ignoring your documented losses, the best path forward is likely to file a lawsuit and proceed to court.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
It’s important to know that reputable personal injury attorneys typically don’t charge anything until the claim is resolved. If your claim or case prevails with either a settlement or court award, your attorney will receive a prearranged percentage, and if not, you won’t owe anything.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims – or the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party – is two years from the date of the injury-causing accident.