An Easy Step-By-Step To Getting Insurance Payouts On Your Own
As long as you and the other person or group involved in an accident have insurance policies, you can file Personal Injury Claims on your own. In fact, more accident-related settlements are done through insurance providers, so you can go through submitting claims, negotiating settlements, and getting payouts without a lawyer.
However, remember that insurance firms are a business. Therefore, it is in their best interest to give you the lowest possible payout for your accident.
That said, accidents are costly for most people. You need to pay for medical bills, rehab expenses, and possibly lost income while you're recovering. So, do what every California Personal Injury Attorney would do: never settle for lowball settlements and gather as much proof to back up your claims.
1. Conduct Your Own Investigation
Before filing claims, you need to determine what caused your accident and who was to blame. For example, if you've been injured by a defective product, you should be able to find out who made it. Likewise, if you were in a car crash, you need to know who the other driver is.
When it comes to Personal Injury Claims in California, one way to determine liability is to show that the at-fault was negligent. That means the at-fault should qualify for the following conditions:
The at-fault had a duty of care (i.e., following traffic rules, quality control of products, executing care while performing surgery, etc.)
The at-fault failed to employ that duty of care due to negligence (i.e., the driver was drunk, the surgeon was careless, product manufacturer was unable to do quality control)
The breach of duty of care directly caused your injuries
To support your claims, you may need to show physical proof, photo evidence, video evidence, witness testimonies, police accident records, etc. You can also use these pieces of evidence to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the amount of money you lost due to the accident.
Important tip: Have yourself checked by a doctor and wait for authorities to get your testimonies on record. This way, you'll have accurate documentation on the extent of your injuries, your property damage, and the at-fault's liability.
2. Building Your Case
After completing step one, you should have all the facts you need to start putting together your case. Then, depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you can file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance provider or launch a lawsuit in court.
You must complete the necessary papers and submit them along with your evidence and other documentation. A demand letter is generally included when making a claim. This is where you tell the defendant and their insurance company how much money you expect to be compensated and what happened to you.
3. Negotiating With The Insurance Provider
If you decide to settle your lawsuit outside of court, the negotiation process will play a significant role in your case. You will have to deal with insurance claims adjusters.
These insurance adjusters will examine every aspect of your case to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, because the insurance firm usually does not want to pay and will find any excuse not to, this procedure can be lengthy and stressful. In addition, insurers may decline claims based on technicalities rather than a genuine belief that you do not have a valid claim against the insured.
If all goes well, the insurance company may send you a settlement cheque. The compensation or payout should cover all of your losses resulting from your accident and injuries.
But keep in mind that after you accept a settlement, you won't be able to go back and ask for more money if your injuries worsen or you suffer more losses.
When You Can't Do Things By Yourself
If you cannot obtain a satisfactory insurance settlement, you may choose to file a case in court. Hearings and trials will have to be scheduled.
Then, you will have to present your case to the jury or judge. This is where you'll need all the evidence you can gather to show that the at-fault did, in fact, cause your injuries and are liable for more than their insurance providers are offering you.
The legal system can be scary, which is why many people prefer to work with a California Personal Injury Lawyer. Additionally, a legal counsel will also be able to do more than what someone can do on their own, which include the following:
Do additional investigations by doing it themselves or hiring private investigators
Hire specialists and experts (i.e., doctors, economic advisors, etc.) to testify for you
Send demand letters
Represent a client in insurance claims negotiations
Find A California Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If the thing that's holding you back from getting a lawyer is the attorney fees, you can find a California Contingency Attorney willing to waive your payments until the case is successful. No win, no fees!