It can’t be stressed enough, it’s basic Personal Injury 101: Don’t Settle for Less than You Deserve. Never.
In the United States, as well as in Sacramento, California, a vast proportion of civilian legal cases comprise personal injury cases. Plaintiffs file personal injury lawsuits when they are harmed physically or psychologically due to the negligence of a person, government agency, company, or some other entity.
However, many opposing legal teams try to convince victims to settle for less than what they deserve. In this article, we will discuss why you should not settle in any sense of the meaning when it comes to personal injury cases in Sacramento, California, and beyond.
Personal Injury Law in California
In the US, every state has specific laws regarding personal injury cases, as well as other disputes that need monetary compensation. Likewise, the law for personal injuries in California relates to negligence torts caused by vehicle accidents, stringent liability torts arising from animal attacks, and defective product injuries, as well as intentional torts like violent assault.
If you have experienced a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury case in California. The reason for filing these cases is to recover financial compensation for the losses and injuries you have endured.
You can ask for compensation for different types of financial losses, ranging from lost wages, medical bills, reduced earning capacity, expenses for rehab, and even your pain and suffering. However, if you wish to pursue a personal injury case in California, you need to have a basic understanding of the personal injury law in California.
To start, the law for personal injury in California imposes a deadline on victims filing a lawsuit. The timeframe given for filing the lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. Once this timeframe ends, you cannot file the legal case for the injuries or losses you have incurred.
In California, the statute of limitations is two years. This means that a victim of personal injury cannot file a court case two years after the date of the injury. For cases where the injury is not discovered immediately, the legal system gives you one year from the date of discovery to file the lawsuit.
However, the timeframe given to file a personal injury case is not the same for all involved parties. For instance, personal injuries resulting from different types of accidents, including a car accident, workplace, or a slip and fall accident, have the usual timeframe of two years in general or one year from the date discovery.
On the other hand, personal injury claims involving California County, city, or any other state government agency have a timeframe of only 6 to 12 months. Since personal injury cases are time-sensitive by nature, it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer and start collecting evidence as soon as possible.
Furthermore, California has legislation for comparative negligence. This means that your compensation can be affected if you are to be partially blamed for the accident. For instance, If you are contesting a personal injury case in a car crash and the court determined that you were speeding, then you would be 20% liable for the accident. In other words, your compensation amount will be reduced by the same percentage.
Lastly, it is essential to remember that the rule for insured and uninsured drivers is not the same in California. Uninsured drivers may receive compensation for economic damages to their vehicles, but the opposing party is not liable to pay for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, even if they are 100% at fault. However, this also means that in specific scenarios, you can get compensation for your injury even if you were partially responsible for it.
Settling Personal injury Cases in California
If you happen to suffer from a personal injury due to someone’s negligence in California, it’s essential to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Navigating personal injury cases is difficult. With a personal injury lawyer’s assistance and guidance, you may be at the risk of getting a compensation amount that is less than you deserve.
Here’s more information on filing personal injury cases in California and why you shouldn’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
Insurance Adjusters Try to Persuade Claimants To Settle for Less
It would be best if you remembered that insurance companies offer their services for profit. Like any other corporation, its goal is to deliver healthy dividends to all its shareholders. Unfortunately, for you, holding back your claims is one of the ways these companies make profits for themselves.
Every dollar they hold back from you translates into a profit for the entire company. Therefore, many insurance adjusters try to persuade claimants to accept unfair compensation amounts.
When you experience an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it may be challenging to know the full extent of your injury at the time. Besides that, evaluating the medical expenses related to your treatment is another challenge altogether.
Therefore, insurance adjusters are known for approaching claimants at the early stage of a personal injury case. In these situations, insurance companies offer claimants immediate and low settlements to reduce their losses. Personal injury claimants must not accept low-ball settlement offers from insurance adjusters at any cost.
As discussed above, the state of California allows personal injury victims to seek compensation for their losses, on account of the legislation on comparative negligence. Many personal injury claimants rush to settle their injury claims because they think they are partially responsible for the incident. As a result, they accept any form of compensation given by the responsible party, regardless of how low it is.
This is why it’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in California when filing a personal injury case. You can use the attorney’s resources, know-how, and experience to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the level of your involvement in the accident.
Even if you think you were at fault, it’s best to rely on the experience of your personal injury attorney and wait until the investigation ends. In most cases, claimants who patiently wait during the investigation process are more likely to receive a more substantial amount upon the conclusion of their case.
If You Are Still Injured
When a person is severely injured, they may be in pain and not fully aware of the extent of their injury or the expenses related to their treatment. Therefore, it is easier for an insurance adjuster to manipulate them into accepting an unfair settlement. Do not agree to a settlement if you are still injured as you will end up with a low compensation amount. Hence, it will be difficult for you to pay your medical bills, etc. later on.
Inadequate Medical Attention
It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention for your own safety and recovery after an accident. Seeking medical care can help you to determine the extent of your injuries and confirm that they resulted from the accident. At the same time, it can also provide you with a fair estimate of the total expenses you need to pay for your recovery.
However, if you are getting inadequate or improper medical attention, then you should reject any settlement offered to you. Insurance negotiators can use your medical treatment as an excuse to provide you with less compensation.
Delayed Filing of a Personal Injury Claim
The state of California enforces a timeframe for filing personal injury claims. Therefore, you need to be wary of delaying action against the opposite party. If you delay filing the personal injury case and exceed the timeframe given by law, then you may never receive compensation, regardless of the extent of your injury.
It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to stall negotiations to make the personal injury claim null and void. Thus, consult with a personal injury attorney in California for legal advice as soon as you have been injured.
Inadequate Legal Representation
Selecting just any personal injury attorney is not enough to give you the compensation you deserve. Many personal injury lawyers have neither the necessary experience nor the required legal knowledge to represent your legal case effectively.
The opposing party can sense weakness in your case if your personal injury lawyer is unable to represent your case comprehensively. As a result, they may offer low compensation to hold you off the case.
Furthermore, ineffective legal representation can cause you to lose hope and become more acceptable to any settlement. However, you should avoid accepting settlements at this stage and seek a second opinion from a legal expert.
There Is No Going Back
Once you have received a settlement amount for your injury, there is no going back. You can neither renegotiate your case with the opposing party nor ask for compensation for any issues that may arise later.
Many people dismiss their injury (such as back pain) and settle for a few thousand dollars as compensation. However, during the later stages of their recovery, these ‘small injuries’ can turn out to be debilitating problems. Getting a full physical examination can help you to determine the extent and severity of your injuries.
The Bottom Line
You should always proceed with caution when pursuing a personal injury case in California. Avoid settling for immediate cash and carry out an extensive investigation to learn about the possible long-term consequences of the injuries you received.
A personal injury is directly related to your health, well-being, and happiness and can have life-changing consequences. Therefore, it’s best to consult a personal injury lawyer for your legal case and avoid settling for anything less than you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation
If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident and are considering legal assistance contact the personal injury lawyers at Phoong Law Corp for an initial free consultation. We’ll listen and provide you valuable information about your legal options. Phoong Law Corp does not charge an upfront fee and only charges a fee if we win.